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One Hardcover – October 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: KO Kids Books (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972394648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972394642
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* There are many stories about bullies, but few have looked at the subject in such an attractive, original way. Using round splashes of watercolors as their personas, Otoshi introduces a group of colors. Quiet Blue likes looking at the sky. The other colors have their own characteristics: Orange is outgoing; Green is bright; Purple is regal. Red, though, is a hothead and likes to tease: “Red is hot. Blue is not.” Blue feels bad, and though the other colors comfort him, they’re afraid of Red. In a dramatic and effective spread, Red, feeling mean, grows into a bigger, ever-angrier ball. Enter One. The sturdy numeral wins over the other colors with laughter, making Red even madder, but when he tries his bullying ways on One, One stands up to him. The other colors follow, turning Red into a small ball. He is rolling away when Blue gracefully offers him a chance to be counted. The use of colors and numbers gives the story a much-needed universality, and there is a visceral power in the “strength-in-numbers” gambit (although it should be noted that it can work for ill as well as good). Otoshi cleverly offers a way to talk to very young children about the subject of bullying, even as she helps put their imaginations to work on solutions. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper

Customer Reviews

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One is a very simple way ot showing children how we can all be important and get along and not bully others.
I work in a elementary school, where every classroom got two of this book, one to keep and another one to give to a student.
J. D. Tavarez
I love the message of the book, as well as the colors and numbers to help reinforce them with my learning toddler.
A. Connercoash

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Nicki Heskin VINE VOICE on October 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am so moved by this book, I barely know where to start writing about it. My daughter just received this for her 6th birthday, and it is maybe the most unique new idea I have seen in children's books in a really long time. If this doesn't become a bestseller, it's a crime.

Using the metaphor of colors, Otoshi gently creates a group of kids with different personalities. Blue is quiet and contemplative, yellow is sunny, green is bright, purple is regal, orange is outgoing, but red is HOT -- a bully, who picks on blue. The others colors are sympathetic and like blue and commiserate, but don't tell red to stop, and red becomes bigger and stronger until everyone is bullied and afraid and there seems to be nothing they can do. (This part of the story actually subtly but hauntingly echoes that story about the Holocaust when they come after one group and then another and when they come after the storyteller there is no one left to help).

But then the story shifts when "1" arrives. He stands up to red and gives the other colors the courage to do the same. As they find their courage they shift from shapeless colors into numbers -- answering to "1" declaration to say no when picked on with "Me Two" and "Me Three." The metaphor rolls on nicely when blue declares he wants to "COUNT" as well. And when red, in desperation, bullies blue again, blue becomes 6. When red attacks, the numbers stand together, and red becomes small.

Maybe the most lovely moment of the book is when blue invites red to count becomes 7 and joins in. The final message of the book is that "sometimes is just takes One."

In today's world, this is such an important message. One person has and can change the world, and it's a small act that can do so.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By S. Cichowlas on December 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my 7 year-old son tonight. As a fairly non-aggressive child, he has had a few experiences with older children who some would call bullies. Interestingly, he seemed to be quite aware that Red's actions were more a symptom than a cause. He said, "If they had just included Red at the beginning, maybe he wouldn't feel left out."

I would highly recommend this book to classroom teachers, therapists, and anyone else who works with children.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By CMiller on February 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 also deals with the issue of bullying.

I know, right? How does an author pull those elements together? Not without serious thought, I'm sure. The basic premise is that the color red is bullying all the other colors, but blue especially. And no one will defend Blue or do anything about it. Until one day One arrives and stands up to Red. No matter what Red says, One will not back down. This is enough to encourage the colors, one by one, to stand up to Red and be counted. And in the end, Blue finally finds his voice, too, and lets himself also be counted--Blue finally sees his own worth and understands that he, too, has value. And all it took was One to stand up to the bully.

It's a pretty powerful message, I think. Mob mentality works both ways--to create bullies, but also to bring them down. In keeping silent, all the colors aided and abetted the bullying of poor Blue. But once One spoke up, and then all the rest and the rest, the mob of "worthy" colors knocked Red down to size.

Of course, it's cool that this book will also help kiddos learn to count and recognize colors, but the message behind it makes this book stand out.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Voorhees-Pasquini on April 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This booked was introduced to me by a friend who runs the "Ovation Company" which brings anti-bullying programs to middle and elementary schools. Both of us like the subtle messages in the book. The book starts out with showing how the color blue has many friends and how he sometimes envies his friends, but overall he likes being blue. The book talks about standing up for yourself and how friends stick up for each other. The book even touches on how the bully often feels left out and the only way he knows how to make friends is to bully them. The book shows how to reach out to the bully and include the bully in the group.

We have read "One" to our high school peer counseling class and they liked the book as well as my daughter's fifth grade class, and my son's third grade class. If a teacher wanted a simple book with powerful messages to read to any age group this book would have to be in the top five.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By mtminihan on May 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My three year old, who is not a big talker, came home from school one day talking about this book. Since it make such an impression on him, I knew I had to get it. It's a very cute story of a group of friends who not only stood up to a bully, but then compassionately included him in their game. It really should win an award. I'm proud to have it in our library.
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