The Reds love being red. In fact they can’t get enough of being red, what with all the cool red hats, the red apples and the singing of red songs. But then along come the Yellows, a group of squares that love to eat bananas, love to read yellow books and drive yellow cars and love to be yellow. And if that wasn’t bad enough, here come the Blues, with their blueberry shakes, blue bow ties and blue guitars. The different colour tribes are suspicious of each others’ differences and draw up borders and rules. An uneasy peace reigns until even more colours arrive, and until a really different different arrives: a multicoloured, multicultural different in a multicoloured car. This different different positively rejoices in all the different things that each of the different tribes loves, and teaches them all that being different can be the greatest thing ever.
This is a lovely picturebook that deals in a simple way with fairly complex issues like racism, exclusion, bullying and cultural appropriation, and gently advises the reader that living in a melting pot doesn’t automatically mean you will get burnt.
Tightly written and joyfully illustrated by Tom McLaughlin, the author and illustrator of the superb The Story Machine, a book which was inspired by his experience as a dyslexic child and also celebrates difference, Along Came A Different is a modern and timely classic. Vive la difference!