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
I like this book too Dianne – fun PPBF choice!
Glad you liked it. I was not keen on maths at school, so was interested to see what this was like. It surprised me.
Anything that makes math more fun for everyone is a great idea. I loved math as a kid.
I agree Wendy. I dropped maths as soon as I was able (still can’t add to save myself :)) But this is certainly a very fun way of introducing maths for kids.
I love this book Diane! Very clever book. And, Lichtenheld is one of my favorite illustrators. Everything he illustrates is bold and beautiful. Nice choice.
Glad you liked this. I was hesitant to pick it up, of course, but once I read it, I found I really enjoyed it. Need more of these types of books out there, especially in the schools. Learning will become so much more fun.
That sounds fab for kids, Diane. Hannah will love it.
Glad you liked it Catherine. I am sure Hannah will. Certainly will make learning maths a lot of fun, for sure!
This IS a good one! I hope to see more books like these, esp. since my daughter had such a frightening experience with math in first grade – put her off wanting to ‘get it’, until we found a great tutor 10 years later!
Really! Gosh I never liked maths in school either and dropped it as soon as I could. I work in a bank now 🙂 go figure! We certainly do need more of these fun filled books to help the learning process be more enjoyable. Hopefully your daughter overcame her fear eventually, Julie.
The tutor we found , Arthur, was 80 when we found him 3 yrs ago.
I love number books! I don’t like the number zero. I hear that when all the treats are gone! ” Zero, empty, nada!f” This book looks pretty cool though. I’ll have to check it out!
Aww… I am sure you will love him when you read this book rhythm. Especially when he saves the other numbers…. oops, mustn’t give too much away. Sure go check it out. My luck number is one, what is yours?
3! 3 means go get it! tennis ball or treat or whatever.
🙂 Cool I should have known rhythm
I LOVE this idea! I MUST get this book! I love that the numbers are kidnapped by Roman numerals!
LOL….. glad you like this Erik. I can imagine you are such a whizz at maths. I am hopeless… lol.
LOL “A book about nothing.” Great uses for teachers. Thanks!
A play on words….lol. But it is a great book, certainly. Enjoy, Joanne.