One

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From School Library Journal

EMBRACING DIFFERENCES

From Booklist

*Starred Review* There are lots of stories about bullies, but few have looked at the subject in such an attractive, original way. The usage of 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 usage of colors and numbers gives the story a much-needed universality, and there’s a visceral power in the “strength-in-numbers” gambit (even supposing it will have to 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, at the same time as she helps put their imaginations to work on solutions. Preschool-Grade 1. –Ilene Cooper

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 the entire colors how to rise 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 once in a while just takes one voice to make everyone count.