Everyone Counts

This is a book I wanted to review for a while, but other books always got in the way.

One by Katherine Otoshi


This is an amazing picture book about bullying and it is one I read to my kids over and over.  Her other book “Zero” is about loving yourself as you are and is also amazing.  I received both books from a group promoting children’s literacy and it is one of my most favorite stories of all times.  With a simple message and beautiful illustrations this is a book that can be read and enjoyed by anyone over and over.  Amazon did not put an age limit on this story for good reason.  My Mom loves this story and she is…well older than preschool for sure.  😉

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: KO Kids Books (October 1, 2008)

The story is simply told.  Blue likes being Blue, except when Red is around, then he feels very very small. Orange, Green, Yellow, all like Blue, but when Red picked on Blue they don’t say anything because they are afraid of being picked on as well.  Then walked up the number One.  He stands up straight to Red and says, all it takes is One to stand up, because Everyone Counts!  Then Orange, Purple, Green, all the colors stand up “Me Two, Three..” even Blue finally stands up to Red and says I Count!  Red blows up, deflates, then Blue says “Can’t Red be Hot, and Blue be cool too?”  Red becomes a number too and so the theme Everyone counts ends with Blue and Red, and ALL the colored numbers Counting.

This is both poignant and brilliant in its simplicity.  Beautiful watercolors and simple prose tells the message: standing up to bullies takes courage, but if everyone stands together, no one stands alone.  What is remarkable about this story, is that it offers a way to talk about all the factors in bullying, (why people remain silent, what a target feels, and what the bully feels) and does it in a way that is not preachy, it even offers a child appropriate way to solve the problem.  I don’t care if you are 5 or 95, this should be in your library.

Her other book Zero is an amazing book about being true to yourself and should also be read by everyone.  It continues the theme of Everyone Counts and is a terrific story of how a “zero” can matter.