Making Something Out of Nothing: Our Hero! Zero by Kathryn Otoshi
I WISH I WERE LIKE ONE.
THEN I COULD COUNT, TOO!
It's not easy being Zero.
The other numbers, one through nine, have that one marvelous characteristic--VALUE! They have their own exclusive, secret order. They COUNT!
Poor Zero. She's wispy and round, basically just a HOLE! No wonder she feels so hollow inside!
Zero admires One's sleek shape and squared-off base. If only she could look like that! She stretches, and squeezes, and flattens, and elongates, but she just can't be like One!
IT WAS TOO MUCH OF A STRETCH!
The other numbers are sympathetic and try to help her become one of them. Eight suggests that she can make something of herself by doubling to look just like him; Nine lamely suggests that she pucker up and stretch out one side to copy him. But Zero just doesn't have it in her to be like them either.
Then wise Seven steps in with a suggestion that's a little outside the numerical order box:
"IT'S WHAT'S INSIDE THAT COUNTS."
And Zero has one of those EUREKA! moments. She has an idea how she can make herself and each number MORE than they are!
IF WE HELP EACH OTHER SOAR,
WE CAN COUNT EVEN MORE!
10 20 30 40 50!
600 700 800 900!!
1000 10000 100,000 1,000,000!!!
It's not every little picture book that can work as a simple counting book, a sophisticated number concept book, and a powerful little parable on the value of cooperation in social relationships. That old star of Saturday morning television, "our hero zero" is reborn here, both in its role as a powerful mathematical principle and as a symbol of the value of each unique individual in the group. Kathryn Otoshi's stylish new book, Zero (KO Kids, 2010) belongs on every primary classroom and library shelf, both for its marvelous design and layout and for its usefulness and appeal for youngsters. Otoshi's previous companion volume, One (KO Kids, 2009) is equally striking in its creative combination of number and color concepts with a simple treatise on resisting bullying. "Red may be hot; blue is not," but "Everyone COUNTS," one that is right on the number for its intended audience.