Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Let's Talk Books: One by Kathryn Otoshi

Good Morning!

If you are boppin' by my little, bitty blog from Mrs. Jump's Linky, welcome!

I noticed that each week someone has shared this book, but I love it so much, I hope that you'll put up with another review...and maybe a freebie will help you be forgiving!

One by Kathryn Otoshi is, simply, a fantastic children's book about bullying and the power of one.

In the story, the characters, depicted by colors, encounter a bully, Red, who is "a hot-head."  Not only is Red a hot head, he's got his sights on Blue, who is"a quiet color" and pretty timid.  Red makes a point to belittle and bully Blue, who finds comforting words and encouragement from Yellow, Green, Orange, and Purple, but no allies willing to stand up to Red.

The other colors know that Red is wrong, but are afraid that Red will turn on them.  Their silence and fear, however, causes Red to grow bigger and eventually he picks on all of the colors.

That is, until One comes onto the scene.  One is different, with "bold strokes and squared corners."

One stands up to Red and his bravery inspires the other colors.  Morphing into numbers, the colors band together, vowing to stand up for themselves.  Sensing the shift and feeling left out, Red makes a last ditch effort to bully Blue.  The colors take a stand, which makes Red feel very small. 

The book ends very sweetly, with Blue (now number 6) extending friendship to Red. "Everyone counts!"shout the colors/numbers as Red joins in the fun.

I found this book last fall because it was on the Monarch Award Book List.  Our school librarian is incredible and each year creates a themed reading incentive for the classrooms to read as many of the books on the list.  Honestly, it can be a bit of a squeeze to read the 20 books in addition to everything else, but I'm thankful to Patty for introducing me to such rich, fresh literature.

That being said, I've read this book with a class, but never done an activity to go with it.  However, this fall I'll be using it during our Colors unit.  After reading the book, I'm planning on holding a discussion of how Blue felt, what One did, and how they can treat others so everyone will know they count.  I'd then like to let them experiment with their watercolors to paint a page in a classbook.  I'll record their idea with a prompt, "I can show others they count by..."  Hopefully, they'll turn out looking a little something like this:

You can grab a copy of the prompt here.
The free fonts are from Kevin and Amanda and the freebie border is from Ink-N-Little-Things.

I also found this great activity using food coloring and water that I'd love to incorporate into the lesson.  Some people have such great ideas, don't they?

Thanks for dropping by!  Hope to see you again next week!


  1. So excited to hear about this book! Thanks so much for sharing! It will be perfect for the beginning of the year :)

    Mrs. Masters’ Kinder Love

    1. Hi, Amber!
      Thank you so much for dropping by! I hope your kiddos enjoy the story this fall. I'm excited to check out your blog!

  2. I LOVE this book. I wasn't familiar with it until our principal read it aloud during an all school meeting while the 6th graders acted out all the characters with paintings they had made. It was amazing how engaged the entire school was! Great share!

    1. That must have been amazing to see! The first time I read it I thought it would be an incredible play. Thanks for stopping by, Ashlee!

  3. Oh Amanda, I am SO happy to see this post! I have never heard of this book and of COURSE it is now in my cart on Amazon. What a fabulous book! Thank you so much for sharing! And I LOVE your freebie! <3
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

    1. Thank you! It is one of my new favorites and I am so glad that it's in your cart!

  4. One has been on my "wanted" list for so long now. We have an anti-bullying day in February - it might need to be on my "new books" list by then. Thanks for the freebie.

  5. You are welcome! That anti-bullying day sounds like a great idea!