Book Author: Kathryn Otoshi
An engaging story for very young children based on colors and numbers about “blue, a quiet color,” who gets bullied by “hot head red.” The other colors feel sorry for blue, but never stand up to red. Then “One” comes along. He — would have been nice to have some more female characters — tells the other colors that they count and encourages them to take a stand. They do, introducing readers to not just the power of “one” as the book’s title suggests, but more importantly to the strength of numbers and collective action.
In this lesson, students will listen to a read-aloud of One, which tells the story of Blue and how Red made them feel inadequate. None of the other colors liked Red and the way they treated Blue, but they were afraid to stand up for them. Until One came and stood up to Red and other colors realized that they had the power to be upstanders and defend their friend Blue. However, Red is not villainized and realizes that they “can be hot and Blue can be cool too” and is encouraged to join the other colors (now numbers). The purpose of this read aloud is to show children that sometimes bullying can occur because someone can feel as isolated as the bullying themselves makes them feel, and we can, in fact, come together and find common ground as long as we stand up for each other, and stand together.
I can…make a poster that shows how I will respect others and stand up for them
One by Kathryn Otoshi
Published by KO Kids Books on 2008
Genres: Activism, Friendship
Reading Level: Early Childhood, Grade K
Review Source: Rethinking Schools
Also by this author: One
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.