One Flip Two Flip Three Flip Four

One Flip, Two Flip, Three Flip, Four by Crystel Patterson, illustrated by Briana Young (2021) – paperback

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Recommended ages: 3 to 8

This is a story about an energetic and athletic young girl named Ruby. One rainy day, she has lots of pent up energy but seemingly nowhere to expel it. So she starts flipping and cartwheeling around the house and having lots of fun in the process. When the sun finally shines, Ruby continues her tumbling adventures outdoors, catching her mom’s attention. Mom decides to enroll Ruby in gymnastics lessons to provide Ruby an outlet for her athleticism and to help hone her obvious skills. 

Fast forward a few years, and we see Ruby has kept up her training and reached Olympic-winning heights! 

Author Crystel Patterson utilizes a simple rhyming scheme and bold text, making this the perfect read-aloud for young children. 

She has so much energy,
She can’t sit still.
She wants to have fun,
She needs a thrill.

And so it begins…
One flip, 
Two flip, 
Three flip, 

Briana Young’s illustrations playfully capture the flexibility and movement required in gymnastics. The depictions of Ruby flipping and jumping throughout the book are a delight. 

Take-away message: This book aims to inspire children to find things that bring them joy and stay committed to their goals. It’s wonderful to see such a message in a book with a Black, female protagonist. We need more books that depict children of color simply having fun and succeeding in life without the need to explicitly mention race or past trauma. One Flip, Two Flip, Three Flip, Four is an inspirational book for all children.  

TAGS: female-lead, Black, family,  paperback, self-published

About the Author: 
Crystel Patterson is a hardworking mother of two boys, a wife, an active member of her community, and a self-published children’s book author.

She recently published her first children’s book titled, One Flip, Two Flip, Three Flip, Four, which is  part of her book series entitled “Inspired to Be”. Her book series is a direct outcome of a question her then 8-year old son asked her following the murder of George Floyd: “Why does the police keep killing black people?”. In that moment she wanted her son to know a different and better narrative.

The vision for the “Inspired to Be” book series came to her a couple nights later while she was reading a bedtime story to both of her sons. They were so into the story, that she started to wonder how the story in that very moment was shaping their young minds. She started to think about how books help children to develop their own narratives and how important it is for children to see themselves in the characters, especially when the character is a positive one.

So she decided to write stories inspired by the culture, experience, and dreams of Black people with the goal of using these stories to help change the narrative of black people in the minds of all children and to spread inspiration. Visit her online at www.crystelpatterson.com and stay up-to-date on her planned book series. 

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