Book Review: Different is Beautiful by Penelope Lagos

Cassius, an eight-year-old pitbull, has been stuck in the shelter for quite some time. It becomes his mission to rally all the other “special needs” animals together to change adopters’ minds and find loving homes for himself and his friends.

This time, the Paws ‘n Claws Adoption Day turns into a life lesson for all. Cassius keeps his friends positive and their heads held high, proving that looking different is not a bad thing—in fact, being yourself is the best way to be.

Different is Beautiful is a heart-warming story for children ages 7 and up that helps them accept people who may not look the same as they do. Author Penelope Lagos also offers ten helpful tips parents can use to educate children about overcoming bias.


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

What an awesome book for children! Different is Beautiful is a sweet story that teaches children to accept others as they are even if they look different. At the same time, it brings awareness to the plight of animals in shelters.

The main character, Cassius, is a pitbull. I’m sure pitbulls are difficult adoptions since many people are scared of their reputation. But Cassius stays positive and doesn’t give up. He also encourages all of the other “misfits” to believe. He’s a great role model!

The most important line in the book is said by Cassius’s new owner: “She told me we may look different on the outside, but we are the same inside.” We are all unique, but we all want to love and be loved, humans and animals alike.

The story is engaging and will keep the interest of children and the illustrations are amazing. They’ll definitely keep the attention of children.

There are even tips at the end for parents on teaching children to overcome bias.

I definitely recommend Different is Beautiful. It’s a great book to read together with your child to help them understand all of the ideas this book has to offer.

About the Author

Penelope Lagos, a New Jersey native, graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Communications and Theatre Arts. Penelope is an avid animal advocate and strongly believes in being “a voice for the voiceless.” She holds certifications in Canine Fitness and Conditioning as well as Advanced Pet CPR/First Aid.

She is the recipient of the Reader’s Favorite 5 star award for her first children’s book
entitled I Miss My Best Friend, which deals with the grief of losing a pet. When Penelope is not spending time with her own furry friends, she is acting in indie films and commercials as well as volunteering at The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Penelope is the recipient of the LLS Achievement Award for her dedication in fundraising events.

About the Illustrator

Charles Berton is the illustrator of a wide array of children’s books, as well as
many book covers, posters and anything on or in which one can have illustrations. He had a natural inclination to draw from the age of five. As an adult, he was trained and certified in web and graphic design. He raised a family on Long Island where he was also born and raised, and where he continues to live and work today.

Feel free to visit and see many samples of his work and philosophy.

From Different is Beautiful