One By Kathrin Otoshi
Colors, Numbers, Counting and Lots More!
By Connie Goldin, MA, MFT
I picked up One on a book buying trip and thumbed through it. It was beautiful. I glanced quickly and saw everything I wanted to show preschool parents about important pre-K skills–colors, numbers, counting, sizes and shapes. I added it to my basket, and assumed for several months I had a simple and beautiful preschool skills book. Then, the other day, I read it.
One is an elegant book with a profound anti-bullying message. Using watercolors, circles, and numbers, Otoshi crafts a powerful story about cool and gentle “Blue,” being picked on by hot headed “Red.” Other colors are intimidated and do not stand up for Blue. Then, number “One” enters the scene, and “stands tall” to oppose Red, who has grown large with power. The colors begin to morph into more numbers and grow strong as a group. Blue calls out to Red, “Can Red be hot…AND Blue be cool?” Red rocks and rolls, becomes “Seven,” and joins the group. Then all the colors shout, “Everyone counts.” One ends with the important message, “Sometimes it just takes One.”
One is an artful treatment of bullying recommended for children ages 4-8. There are no faces or other signs the colors and numbers are children. With size and shape changes, Kathryn Otoshi illustrates the methods and emotions of bullying. She shows how children can stand up and say “no” to a bully. The profound message delivered with a light, positive touch, moved me. It is such a creative way to talk about bullying, and is a moving story for parents and older siblings as well.
Here is a reading of One on YouTube that includes Spanish subtitles.