Children’s Book Review – One By Kathryn Otoshi


One by Kathryn Otoshi

One is the story that I think we all know too well, a bully tries to make themselves feel bigger by making someone else feel smaller and everyone just watches and does nothing. In this story though, everyone is represented by a different color. It has little to do with skin color though most of us know skin color still can play role in the bully world. One day though ONE comes to play, a number, not a color and ONE stands up to the bully and then everyone stands up and those colors become numbers too! In short, it just takes one to change something and everyone can stand up and stop a wrong.

   Why we picked this book

My husband and I are admittedly geeks. We are crunchy parenting geeks though so when we finally got a date without a kid tagging along we naturally ended up at a book store and eventually in the kids section. My husband was the first to pick up this book. The cover is simple, like the story, and it pulls you in. It begs to be opened and the pages turned.

As we both looked it over as both started to talk about how our baby would love it and more importantly how it might help her. You see our baby is very smart, she loves all things letters and has started to read. She was missing a few colors from her vocabulary understanding and while she loved to count, we didn’t think she knew the symbols for the numbers. She is too young for plot line we thought but the story was perfect for our 5 and 7 year! So the book just had to come home.


  The thing is, the baby as it turns out showed us very quickly she new all the colors and all the numbers and she adores the book. She tries to “read” it to us now. The older kids love it as well. I know this because our baby is rather a messy little one and often gets this book rather dirty and the older kids get upset and help clean it up. The baby doesn’t care about the messy, she just wants to exclaim her glee over the colors and the numbers and sizes.

I hope the story sinks in though as it is important one and one that I think might be something our children as homeschoolers will have to deal with. While our children are not trapped inside a small place with bullies and no one to protect them, they still find such others on the play grounds, on field trips, in social circles. They may even find such red in their own actions. We all need to be brave and stand up to what is wrong, sometimes that means being the first to notice when we ourselves are wrong.

Personal Story

On a very personal note, we are very proud of our oldest daughter. She goes to church with a friend a few times a week now and has made it clear what she believes. While she knows I am rather a free thinker she feels comfortable enough to call herself a christian Unitarian Universality though the church she goes to is on the Protestant path. She makes it clear that while the church has negative things to say about gay people, she doesn’t. She believes in equality. It is a hard thing to do to stand up to your peer group the way she does. I hope she keep questioning what others try and teach her and that she follows truth and logic and the goodness in her heart.

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  1. I also do love a story with a moral to it and lessons to be learn and this sounds like it led your children to their own conclusions. I found Bella’s Ball Story ebook to be such a cute read, I think a lot of little girls would love it! Younger kids tend to lose interest in books when there aren’t many pictures to look at, so I think more art work would help spark their imagination and keep their interest.

  2. judy gardner says:

    i love the concept of this book! the moral is timeless.

  3. Thank you. I am always looking for good Children’s Book reviews for my family book review site. I appreciate your review.

  4. Kristina L says:

    This does sound like a cute book. My boys are older now, and they do not tolerate bullying with their friends this makes me a happy mommy 🙂