One by Kathryn Otoshi
I have to thank my kids’ classmate most profusely for the return presents they got at his birthday party…a whole stack of books. And not just any books but some really well picked out ones. We got a lot of them sooner and for some reason, this one remained on the shelf for the past couple of months. I pulled it out yesterday and went over it a couple of times before reading it out to the twins.
One is a really simple and yet very complex books. Using simple language and gorgeous yet extremely simple illustrations Otoshi gets multiple points across to the reader. A little bit like an onion (a la Shrek), there are layers you can peel off and appreciate. The first read can be an easy one…the book seems to be about colors and numbers and standing up for oneself. A second read helped me appreciate the play with words and the use of numbers…everyone counts as in matters.
The end flaps introduce the picture book really well. I quote “Blue is a quiet color. Red is a hot head. Red likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Green, Purple and Orange don’t like what they see, but what can they do? When no one takes a stand, things get out of hand. Until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up and count!”
What appears to be a numbers/colors book is in fact a lot more…it teaches us to count for something, to stand up for what we believe in.
She sums it up beautifully on the last page “Sometimes it just takes One.”
And the other aspect I really enjoyed was the connecting of colors to temperature … so blue is cool and red is hot. Which really made sense to my kids…we have been reading a book called “When Sophie gets angry” by Molly Bang and that is another book where the illustrator has in fact used the colors red and blue very beautifully to add to the metatext. And, this is something I pointed out to them and we discussed when we were reading. We came up with hot things that made them think of red…flames, fire, embers, coal, the sun…and then of cool things with blue…water, the swimming pool.
One also helped me introduce them to a new English phrase…When someone is angry they see RED (my boys currently seem to see red pretty easily ..so i think they got it and were amused).