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Capture the Flag
Kate Messner


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One PDF Print E-mail

What You Need to Know:
One is an extraordinary and powerful book about bullying. 
• This picture book would make a great read-aloud for all ages.
• While this book imparts an incredible lesson on standing up for oneself and others, it also reinforces
   the concepts of colors and numbers in a simple way.
Sweet Book Summary:
What in the world can colors, counting and bullying have in common with each other? You must read this book and find out. The author, Kathryn Otoshi, has done the most amazing thing with this deceptively simple book about counting. She has cleverly taken the very elementary concepts of counting and color, the first concepts pre-schoolers are introduced to, and embedded an incredibly moving example of what happens when someone is bullied. The author has done so on the most basic level, so the pre-schoolers reading this terrific book can understand and learn from this message.

Blue was a quiet little guy who enjoyed doing quiet things, including looking up at the sky and floating on the waves. Sometimes he wished he could be more like the other colors, perhaps more sunny like Yellow or more regal like Purple. All in all, he was pretty happy being Blue except when Red came along, that is. Red was a problem, he liked to pick on Blue. Yellow, Green, Purple and Orange all comforted Blue, but they never stood up to Red. Nobody ever told Red to stop, until One came along. One saw Red pushing Blue around and said, "No!" .

One continued and said, "If someone is mean and picks on me, I, for One, stand up and say, No". Everyone felt empowered by One, and soon everyone stood up to Red. Yellow felt brave and said, "me Two!" Green became Three and Purple became Four and so on. When Blue became Six, Red really blew his top. But Blue asked Red why everyone can't count, including him? Red thought about it and began to laugh. Red realized he could be a friend and became Seven, because "Everyone counts!"

This book truly amazed me. It seems everyday you hear another heartbreaking story of a child being hurt, bullied or not being validated. It seems to me if we make an effort to impart important messages like this one, that everyone has value, we could do something to stem the tide of these incidents. It's these little lessons, started early, that will help create a strong little person that would not only reject bullying, but might even stand up and speak out against bullying. We can't wait until the bullying starts, then it is just too late.
Author: Kathryn Otoshi Illustrator: Kathryn Otoshi Published: 2008, 32 pages
Themes: Bullying, Counting, Colors, Feelings, Excellent Read-Aloud, Exquisite Illustrations
Sweet Discussion Questions:
• Have you ever felt like Blue? When?
• What happened to make you feel like Blue? What did you do about it?
• Do you know anyone like Red? If so, how are they like Red?
• Do you ever wonder what makes a person behave like Red?
• Was Red a good example or a bad one? Why?
• What inspired the other colors to be brave?
• Who was a good example for the colors? Why?
• What could you do if you saw someone being bullied? How could you help?
• What could you do if you found yourself being bullied? Who could you turn to for help?
If You Liked This Book, Try:
Zero, Kathryn Otoshi
Bullies are a Pain in the Brain, Trevor Romain
Raj the Bookstore Tiger, Kathleen T. Pelley
This recommendation was written by: Melissa Y.
Support Independent Book Shops: Click Here to Buy this Book on IndieBound

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