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One Little Word

Book Synopsis

Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Joseph Coelho, tells the story of a hairy monster that rips two best friends apart. And there’s only one little word that can make it go away!

This big hairy monster slowly balloons in size, ruining everyone’s fun.
But this isn’t any old monster. This is a hairy argument that just won’t go away. They try calling it names, yelling at it, and even ignoring it. Nothing works.

“The argument came from nowhere.
It sat huge and bloated
in the middle of the playground
between me and my best friend.”

Until… the best friends say that one little word that makes everything better. They learn how to shrink the monster until it vanishes completely. And soon, they can’t even remember what it looks like!

We all know how an argument can balloon into something we never expected. What starts as a simple tiff has the power to really hurt our feelings. This book describes those intense feelings perfectly and provides a comforting solution in the form of an apology, which serves to cool down and reunite the friends.

The perfect metaphor for difficult discussions that can get in the way of daily life, and a gentle way to introduce your child to the concept of compromise. Coelho’s gentle and lyrical verse pairs perfectly with Allison Colpoys’ classic illustrations to create a book which will be treasured by young readers. This is an ode to the power of an apology, and to treasuring a special bond that runs deeper than even the friends realized.

Our Review Panel says...

If you are looking for a picture book to explore themes surrounding friendships and navigating arguments One Little Word is the book for you. The story starts with an argument turning up in the playground and explores how this affects not only the two children arguing but also the children surrounding them. It follows how quickly the argument grows and how easily it becomes out of control. Then something bubbles up inside the children, a small sorry that connects the friends again.

A beautifully illustrated book full of diverse characters to whom lots of children will be able to relate. The children in my class were inspired by this story and mesmerised by the colourful sketch-like illustrations. It encouraged great discussions about friendships and the importance of saying sorry.

This book can be enjoyed by children of any age but would be particularly appreciated by pupils in KS1 and lower KS2. This book could easily be linked with PSHE topics and used to help children who are struggling with friendships at school.

One Little Word

one little word

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