I'm Number One

Overview

How do you deal with a bully? A stellar author-illustrator team shows that a touch of playfulness can go a long way.

Little wind-up soldier A-One is in charge. At least that’s what he tells the other toys: Sally, Maddy, and Sid. When he tells them to turn his key, they do it. When he tells them they’re no good, they feel bad. He calls them all kinds of things: no good, hopeless, the worst. Or was that hope-use, good-no, and less-less? Somehow, stringing all those mean words ...

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Overview

How do you deal with a bully? A stellar author-illustrator team shows that a touch of playfulness can go a long way.

Little wind-up soldier A-One is in charge. At least that’s what he tells the other toys: Sally, Maddy, and Sid. When he tells them to turn his key, they do it. When he tells them they’re no good, they feel bad. He calls them all kinds of things: no good, hopeless, the worst. Or was that hope-use, good-no, and less-less? Somehow, stringing all those mean words together makes them start to sound, well, silly — and even though A-One doesn’t mean to, he finds himself smiling too. From the incomparable Michael Rosen and Bob Graham comes an insightful, child-friendly tale about learning how to be one of the gang.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Through soft illustrations rendered in pen and watercolor, this simple story offers a helpful message: a bully loses his power when surrounded by friends who rally together. When a girl and her mother leave the house, three toys—a doll named Sally, a duck named Maddy, and a Pig named Sid—must endure name-calling and bossiness from a toy soldier throughout the day. Soon the friends learn that if they can laugh at one another, A-One's message no longer hurts them; in fact, he learns that even he may need friends.—Melissa Smith, Green Valley Library, Henderson, NV
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Even a toy can be a bully. And the other toys must find a way to deal with him. As a young girl and her mother leave the house one morning on the front end-papers, their dog is contemplating the toys swept up by a broom. One of them, a wind-up drummer, asserts, "I'm A-One. I'm a BIG A-One." He demands that the doll, Sally, wind him up. But she's "no good," he declares. Neither is Maddy, the duck, nor Sid, the pig. Wound up, A-One proceeds to make fun of each of the others, taking their possessions and taking charge. As he calls them ever worse names, they begin to laugh. Despite himself, A-One smiles too. They remind him that he would be no good at all if they did not wind his key. He laughs, gives them back their hat, scarf, so forth and announces that he is "one of the gang" as the girl and her mother return on the back end pages and the toys are back with the broom. Graham's pen and ink line drawings create an appealing quartet and an observing dog. Watercolors add to the development of toys with believable personalities. The small toys become large as they act across the pages, offering a lesson in cooperation. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
Mother and daughter leave for the day while four toys and the dog stay home. The toy soldier, A-One, declares he is in charge and commands each of the other toys to wind his key. Of course they are "no good," "so bad" and "the worst" at doing so. Wound up, A-One continues with more name-calling and insults. The other toys, with a touch of humor, twist and combine all of the hurtful words A-One has spoken into nonsense phrases. Eventually everyone laughs, including the bossy soldier. What follows are kind, apologetic actions from A-One until he is "one of the gang." Graham skillfully uses pen and watercolors to portray each scene in his signature cartoon style. The toys stand out in saturated color against the setting's pale washes, and new readers will appreciate the subtle changes in text highlighting dialogue. Most dramatic is a close-up of A-One realizing how silly he has been. Sure to provoke discussions about bullying, especially since retaliation, even in this rather gentle way, could be deemed controversial. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763645359
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 12/22/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Rosen, the current British Children’s Laureate, has written many acclaimed books for children, including WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, and THIS IS OUR HOUSE, illustrated by Bob Graham. Michael Rosen lives in London.

Bob Graham is the beloved author-illustrator of many books, including "LET'S GET A PUP," SAID KATE; DIMITY DUMPTY; and HOW TO HEAL A BROKEN WING. He collaborated with Michael Rosen previously on THIS IS OUR HOUSE. Bob Graham lives in Australia.

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