“One” is a minimally illustrated book to capture a child’s curiosity with bold colors and numbers. (Courtesy of Heritage Source/K. Otoshi)


By GAIL MIYASAKI, Rafu Craft Editor

If one could see through a child’s eye . . .

There’s something magical about reading books to kids. Their beaming eyes affix to illustrations and colors as pages are flipped one-by-one. Words, spoken softly, loudly, keep them curious. A child’s imagination can take flight.

Here’s a holiday stocking-stuffer aimed at preschoolers. It’s simply called “One.” Even though the days of reading printed books in hand must share space with an iPad, Kindle or Nook, it’s OK.

Written and illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi, “One” has racked up 10 awards, including a Teacher’s Choice. This Bay Area graphic designer is the founder of KO Kids Books and works at an award-winning film company.

Put on your thinking cap back to when you were young. Who can forget that kid who thought the universe centered around him? The bully with a bad mouth.

Black ninja Fun-chuks and pink Sprinkles ice cream tees are designs from Angela Matsuno of San Francisco. (Courtesy of Sweet Dumplings)

Tolerance and acceptance are not easy to explain to a child. Here’s a book that conveys such a message using color and shapes. Otoshi selected primary colors, like blue, red and yellow, as the main characters. The star is numero uno.

The dialogue goes like this: “Red was a hothead. He liked to pick on Blue. Red is a great color, he’d say. Red is hot, blue is not. Then Blue would feel bad about being Blue.”

To the rescue comes number One, who shows all the colors how to say no and make it count!

This is Otoshi’s third book. Others are “What Emily Saw” and “Zero,” and all are available through Heritage Source.

Kids today are so into fashion trends. It’s all the media hype. Paparazzi are abuzz to shoot pix of Tom Cruise’s daughter, Suri, and her latest fashion looks when she ventures out with mom, Katie Holmes.

Smiling Maddie plays on a jungle gym showing off her new Princess tee. (Courtesy of Sweet Dumplings)

Sweet Dumplings designer Angela Chu Matsuno tapped that thought for an Asian-inspired kids’ line. Geared for newborn to six years, it’s all about the interpretive graphics on 100% cotton onesies and tees.

“Ninjas don’t do naps” came about when daughter Maddie, now six, often only catnapped. Her karate lessons resulted in the shouting “Aiyaa” tee.

Graphic designer mate Mark creates the images that they collaborate on. Dolls, books and other accessories from other designers are included at their Little Buddha Baby store. Even info about different Asian baby traditions.

Head out to the Crafty Foxes event this Saturday in Saratoga for holiday shopping for the entire family.


Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Crafty Foxes Holiday Boutique
Joan Pisani Community Center
19655 Allendale Ave., Saratoga
408-356-2764, Carol Yuki

Sunday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Krafty Delites Fall Boutique #1
Carson Community Center
801 E. Carson St., Carson
310-329-5874, Stephanie Nakayama

Sunday, Oct. 30, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
WLA JACL Aki Matsuri Boutique
Venice Japanese Community Center
12448 Braddock Dr., Culver City
310-936-3182, Marisa Tamaru

Friday-Sunday, Nov. 4-6, Nov. 11-13 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Touch of Nature Home/Holiday Décor Show
Diamond Bar, call for location
909-594-5964, Lily Saito

Sunday, Nov. 6 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Kiku Crafts and Food Fair
Sponsored by W. Covina Buddhist Temple
E. San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center
1203 W. Puente Ave., W Covina
951-81-8740, Hisako Koga

Saturday, Nov. 12 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Japantown Winter Boutique
Japanese American Museum of San Jose
San Jose Buddhist Church Gym
640 N. 5th St., San Jose
408-888-8798, Gail Sugiura Bush


1 Comment

  1. Thanks for reaching out to us for the column. We loved how it turned out and it’s so fun to see something about our little shop in “print”! Now that Maddie’s almost 7 it looks like we’ll be going up to age 8 now. We had a great time at Crafty Foxes yesterday and looking forward to making new friends at the JAMsj Winter Boutique in November (our first time)!

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