Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

What’s the Difference?: 10 Animal Look-Alikes

Diehl, Judy (Author)
Plumb, David (Author)
van Kampen, Vlasta (Illustrator)
Annick Press 2003. 24 pages
First published: 2000
ISBN: 9781550375640 (paperback)
Original language: English
Dewey: 590
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

structures and features

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Silver Birch Award (Non-Fiction) Nominee – 2002

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Many animals are so alike that it’s hard to tell them apart. And yet, the introduction to this book tells us, “when you look closer, small differences become apparent,” much like with identical twins. Expounding upon those small differences, this natural-history book points out 10 pairs of “twins” among non-human species.

Information is plentiful but conveyed in simple language. For example, we learn that “one of the best ways to tell a rabbit from a hare is to compare their babies.” The book eschews specific taxonomy or terminology, focusing instead on accessible, general observations: “newborn rabbits have pink, hairless skin” while “baby hares, on the other hand, are born with full coats of fur.”

The drawings of leopards and cheetahs, wasps and bees, ravens and crows, and other bafflingly similar pairs use natural colours, settings and perspectives, and are bright, detailed and compelling. The full-bleed drawings occupy two-thirds of each two-page spread, with three paragraphs of text provided in a right-hand column. Part of the challenge of animal identification is the range of species within each family or genus; each drawing is therefore labelled to identify the species depicted, for instance, “northern leopard frog” or “desert tortoise.”

The book also includes a short glossary that defines the five classes of animals.

  •  

    Before reading each page, share your prior knowledge of how the animals are the same and different. Compare this with what you learn by reading.

  •  

    Make a diagram of one of the sets of animals. Add labels and captions, based on the text, to explain their similarities and differences.

  •  Write an animal quiz based on facts about one of the animal look-alike pairs. Challenge a friend to answer your questions, then try out their quiz.
  •  

    Look at the structures and features of this book. How is it organized?

  •  

    Before reading, choose a pair of animals from the content list with a partner. Start a compare and contrast graphic organizer on these animals, based on your prior knowledge. As you read, make adjustments to your chart. Highlight the new information.

  •  

    Use information from the text to create a visual representation showing the similarities and differences between a set of paired animals.

  •  

    Choose a different pair of animals with strong similarities. Use this text (as a model) and others to write about them.

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