Brenna McEvitt's Reviews > One

One by Kathryn Otoshi
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May 03, 11

bookshelves: k-3-books

This book appears to be a book about counting and colors, at first glance. However, it becomes a book about bullying and how strength in numbers can help people stand up to bullies. Blue is contantly being bullied by Red and none of the other colors will stand up for Blue. One day One shows up and says "no" to Red. One teaches the other colors to say "no" to Red and they become Two, Three, Four, and Five. They finally give the power to Blue to become Six and Red no longer has the power. Red comes to join them as Seven. This is a great story to use to illustrate how bullying can hurt someone, but how even one person can turn the situation around by standing up for someone.

From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K—This is a deceptively simple color and counting book that turns into a lesson on bullying. Whenever they meet, Blue is picked on by Red: "Red is HOT. Blue is NOT." The other colors like Blue but are intimidated by the bluster so they say nothing, and soon Red is bossing everyone around. But then One comes. It is funny and brave and confronts Red: "If someone is mean and picks on me, I, for One, stand up and say, No." All the other colors follow One's lead and become numbers too. Yellow is two, Green, three, etc. Red begins to feel left out and tries to bully Blue, but Blue ignores him and changes to Six: "Red can be really HOT,' he says, but Blue can be super COOL.'" The rest of the numbers stick up for Blue, but offer Red the opportunity to join in the counting, and all ends well. The book is well designed with bright colored circles and numbers on stark white pages accompanied by black print. The text is very simple but meaningful, and the moral is subtly told. Red is not ostracized but included in the game, and the essential point of one person making a difference is emphasized by the ending: "Sometimes it just takes One." This is an offering with great potential for use with the very young in a variety of ways.—Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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