oneOne by Kathryn Otoshi is a brilliant, abstract, accessible, unexpected, kid-friendly book. It’s incredibly thoughtful and unusual, and yet it’s still very much a kid book. And it’s about bullying.

The color blue is quiet and small, and it’s being bullied by the big, loud, pushy color red. All the other colors in the rainbow see what’s happening, but they don’t say anything. No one thinks they can stop Red. But then the number One comes to town, and he’s tall and sharp-edged and brave. He stands up to Red, and he teaches the other colors to stand up together to beat this bully. “If someone is mean and picks on me, I for One stand up and say No!”  Then yellow gets brave and says, “Me, TWO!” and turns into a big, strong, yellow number 2. And on and on. It works on so many levels, it is so clever and unusual, that even though I read it back at the beginning of the year I still can’t get it out of my head. It’s a counting book, a color book, a message book. It’s on my book order for next year, maybe more than one copy.