Reviews for No Two Alike
Booklist Reviews 2011 November #1
*Starred Review* On a snowy day in the country, two little red birds create their own sorts of fun. They make a mound of tiny snowballs, use pine needles as cross-country skis, nibble dry leaves into snowflake shapes, and fly about, using a twig to knock the snow off fence posts. Meanwhile, they notice objects (snowflakes, branches, roads, etc.) around them and observe that each one is different from the others, even the two birds themselves, who look so similar: "No two friends, large or small, no two alike . . . among you all! / Are we the same--just alike? / Almost, almost . . . but not quite." It is a theme that has been explored in other picture books, but the poetry and pictures here express the idea of individuality with an irrepressible, childlike sense of joy. Accessible to very young children, the verse reads aloud beautifully, with just a phrase or two on each spread. Created with subdued colors and strong composition, the double-page digital illustrations create a powerful sense of place and season while offering details for young children to notice and talk about. Baker's seamless combination of well-worded rhymes, evocative landscapes, and playful protagonists make this a standout title for reading aloud, especially in winter. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
In a thoughtfully structured picture book, two little red birds explore a snowy landscape, while a rhyming text draws listeners into looking carefully at the pictures to find similarities and differences between things. The digitally rendered illustrations are in muted blues and greens, the bright birds and other animals lending their colors and providing more things for children to spot.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #1
In a thoughtfully structured picture book, two little red birds explore a snowy landscape, while a rhyming text draws listeners into looking carefully at the pictures to find similarities and differences between things. The birds playfully swoop around snowflakes that are "almost, almost...but not quite" alike. They investigate nests (one with blue feathers, one with a sleeping squirrel), branches, and a pair of leaves, which observant viewers will notice is being pecked by the birds into snowflake shapes, making readers ponder the similarities and differences with the earlier flakes. The digitally rendered illustrations are in muted blues and greens, the bright birds and other animals lending their colors and providing more things for children to spot. Baker includes many funny scenes, with the mischievous birds stockpiling snowballs as a fox walks warily by in one spread and fishing with berry-bait in another. For children who have not yet picked up on the tiny difference between the two red birds, the final spread gives a clue that will probably send them back through the book to view each picture again. susan dove lempke
Kirkus Reviews 2011 October #1
A sadly lackluster paean to the premise that "no two snowflakes are alike, / almost, almost… / but not quite." Beginning with snowflakes, Baker then branches out to celebrate the uniqueness of other things, some found in nature, some manmade--nests, branches, leaves and forests. "No two fences, long and low, / no two roads--where do they go? / No two bridges, wood or stone, / no two houses-- / anyone home?" His ultimate message, arrived at on almost the final page, is that every living thing is one of a kind. While it is certainly an important message, the very young may not make the leap from the animals and things that populate the book to humans, which make no appearance. Baker's digital illustrations fill the spreads with simple shapes and soft, woodsy colors. The two red birds (rather like crestless cardinals) that fly through this wintry wonderland steal the show. Their expressions are adorable, their antics endearing and rather anthropomorphic--one skis, while the other tries to pelt a fox with snowballs. But they may not be enough to carry the flat text and lack of a story line. Indeed, the book depends on the rhymes and the cute birds to keep the pages turning. A worthwhile message that just doesn't quite fly. (Picture book. 3-5) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 October #1
With spare verse and a quiet, winter landscape, Baker (LMNO Peas) presents an ode to uniqueness, particularly as it pertains to nature. His artwork invites readers to observe the world closely, to notice that "No two snowflakes are alike,/ almost, almost.../ but not quite." Two playful red birds are the focal point of each pale spread as they investigate things that are not quite the same: "No two nests,/ so soft and round,/ no two tracks upon the ground./ No two branches, no two leaves,/ no two forests, full of trees." Displaying both mischief and curiosity, the birds ski on fallen pine needles, nibble leaves to make them resemble snowflakes, aim snowballs at a distant fox, knock snow from fence posts, and eventually ask, "Are we the same--just alike?" In answer, the ending illustrations show two red feathers, one tipped in black, rocking in a snowy blue sky: "Almost, almost.../ but not quite." Baker's digital artwork conveys a sense of painterly softness and warmth, and children should appreciate the gentle self-esteem boost that comes with the reassurance that they are one of a kind. Ages 3-7. (Nov.) [Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2011 September
PreS-Gr 1--While exploring their snowy environment, two red birds determine that no two objects are exactly alike: "No two branches, no two leaves,/no two forests, full of trees." Brief rhyming couplets, printed in large type and each requiring a page turn for completion, describe the birds' discoveries. They observe snowflakes, nests, tracks in the snow, fences, bridges, and even the animals they encounter. Finally, they look at one another inquiring, "Are we the same--/just alike?" The answer, as youngsters will guess beforehand, is obvious. The engaging, digitally rendered avian characters stand out against the wintry landscape, and their many antics as they navigate their surroundings will sustain readers' interest. They loop-the-loop through the falling snow, tightrope walk on branches, ski on twigs, and knock snow off fence posts. Children will readily join in the reading to supply each ending rhyme. An enjoyable and informative follow-up would be a trip outdoors to examine objects in their own locale.--Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT [Page 112]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.