We Are One: How the World Adds Up

by Susan Hood (Author) Linda Yan (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

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.

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Publishers Weekly

Combining rhyming lines with context beneath, this counting picture book offers a summation of things that exist in the world. "One can be one thing/ all on its own--one star,/ one stream,/ one stick,/ one stone," Hood begins. Text along the bottom of the page reads, "The idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is often credited to Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher." The book proceeds to detail all manner of things in numbers from one to 10--three-lined haiku, five-act plays, six-sided snowflakes. Textural digital illustrations by Yan follow a peach-skinned figure in a yellow outfit through the pages, which feature an anthropomorphic cast of animals. The scope is somewhat overwhelming, lacking in unified subject matter, but trivia-minded children will surely find tidbits to enjoy. Back matter includes sources and resources and "some other things that come in groups." Ages 3-7. (Sept.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.


Starred Review

Immensely satisfying for young lovers of numbers and fascinating for everyone. 

Review quotes

Susan Hood
Susan Hood is the award-winning author of many books for young readers, including Double Take! A New Look at Opposites, illustrated by Jay Fleck; Leaps and Bounce and Rooting for You, both illustrated by Matthew Cordell; The Last Straw: Kids vs. Plastics, illustrated by Christiane Engel; and Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World, illustrated by 13 extraordinary women. She is the recipient of an E. B. White Read-Aloud Honor, a Christopher Award, a Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, and a Golden Kite Award. Susan Hood lives with her family in coastal Connecticut.

Linda Yan is a freelance illustrator who has illustrated for the New York Times, BuzzFeed, Tor Books, and many others. This is her first picture book. Linda Yan lives in the prairies of Canada, but she dreams of one day living in a lighthouse with a bunny and a duck.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
September 20, 2021

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