TITLE: ZERO THE HERO
AUTHOR: Joan Holub
ILLUSTRATOR: Ton Lichtenheld
PUBLICATION INFO: Henry Holt / Christy Ottaviano Books, February 2012
INTENDED AUDIENCE: 6 and up, but my four-year-old things this is hilarious
GENRE: picture book (fiction)
OPENING and SYNOPSIS: “Unlike most numbers, Zero believed himself to be a hero. He just needed a chance to prove it.”
From the publisher: “Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. That’s what all the other numbers think of Zero. He doesn’t add anything in addition. He’s of no use in division. And don’t even ask what he does in multiplication. (Hint: Poof!) But Zero knows he’s worth a lot, and when the other numbers get into trouble, he swoops in to prove that his talents are innumerable.”
THEMES/TOPICS: math, counting
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: Rarely do my boys find a book to be laugh-out-loud funny. This book has a lot going for it — a caped superhero, a fight with the Roman (numerals), comic-book comedy and lots of puns. We can’t read this at naptime or bedtime without having a 10-minute conversation about math. In fact, Finley (age 4) walked out of his bedroom after I put him to bed last night to let me know that 1+0 = 1. I am buying this book.
If you need more convincing, check out the book trailer.
- The publisher has a teacher’s guide on its Web site.
- BainPop has this helpful lesson on addition and subtraction, which includes zero’s special properties.
- The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics uses macaroni to explore math concepts including our hero, Zero.
Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.