Nothing in Common

Two neighbor children develop a special friendship despite their assumed differences in Nothing in Common, a lovely picture book by Kate Hoefler (Rabbit and the Motorbike) and Corinna Luyken (The Book of Mistakes).

Though they are neighbors, a white girl and boy "had nothing in common, so they never waved./ Except every day, they loved watching the old man with his dog." The dog could do "marvelous" things that the children "felt under the floors of their hearts." When the dog goes missing, they are the only ones who notice the old man's "LOST" posters. Because "a marvelous friend is hard to find," the girl and boy search the city for the old man's companion and soon find each other. When they see a hot air balloon floating over the city, "they were the only ones who thought a dog might be flying it--a marvelous dog who was lost and looking for his friend." Together, they pull the balloon home and return the dog to his owner, realizing along the way that they may have some things in common after all.

Poet Hoefler's whimsical narrative shines as her characters come to know one another and themselves: "They knew the same stars. And the same earth. And the same quiet rooftops they saw every night from their windows." Luyken's magical gouache, pencil and ink illustrations in contrasting reds, blues and whites--representing the surroundings of the boy, girl and dog, respectively--parallel Hoefler's narrative tone, progressively blending together into soft pinks, blues and purples as the children's friendship blossoms. Heartwarming, imaginative and beautifully illustrated, Nothing in Common is the story of how a shared experience can bring two people together through thoughtfulness, observation and compassion. --Jennifer Oleinik, freelance writer and editor

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