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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  5,164 ratings  ·  628 reviews
Blue is a quiet color. Red’s a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do? When no one speaks up, things get out of hand—until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count. As budding young readers learn about numbers, counting, and primary and secondary colors, ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by KO Kids Books (first published September 1st 2008)
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Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,164 ratings  ·  628 reviews

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This book has reasonated with me from the first time I heard a friend of mine read it to a group of children. From that moment on, I knew that I had to have my own copy and share this story with others.

I truly applaud the language and illustrations Kathryn Otoshi uses to tell a tale about taking a stand against bullying. One is a wonderful journey as the story moves from colors to numbers to how we should treat each other. It is an extremely powerful moment when your young reader realizes t
Apr 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2021-goal
Interesting blend of learning colors and standing up to bullies. It is especially fun to read aloud for primary grade students.

I gotta admit, I loved the author’s book, Zero,
"Red is a great color," he'd say.
"Red is hot. Blue is not."
Then Blue would feel bad about being blue.

Blue is a chill guy. He feels bad when Red picks on him. The other colors like Blue - but even when they see Red bullying him they never step in. This somehow makes Red grow very big and he starts picking on all the colors.

Then, one day, a stranger comes to town...

I felt like this book dealt with bullying in a VERY realistic way - for preschoolers and maybe young Kindergarteners. Anyone older
Lisa Vegan
I recently read Zero and realized that this book by the same author had been published first.

Off the art shelf it just went. A bit disappointing because I thought there would be some color mixing education: blue + yellow = green, etc. and there wasn’t any of that. The way this tale goes, the colors are stereotypical: red = hot, angry and blue = cool, yellow = sunny, etc. but I didn’t have a significant problem with that. In fact, it was kind of fun. The only colors covered a red, blue, yellow, g
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
LOVE the anti-bullying message in this one. Could be integrated into my "dot" storytime theme. ...more
Apr 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: one-star, children-s
Colors (a mean one, red, tormenting the others), numbers, bullying and standing up for yourself and others. I felt it was too much for such a little book. Didn't like it. ...more
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A very nicely done book in colors and numbers that highlights bullying in an easy to read format for preschool to grade 2. The story begins with an ink blot in “Blue” that is being put down by another in “Red.” At the same time, other colors are watching but are too afraid to stand up to “Red.” It isn’t until number “1” comes along and tells “Blue” to be strong that all the colors begin to change to numbers and are “counted.” Otoshi does a very good job of identifying those characteristics that ...more
Aug 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, childrens
I liked this book, but I'm not sure it would appeal to children. It's got a good message and is has a good theme about uniqueness in individuals as well as about standing up to bullies. I read this one on my own, so I'm not sure if our girls would like it. ...more
Apr 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
The part I liked best was the colours changing into numbers.

One is a nice number. The colours are nice to one and it's a very good book too. The numbers change as long as they say me two and me three. In the book it happens, purple became four and orange became five.

Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tiny-ones
Love that this teaches counting while addressing bullying in a positive way.
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a a lovely picture about bullying.
Morgan Rose
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Otoshi, Kathryn. One. Illus. by author. Unpaged. KO Kids Books. 2008. $16.95. ISBN 978-09723946-4-2.
PreS-Gr. 2- In this cleverly done book, Otoshi effectively utilizes colors and numbers to portray bullying and its effects. The color ‘Blue’ is constantly put down by ‘Red’, and while the colors ‘Yellow’, ‘Green’, ‘Purple’, and ‘Orange’ do not agree with ‘Red’, they are afraid to stand up to him. Along comes the bold, funny, number ‘1’ who tells the colors it is okay to stand up and say NO when t
Feb 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela N
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an AMAZING book! It's simple illustrations help children focus and understand the story perfectly. It teaches colors; it teaches numbers; and it teaches about standing up to bullies. We checked it out from the library by happenstance and I had to go out to Barnes and Nobles and buy it a few days later. My 4 year old couldn't wait to tell her dad all about the story after reading it, my 2 year old immediately wanted to "read it herself" and flipped through the pages retelling some of the ...more
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book. Somehow the simple illustrations become complex as the story progresses. I had the honor to meet Kathryn Otoshi twice (both at American Library Association conferences) and she was an amazing, humble and talented artist. This is a MUST have for libraries and personal collections. Morality and beauty under the same cover-bliss!
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a picture book that personifies spots of color to tell a story about a bully, and the one who stood up to him, then helped him learn to let people be who they are. Sounds too good to be true, but it is told in such a simple, clever way, and it really rings true. I think it should be required reading in schools!
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is on the 2014 Monarch list.

