PPBF – I Am One: A Book of Action

I chose today’s Perfect Picture Book in honor of my daughter, my eldest child, who celebrates her birthday today. Not only has she met and worked with the inspiration of this book, and not only did she gift me a copy autographed by the awesome illustrator, but in her life and work she inspires me to action.

Title: I Am One: A Book of Action

Written By: Susan Verde

Illustrated By: Peter H. Reynolds

Publisher/Date: Abrams Books for Young Readers/2020

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: making a difference, social activism


How do I make a difference?

It seems like a tall order for one so small.

But beautiful things start with just One.

Brief Synopsis:

A call to action for each person to take one step to start something beautiful, to help make the world better.

Links to Resources:

  • In the Author’s Note, Verde shares that I Am One was inspired by a quotation from the Dalai Lama, “Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” Learn about the Dalai Lama and his work;
  • Drop a pebble in calm water and notice what you see. If you can’t do so outside in a pond, lake, or other calm body of water, fill a large bowl with water, drop in a small pebble, coin, or dried bean, and notice what you see;
  • Try the mindfulness exercise in the Author’s Note.

Why I Like this Book:

With sparse, lyrical text, Verde shares an important message in a very kid-friendly way. She reminds readers that just one person, YOU, can take action, start something beautiful, make a positive difference in this world. Whether it’s the first brushstroke to start a painting, the first seed planted in a garden, or the first brick removed from a wall, you can start to make positive changes at home, in your neighborhood, at school, and even in the world.

Paired with Reynolds’ colorful, lively illustrations, I think Verde’s words will inspire readers to take positive action.

A Note about Craft:

Verde’s direct, lyrical text leaves lots of space for her frequent collaborator, Reynolds, to show readers how seemingly small actions can make positive change possible.  

Midway through the book, Verde reminds readers that “We are each One. And we can take action.” From the sole protagonist at the start of the book, to a pair who undertake a journey, to a group who create together, Verde shows the actions of many “Ones” working towards a common goal.

This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!

12 responses to “PPBF – I Am One: A Book of Action

  1. Love this important theme, Patricia. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I loved this book! I like to see kids getting involved in their communities. Susan and Peter have a great thing going with their “I Am” series.

  3. A terrific and important message for our time. And sometimes I think of one small snowball, rolling down a hill, and how it gets larger and larger as it rolls. That’s how movements are created, yes?

  4. I haven’t seen this one yet – thanks for the suggestion!

  5. I just saw the title and even before I scrolled down I knew it was another awesome book by Susan Verde and Peter Reynolds!

  6. I love this book. It’s in my current stack from the library!

  7. Pingback: The 146th Playful Math Education Blog Carnival | Find the Factors

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