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Another

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Another Book Poster Image
Girl meets her match in mind-bending upside-down world.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Invites kids to imagine a parallel universe or other worlds on other planets, and to consider what makes us different and the same as other people. Since it's a wordless story, it may stimulate storytelling by kid readers.   

Positive Messages

Implied message that it's cool to explore and follow adventure where it leads you. Maybe we're more alike than we think we are. Since the book is wordless and open-ended, kids can decide what message they get from the story.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The girl of color from the bedroom is cheerful, curious, and up for adventure. She models an interest in science by wearing a dress with Saturn on it, and on the back cover she's looking through a telescope. The kids in the other world are cheerful and play nicely together. The diversity includes kids of color, kids who use a wheelchair, and girls who wear head scarves. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Another, by Caldecott Honor artist Christian Robinson, is a brain-twisting wordless adventure that follows a little girl and her cat through a portal to another dimension that's almost a mirror image of their own. Diverse kids play happily in this upside down world, and each one seems to have a twin version of themselves to play with. It's an original, provocative adventure sure to keep kids guessing -- in a good way. 

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What's the story?

A little girl with brown skin and black braids goes to bed and is awakened when a hole opens up in her room and a cat who looks just like her cat (except that cat's collar is blue and her cat's collar is red) comes through the whole, grabs her cat's toy mouse, and her cat follows after them through the hole. The girl follows her cat and pops though that portal upside down. She eventually finds ANOTHER girl who looks just like her (except that girl has a blue Saturn on her dress instead of a red one. She also sees a bunch of diverse kids playing, but it seems every kid has a double -- different only in clothes or accessories of a different color (such as red vs. blue glasses or a black vs. white head scarf). Eventually the girl in the upside-down world tosses the girl from our world the toy mouse, and the girl and her cat return home through the portal, back into their bedroom, and go to sleep. The portal has closed and the nocturnal adventure appears to be over -- -- but readers will notice there's now a blue toy mouse in the room ... from the other world. 

Is it any good?

This unusual, mind-bending wordless story takes readers to a fun opposite world where up is down and down is up and everything's the same but slightly different. Another challenges readers to explore another dimension and kids playing with alternative versions of themselves -- alike except for tiny variations in what they're wearing or holding (like a blue vs. yellow book or red vs. blue leash), or how they're positioned (like upside-down vs. rightside- up). Young readers will have fun figuring out who matches whom and what's different and the same about the pairs of kids. Is it a dream? A parallel universe? Another planet? Is it an ideal world where everyone plays together happily? Kids can decide for themselves as they turn the book over and over to see which end is up. 

Author Christian Robinson's playful mixed-media and paper collage art is set against stark white pages in the alternative world and pitch black walls in the bedroom world. The kids are expressive and appealing, and invite readers to make up their own stories about what those kids are up to.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the parallel world in Another. Do you think it's in a dream? On a different planet? If you imagined a different world for kids, what would it be like? 

  • What hint can you find in the art that indicates it's not a dream? 

  • What would it be like to find someone somewhere who looked just like you in another world? How would that make you feel? 

Book details

Themes & Topics

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