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*Little 1* by Ann and Paul Rand

Also by Ann & Paul Rand:

Sparkle and Spin


Little 1
by Ann and Paul Rand
Baby-preschool 40 pages Chronicle April 2006 Hardcover    

The number one has a name: Little 1. He wears an oversized red triangular hat, a red string bow tie, and he has a green striped body. He also has a frown; Little 1 feels lonely. He doesn’t like being alone; it’s no fun. What can you do as one?

He goes to the others, numbered 2 to 9, to see if they’d like some company. They all reject him in various ways. The six ants are too busy eating to acknowledge him, and the two pears give him the excuse “2 is company, but 2 plus 1 is 3, and that would be a crowd.” Rudest of all is when the five umbrellas reject him for being an ordinary stick. It’s not until a red hoop comes along that Little 1 smiles (Hoop likes to pretend to be a zero).

Originally published in 1962, this book teaches children about addition and counting. The illustrations by Paul Rand, an influential graphic designer, are unique. He chose to add splashes of color to some of the objects on the pages. An umbrella drawn with black ink has a rectangle of pink over it; and a few of the flowers in the book have pink, purple or red overlapping their petals. Throughout the story, a few drawings remain devoid of color.

Friendship is a prominent theme in this book, as well. This husband-and-wife team have penned a gentle reminder about how sad it is to be alone, and how valuable and easy it is to be a friend.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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