J.R.Poulter has worked as a senior educator, librarian, lecturer in English Expression, editor and in a circus. A multi-awarded author/poet with over 40 books to her name, she also writes poetry, YA and general readership fiction under J.R.McRae.
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There’s nothing like rhyming verse and colorful illustrations to attract a young reader’s attention. And the topic of differences and similarities is something very appropriate for young readers. Children are always comparing, looking for what’s the same between people, between animals, and what’s different. So, comparing oneself to a giraffe means comparing the size and color of the neck: a giraffe’s neck is very long and dotted with spots whereas a young child’s neck is short and one color; an alligator’s smile is much different to a child’s; an elephant’s nose is definitely longer than a child’s. Differences and similarities are what define living creatures. But the more different we all are, the more we are the same. We live, breathe; we have eyes, ears, nose and mouth, even though they may look different, be different colors, and be positioned in a different way. We are what we are and we need to recognize our differences in a way that honors them.
J.R. Poulter’s picture book story, Look Alikes, is a fun story, told in rhyme and beautifully illustrated by Barb Dragony. The differences discussed initially present the human child in comparison with an animal in the wild. But the end of the book compares human children through color of skin, whether or not they wear glasses and things that may look different. While the fun-filled rhymes help to intensify the young reader’s skills in observation, the importance of this lesson is that children learn to accept and rejoice in all our differences. Very powerful message. Well presented.