written and illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi
2014 (KO Kids Books)
Source: Orange County Public Library
Two and One were best friends. Together they danced and sang. Their favorite saying was "One, Two, I'll count on you- t'il the end we'll be best friends." All was well until Three enticed One to join the odd numbers and play a different way. Two asked to play, but Three refused, stating "We're playing Odds Only right now." Two was heartbroken. The Even numbers offered solace but also vowed to get even with the Odds. Five, Seven, and Nine took offense and fired retorts back at the Evens. Zero stayed on the sideline and wondered why it was necessary to have a number battle. She consoled Two and challenged her to think in a different way. Two took this advice and bravely addressed her peers. A happy ending with dancing ensued.
Kathryn Otoshi's trilogy of number books (Zero, One, Two) are extremely clever stories about celebrating differences, standing up to bullies, and treasuring friendship. These are issues that are at the heart of the elementary school experience. Students need to learn that working together is much better than being alone. Doesn't it take two to tango? I will end up buying this set of books and putting them on the shelf that is beside my desk. Those are the books that I use several times a year.