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Author: Kathryn Otoshi

Illustrator: Kathryn Otoshi

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: KO Kids Books,

Material: hard cover

Summary: This simple book offers a powerful message. A blue color circle is bullied by a mean red circle. Finally, the number one stands up for little blue and everyone learns a lesson about being nice - to your friends AND your enemies! This picture book uses colors as characters in this allegory about friendship and bullying.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, easy reader, learning to read, developing reader, read aloud book, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 1 to 6

Reading Level: 2.2

Age of Child: Read with a 4-year-old boy.

Young Reader Reaction: I tried to read this with my 2-year-old, but he didn't like it. My 4-year-old liked the social dynamics of the story. We talked about the behaviors of the colors and related them to his experiences at school. Although it was a little too abstract at the beginning, as we have read it more, he is beginning to see the lessons.

Adult Reader Reaction: I love this book. Mostly it has a wonderful message about standing up to bullies, but also reminds the reader that bullies are people, too. They have feelings and can be treated with kindness. I was surprised that my son grasped as much as he did. Otoshi finds an amazing way to give "blobs" of color personality and emotions.

Pros: Simple yet expressive illustrations enhance this elegant, powerful, and peaceful message of acceptance and empathy.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is destined to be a classic. This is very much in the style of Leo Leoni. I would buy this book for a child 5 or older. The message is clear but the illustrations may be a bit too abstract for younger audiences.


Educational Themes: There are lessons of friendship, kindness, gentleness and integrity. You can also talk about standing up for what you think is right. This would make a great elementary school discussion book ... and maybe a great lesson for adults?!

Notes: The publicist representing the author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub®. This is an unsolicited donation.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, emotions

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2009

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