One

Kathryn Otoshi’s gorgeously simple and powerful picture book, One, has completely captivated my class. As soon as I turned to the first page, I knew I’d found something unique. Otoshi’s images are about as simple as you could imagine, splotches of colour and numbers placed so artfully on each page that she communicates tremendous nuance of feeling in a wonderfully understated way. It’s quite something. One is a story about tolerance and being “the one” to stand up and make a change. Kids get it. They love it. It makes them laugh and empathize and have conversations about bullying and integrity.

No surprise that Otoshi has worked as a graphic designer. Her book is stunning. My class enjoyed looking at how Otoshi conveyed the colours’ changing emotions just in the way she positioned the splotches on the page and played with lines and intensity of colour. Even the kids appreciated what a beautiful piece of artwork the text is. When we finished reading it for the first time, one of my students commented, “We should do an art project connected to this book.” Ab-so-lutely kid. I’m thinking up one right now.

One has snagged a bunch of awards. You can sneak a look at the first few pages right here. Then you’ll want it for your very own.

Perfect. Just perfect.

Here’s a good interview with the author. I’m planning to pick up all of her other books too.

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