Thursday, November 10, 2011


Words have an impact, a point that is illustrated beautifully in Kathryn Otoshi's One.

One isn't the loneliest number anymore!

You might be thinking to yourself, "Girl, why you reviewing a children's book?" and I might answer you, "I liked it." At this point I might also stick my tongue out, completely invalidating the message of standing up to bullies and doing so without being a completely rude canoodle that the book actually makes.

I really did love this book, though. I used to teach 4 and 5 year olds and this was one of the books that we used. It captured the message in a simple way that didn't bog the kids down with the superfluous.

Even at their young age they could relate to the story of Blue and Red. They really took the message to heart that it 'only takes one to stand up'. After we did (you don't read to children, you do books with them. Let them guess about what happens next, let them re-enact portions of it, they need to interact with it) the book once we saw the kids in our class try to be more inclusive. They wanted to play with other children that they normally wouldn't play with and stood up for students that were being left out.

Without going into specifics (spoiler free and all) this book has a great anti-bullying message that can be told not just through the words on the page, but through the artwork that shares the story.

As well as the anti-bullying, this book can be used to teach colors, including the hard to learn color grey, and numbers. Each number needs to stand up and 'count'. It can also be used to help a child learn sequencing and to determine which situation will come next.

I even started the book by going through each color/character and asking the students what each color made them feel. The book gives each color their own characteristic as well so after reading it I asked each student which color they felt the most like. This helps each student learn to empathize a little bit with their peers.

Such a simple book, but so many different lessons it can teach. It is definitely one that  I am going to get for my future children one day.


  1. Cool! I'll have to see if I can get this book. Sounds like one I'd like to read to Olivia!

  2. You really should, there's a sequel too called "Zero" that I haven't read. It's about a zero trying to find her self worth.
    "One" is definitely worth checking out, even if you have to get it from a library. I'm sure Olivia would love it!