One by Kathryn Otoshi

I picked up One thinking that it was going to be an ordinary counting book. Upon reading it, of course, it quickly became clear that there was much more substance to it than that.


In this book, colours and numbers are personified and used as metaphors to depict a group of kids with different personalities. Blue, the main protagonist, is the shy, reserved sort who gets picked on by Red, the typical overbearing bully. And while Blue’s friends Yellow, Purple and Green sympathise with him, no one dares to stop Red — that is, until the arrival of One, who shows how everyone can make a difference by daring to take a stand.


Using very simple ideas and illustrations to convey its powerful message, the author has somehow conjured up a brilliant, multilayered story that can cater to a wide demographic of children: toddlers will like the part about colours and numbers, while older kids will appreciate the subtle wordplay and, hopefully, be inspired to be brave and stand up not only for themselves, but also for what’s right.

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