What an excellent little story. Its power comes from being understated and simple; it's universal by those same qualities. It's about bullying and courage (as well as numbers and counting)--I think it would be a great read for kids of all ages. Books like this give me HOPE.
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
My son loves this book to bits. The deliberate "standing up to bullies" lesson was a bit obvious for me, but I guess it was cute to tell in stories. Plus, they all end up quick friends in the end. Just like life. ...more
Apr 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Hmmm... well I didn't exactly want to have this book's babies. I have all these hormones coursing through me and I wasn't as touched as I think I was supposed to have been.
Nicole Pourchier
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book about the difference ONE can make.
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bully
Short and sweet book with a powerful lesson. I was amazed by how much message was conveyed in such simple verse and illustrations. Truly blown away by this book. Recommend for anyone.
Julia Stevens
Second only to The Gruffalo. Y'all. This book is amazing. The story and illustrations are super simple but the message is huge! Great for lessons with numbers, colors and bully prevention. ...more
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I remember reading this a lot when I was young
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more picture book reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Blue is a quiet color. Red’s a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do? When no one speaks up, things get out of hand — until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count.

I LOVED this book! My nephew picked it out from the library when we were there together... I was a little daunted by the stark cover and the color bl
Linda Gill
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Blue was a quiet color." Thus "One" begins. All of the other colors and Blue get along very well... except for Red. Red is a hothead and likes to bully Blue. Blue is afraid of Red. The other colors try to comfort him, but none of them stand up to Red. Red just becomes more and more fearful to Blue as well as the others. Then One comes along and helps the colors to stand strong, to stand together, and to make a difference. I will leave "how" this happens unsaid for the story is just too good to ...more
Lisa Tobleman
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I wanted to review for a while, but other books always got in the way.

One by Katherine Otoshi

This is an amazing picture book about bullying and it is one I read to my kids over and over. Her other book "Zero" is about loving yourself as you are and is also amazing. I received both books from a group promoting children's literacy and it is one of my most favorite stories of all times. With a simple message and beautiful illustrations this is a book that can be read and enjoyed by a
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I rarely review picture books. It's not that I don't love them. It's just that I'm a YA writer and there are so many YA books and only so many time to read and review them. So it has to be a particularly special picture book for me to review it. And let me tell you, this one is it. The illustrations, though simple, are quite lovely and colorful. It would draw any child's eye. But it's the story that sold me. Because although ONE is in many ways educational, teaching kids counting and colors, it ...more
Megan Cureton
Red, is a bully that likes to boss others around and make fun of everyone. It took the number 1 to come along and finally stand up to Red, and show him that he's not being nice. I absolutely loved the meaning behind this book. With bullying being a huge problem in todays society, I would definitely read this book aloud to my future students. I think the age appropriate level would be for first graders all the way up. No one is ever too old to hear a story about bullying. I also liked that this b ...more
Margaret Boling
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
8/2/13 ** I read this on the first day of school as the students and I began our discussion about the anti-bullying contract. The students began spontaneously chiming in with some of the rhythmic language. I hope that this becomes a benchmark text - one we return to again and again when we see people doing things that are mean.

To continue the saga that began last year when I spilled water...I met Otoshi again at ALA this summer (Chicago). I told her about nearly ruining and then salvaging One la
Matthew Steuer
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Why this book? This book has an amazing simplicity that belies its profoundly deeper meaning. The main characters are only colors and numbers on a white background. Yet the book weaves a powerful story of bullying and courage, of standing up for your friends, and ultimately, of forgiveness. In some ways it feels sort of Zen. It is elegantly and beautifully simple, with nothing to distract you from its powerful message. There is much to talk about in this book…

Genre: Fiction

Theme/Keywords: Friend
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One by Kathryn Otoshi 1 2 Sep 20, 2015 12:42PM  

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Kathryn Otoshi is an acclaimed author, illustrator and speaker best known for her character-building books, Zero, One, and Two. She travels across the country inspiring students through reading, art and the power of literature. Her books, Beautiful Hands and Draw the Line, make important statements about connecting and building community.

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