Zero the Hero
Illustrator: Tom Lichenheld
Published by: Henry Holt & Co 2012
Ages: 6 – 10 years
Themes: Friendship, mathematics, Heroism
Opening Lines: Unlike most numbers, Zero believed himself to be a hero He just needed a chance to prove it.
Synopsis: Zero believed himself to be a hero but he really didn’t fit in. Apart from the other numbers poking fun at him and not letting him play, he didn’t add anything in addition, was of no use in division and all the numbers ran from him in multiplication. Zero knows he is worth more, and when the other numbers are kidnapped by Roman numerals, he swoops in and saves them.
Why I like this: A book about nothing! Hard to believe isn’t it? I am not usually quick to pick up a concept book, but this one caught my eye. The bright clean coloured snappy illustration on the cover and the title had me intrigued. Zero the Hero is a fun and fabulous way to introduce children to the many uses zero has in mathematics. Each page comes alive with Tom Lichtenheld’s vibrant artwork as the numbers talk to one another. Children not only learn the importance of Zero but also about friendship and how everyone is special in their own way. Yes even in this cleverly written concept book there is a moving story, and amusing tit bits for everyone. Even I read it again, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Adventure in mathematics- go figure! I am sure children will delight in this fun resource, especially in school. Joan came upon the idea while visiting a school and watching a teacher explaining how the use of the Zero increases the number beyond nine, using the Zero the Hero concept.
Resources/Findings: Here is a website and book trailer…. http://us.macmillan.com/zerothehero/JoanHolub
Here is a Zero the Hero activities.. Pinterest …. http://pinterest.com/luvmy4blessings/zero-the-hero/
This is what a teacher did with her class to help celebrate Zero days… http://kinderkidsfun.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/zero-hero-update.html
For more books with resources please head on over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors