What a perfect day to talk about two perfect books that help young children learn how to treat each other.

Kathryn Otoshi’s One and her new book Zero are brilliant…and simple…and ageless…and powerful.

Using only numbers and colors, One and Zero drive home the point that it just takes ONE to make a difference…and EVERYONE COUNTS.

Elementary schools around the country have been using One in the classroom to get across the lessons of diversity, kindness, compassion, upstanding behavior, character and bullying prevention.

One is equally suited as a foundation for leadership campaigns that bring older kids together with the younger ones as mentors. By reading the book together, teaching the lessons themselves and developing activities that reinforce those lessons, both age groups benefit.

Zero is new and has as much potential to make a difference. It speaks to our inner doubts about our worth. Zero is upset that she has a “hole in the middle.” Doubt turns to exuberance when she figures out that it’s not a hole, it’s a CENTER…and when she teams up with the other numbers, she not only has value, she also adds to everyone else’s worth. In other words, EVERYONE COUNTS.

So Kathryn Otoshi, you deserve a Tangled Ball Award because catching kids early is our best bet…and having fun at the same time is a real bonus.