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4.9 18
by Kathryn Otoshi

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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


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, they also learn about accepting each other's differences and how it sometimes just takes one voice to make everyone count.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Otoshi uses simple splashes of color reminiscent of Lionni's Little Blue and Little Yellow with the numbers from one through seven to tell a story of courage. Blue is a quiet color, very different from the others. He is generally happy, except when he is with Red. Red picks on and belittles Blue, and the other colors are afraid to challenge him, until One arrives. Red tells One to stop laughing and making the others laugh. One simply says, "No." The other colors become numbers two through five as they decide they will stand up and say "No" as well. Blue wants to "count," too. He stands up and becomes a blue six. When everyone is standing up together, red shrinks. But One says, "Red can count too." Red becomes seven, and finally "everyone counts." Bits of watercolor blobs on white pages effective create a story, and the reader becomes a believer. Otoshi demonstrates how small stimuli can become effective conveyors of meaning if one allows the imagination to work. One has the potential to stir discussions not only of the meaning of illustration in picture books, but of the problem of bullies and how to deal with it. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal


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

Product Details

KO Kids Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
360L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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One 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Alayne-Kay-Christian More than 1 year ago
It is a pleasure to read "One" with my four-year-old granddaughter. "One" is a simple book with few words and lots of white space on the pages. Its simplicity makes it easy for my granddaughter to focus and offers a serene reading experience for me. There is a certain amount of magic in this book as the paint blotches and numbers come alive on the pages and easily create emotion and empathy in readers. Kathryn Otoshi's use of colors and numbers as characters offers immediate familiarity to children. It is a brilliant approach, considering colors and numbers are a big part of a young child's learning world. My granddaughter seems to feel quite accomplished when she identifies the colors and numbers in this book. The second time we read the story, my granddaughter was already filling in the words as I intentionally left them out. She loves the parts when Red gets bigger, and bigger, and BIGGER and then later in the story gets very . . . very . . . very small. She also likes it when One enters the story. Ms. Otoshi presents this transition perfectly. Just when all the colors are feeling a little blue because Red was mean to them, One shows up. One is different. He is funny and makes the colors laugh. At this point, a little smile lights up my granddaughter's face. She also likes it when all the colors finally stand up to Red. When the story is over, I ask her what she should say when someone is mean to her. She replies, "No." As an IPPY Award silver medalist, I purchased "One" to see what a gold medalist had to offer, so that I might learn and be inspired. I know a good book when I see one, and I now understand why "One" took the gold.
BarbaraG More than 1 year ago
One by Kathryn Otoshi finds the color Blue, who's content with himself most of the time, being pushed around by the color Red. The other colors really like Blue and they try to convince him of his worth, but they will NOT stand up for Blue when Red comes around. As a result, they end up being bullied by (and scared of) Red as well. Will someONE take a stand and help Red change his behavior? Sure enough, but I won't ruin it for you except to say that this is ONE book that you won't want to miss. It handles the topic of bullying with sensitivity and class. Kudos to the author; the students in my school connected with the storyline and thoroughly appreciated its ending.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
One is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards® honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son received this book for his 4th birthday and it has become one of his very favorites. He relates to the "characters" (i.e. colors) in the story and the myriad of lessons provided about bullying, friendship, and standing up for ONEself. We gave this book as an end-of-school-year present to his teachers and the principal. They all loved it!
cmm66 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely the best children's book out today. This book teaches so many wonderful concepts - from letter, number, word and color recognition to addressing childhood bullying and acceptance and inclusion of others in a very unique way. It teaches children how to take a stand and be kind to others in clear and simple prose they can understand. The illustrations are beautiful as well and it's fun to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is truly exceptional in its ability to teach children about bullying through the use of colors.  It is simple enough for kids as young as 3 or 4, yet the message can be understood by children much older.  As a preschool teacher, I had privilege of watching this book be performed by 4 year olds in a play, and it was incredible to see how they were able to conceptualize the story.  I highly recommend this book to anyone with children!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
StardustAR More than 1 year ago
Bullying has always been around but it has not been so publicized as it is today. One is a wonderful book that highlights anti-bullying in thoughtful way. Students can learn about colors, numbers, and self-empowerment.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! So many life lessons for children. Bullying, sticking together, supporting each other, etc. The use of colors and numbers are genious. I often refer to this book when teaching children. There are so many way to present this book. However, to get the full perspective of this book I suggest you read it more than one time. I learned so much more by rereading it. I hope there is a sequel - I can't wait for the next book to come out!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this for a friend's 7-yr-old son. He loved it and so did his 3-yr-old brother. Great lesson on bullying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just heard at Kidquake Ms. Otoshi talk about her book. The audience was filled with k to 2 kids. They loved it and I loved it. After awhile, you forget that 'blue' is a spot as are the other colors and the 'red bully.' They represented all kids who are faced in a bullying situation and the book tells them strategies to overcome the problem.