Review: We Are One: How the World Adds Up

Title: We Are One: How the World Adds Up
Author: Susan Hood, Linda Yan (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book, Nonfiction
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts–and unity and connection are most important of all–in a beautifully illustrated counting book with a timely message. 

One can be one thing all on its own–one star, one stream, one stick, one stone. But those on their toes, those using their smarts, know one can be more than the sum of its parts.

Consider the two slices of bread that make up one sandwich, or the three lines of poetry that form one haiku, or even the ten years that form one decade. From one to ten, from sandwiches to centuries, every part is necessary to the whole. In this fascinating concept book, a simple rhyming narration aimed at younger children is complemented by informational panels about subjects like the four compass points, the five acts in Shakespeare, the seven colors of a rainbow, or the nine innings in baseball. Award-winning author Susan Hood and debut children’s book illustrator Linda Yan offer a mind-expanding look at early math concepts such as part/whole relationships, fractions, and addition–while underlying themes of cooperation, peace, and kindness make this beautiful volume one to be enjoyed by anyone at any age.


The world is made up of “ones.” You can have one stick, but a bunch of sticks makes one pile. Many other numbers can create one too. Two slices of bread make one sandwich. Seven colours make one rainbow. This picture book explains the way that numbers, and especially the number one, make up the whole world.

This was a fascinating book. The world is made up of the same numbers. Things found in nature and man-made things all consist of numbers. There were examples from around the world, such as Haiku poems from Japan (one poem with three lines) and Shakespeare plays from England (one play with five acts).

The story was told in rhyming lines that were illustrated on the page. Each page also had more in depth details about the history of what was mentioned on the page. For example, it explained how Braille is made up of six dots in different formations to create the language, and how the seasons come from the way the Earth tilts as it circles the sun. These facts could be interesting for some older children who would also like this book.

We Are One is a beautiful and educational picture book!

Thank you Candlewick Press and Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When Elephants Listen With Their Feet by Emmanuelle Grundmann, Clémence Dupont

Double Take!: A New Look at Opposites by Susan Hood, Jay Fleck (illustrator)

Have you read We Are One? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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