The Children’s Book Review | April 8, 2019
What’s the Difference?: 40+ Pairs of the Seemingly Similar
Written by Emma Strack
Illustrated by Guillaume Plantevin
Age Range: 5-9
Publisher: Chronicle Books (2018)
What to Expect: Science, History, Geography, Language & Semiotics
Differences don’t matter: that’s the message we increasingly hear – differences are divisive, imaginary, degrading. At heart all things are equal, and too often that message is mistakenly translated to mean that at heart all things are the same. However, difference is important. Differences, distinctions, and designations are what make us unique, special individuals, and difference is what fills the world with diversity and wonder. Emma Strack and Guillaume Plantevin’s What’s the Difference? is a celebration of difference, and an exploration of the minute detail so important for diversity.
What’s the Difference? presents the reader with pairs of commonly confused entities: from Camels and Dromedaries, and Clementines and Tangerines, to Tornados and Hurricanes, and Great Britain and England. The book is divided into sections (food and drink, for example, or animals), and provides a wealth of factual detail about the distinctions that help differentiate each half of the pair. Each pair occupies one half of a double-page spread, making it easy for readers to compare not only the factual details but also the visual differences picked out in the sharp-edged, brightly-colored illustrations. Reminiscent of the illustrations you might find in a child’s encyclopedia, these misleadingly simple visuals nevertheless manage to convey details as subtle as the difference in shaping between the body of a bee and that of a wasp. Ranging broadly in discipline, this volume is fascinating and instructive.
About the Author and Illustrator
Emma Strack and Guillaume Plantevin are an author-illustrator team based in Paris, France.
What’s the Difference?, written by Emma Strack and illustrated by Guillaume Plantevin, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like What’s the Difference? by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Geography, History, Language, Non-Fiction, Picture Book, and Science.