One Love -- Based on the song by Bob Marley, adapted by Cedella Marley

I played the One Love book trailer for a group of first graders. By the end of the trailer, many of them were clapping their hands and humming along. A girl raised her hand and asked, "Mr. Schu, can we please watch it again?" Absolutely!

Cedella Marley, Bob Marley's oldest child, brings her father's well-liked song, One Love, to life for a new generation. In Cedella's adaptation, a determined little girl shows her family, friends, and neighbors how love and teamwork make a community a better place. Vanessa Brantley-Newton's colorful illustrations nicely extend the story and almost pop from the page.

I was curious about Cedella's process for adapting her father's beloved song. Thankfully, she's here today to discuss her process. Thank you, Cedella!

One Love has one of the songs of my father’s that children love to sing. The chorus is so catchy and happy, and children naturally respond to the message of One Love – they see the world as a place to love and are surrounded by people who love them.

But, the song’s original lyrics have some words and themes that children might not understand, so I wanted to create a version just for them, that keeps true to the spirit of the song, but that is fun to sing and at their level of understanding.

I worked through the lyrics line by line and thought about all of the ways that children feel and show love. They see love in nature, “what the flower gives the bee;” in their homes “what my family gives to me.” And the last line, “when your hand reaches out for mine” because there’s something so reassuring to a child to have their hand held, and knowing when they reach out there will be someone that will hold onto them.

Of course I had to keep the chorus the same, “One Love, one Heart, let’s get together and feel alright,” not only because it’s beloved by so many, but because it’s the truth of the song. None of us are alone, and we can “feel alright” when we reach out to others and work together.

I’m thrilled that many children – many hearts – will now not only be singing “one love,” but reading it too.

Cedella Marley's life has always been rooted in music and culture. As the oldest child of Bob Marley, she has dedicated herself to keeping her father's message and memory alive. She is a musician as well, performing internationally with the three-time Grammy Award-winning Melody Makers, which consist of her brothers Ziggy and Steve and her sister Sharon. She lives in Miami, Florida, with her husband and three sons.

Cedella shares her inspiration for One Love.

Yippee! I have three goodies to give away to one lucky winner. Thank you, Chronicle Books, for supplying:

*A copy of One Love

* A limited edition Little C doll

*A set of button badges
Rules for the Giveaway

* The contest runs from October 9 to 11:59 PM on October 14.

You can fill out the entry form or retweet the link. Please include @MrSchuReads in the tweet.

* If you win the giveaway, I will send you an email or a direct message.

* You must be at least 13 to participate.

* Pay it forward. :)

Borrow One Love from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.


  1. Perhaps I'm not looking in the right place but I couldn't locate a giveaway form to fill out. I would love to win this book though as I'm a huge Bob fan and I have a library full of students who would love listening to this book.

    I did retweet it as well @peacefulreader.

  2. I entered you. The giveaway is at the end of the post. Sorry that it did not show up.

  3. I am not seeing the form either. Would also love to enter! Looks like a great book for my first graders!

  4. Also did a "retweet" on twitter!

  5. Direct link to giveaway:

  6. Good luck and one love to everyone :)

  7. Good luck and one love to everyone :)

  8. Good luck and one love to everyone :)

  9. yehey!i already sumitted my details...hope ill win the "one love" book..ill be more than happy to recieve it and read it to my two year old baby girl named Cedella along with her friends of same age..Jah bless!
    ...from the Phillipines-Liz

  10. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity! I am so excited to be the winner :-) One Love has always been one of my favorite Bob Marley songs! Thanks Mr. Schu!

  11. Thank you so so much for this contest! Can never get enough of a good book (especially with my daughter, pre-school class and school-age kids I teach). This book would be wonderful for all three. Also, I love the music and lyrics of Bob Marley.

  12. loved this book. actually bought 2 for my grandchildren awhile ago. i am a huge bob marley fan. saw the documentary of his life last night which is wonderful. cedella sadness was palpable - such a beautful talented daughter who looks just like her father. e z


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