One by Kathryn Otoshi

oneK-OtoshiOtoshi, Kathryn. One. San Rafael, CA: KO Kids Book, 2008. Print.

Genre: Picture book

Summary: A learn-your-numbers-and-colors book with a dynamite twist! Red is a big bully and makes Blue feel bad. In fact, Red makes all the other colors feel bad. But then 1 shows up. 1 is tall and strong and doesn’t take Red’s crap. Pretty soon all the colors go to 1 for protection, but that leaves Red out. Thanks to Blue’s big heart, everyone can be included, even Red.

Critique: This book plays with words and colors in a fabulous and surprising way. Each color is just that: a dab of color. But in Otoshi’s hands, they are alive and dealing with bullies. The number One is just that: a number one. But as One deals with Red’s bullying, it teaches the other colors how to stand up for themselves. Slowly, the other colors start to bully Red. To end the cycle of bullying, Blue cleverly teaches them how to include the Red. Then the book ends on the cleverest line ever: sometimes, it only takes one. Brilliant!

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