Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 154: One

I love it when friends and fellow readers recommend a fabulous book to me, and when it comes to One, I have to give a big thank you and shout out to Marlene Chiasson, who suggested I check out this story a few weeks ago.  Marlene, I'm so glad you told me about this amazing story!  One is incredibly powerful and clever, and the parent and teacher in me highly recommend this book to parents and children of all ages.  The brilliance of this book lies in its message and the creative way in which it is delivered.  Using colors as metaphors for personalities, Author Kathryn Otoshi tells an all-too-common tale of bullying in a  clever and unique way.

"Blue was a quiet color... Every once in a while he wished he could be more sunny like Yellow.  Or bright like Green.  More regal like Purple. Or outgoing like Orange.  But overall, he liked being blue... except when he was with Red."  Red is a hot head; an unmistakeable bully who gets bigger each time he puts down others and goes unchallenged.  The other colors are always too scared of Red to stick up for themselves and each other... until One comes along.  He is funny, self-confident, and not afraid to stand up to Red and simply say, "No."  Drawing off One's confidence, the other colors join in -- "Me TWO!" says Yellow.  "Me THREE!" proclaims Green -- ultimately standing up to Red and showing us how "everyone counts."  Like so many others who have read this story, I love its anti-bullying message of tolerance and diversity, and most of all, its important reminder that sometimes "it just takes one" to make a difference.

Like many great books, I think One resonates with children of different ages in different ways.  My daughter, not yet two, simply likes pointing to the different colors and numbers as we read aloud.  My son, even at age 4, knows that there are certain kids out there who are simply not nice, and I'm sure that this book feels even more relevant to elementary aged children.  Unfortunately, our children will inevitably encounter bullies throughout their lives; hopefully not as victims, but most certainly as bystanders.  Part of our job as parents and educators is to help them learn how to deal with bullies and feel confident enough to be the One who can stand up and say, "No."


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