Zero is tired of being overlooked and underappreciated by the other numerals. He is left out of counting games and mistaken for other round things, like the letter O. During math practice, he contributes nothing in addition and is feared by the other numbers on the multiplication table. Zero longs to be a hero, but worries he might be a villain instead. In despair, Zero decides to leave. At first the other numbers don’t notice his absence, until they need help rounding to the nearest ten or solving story problems. By the time the repentant digits realize their mistake, Roman numerals attack and force the numbers into a clock shaped gladiator ring. Zero hears his friends’ cries for help and flies in to save the day by showing the Romans his power to make things disappear.
This tongue-in-cheek story engages readers while teaching several mathematical concepts involving the place holding hero, Zero. Adults and children will both enjoy the numbers’ humorous side comments. Bold cartoon illustrations provide visual excitement and complement the super hero theme. Readers will be rooting for Zero the Hero as he finally finds a way to demonstrate his worth and take his rightful place among the other numerals.
This witty picture book pairs perfectly with a variety of math lessons. Counting, mathematical operations, place value, and rounding units would all benefit from this discussion of the power of zero.
Other books with mathematical themes for children:
Lewis, J. Patrick. EDGAR ALLAN POE’S PIE: MATH PUZZLERS IN CLASSIC POEMS. ISBN 9780547513386
Scieszka, Jon. MATH CURSE. ISBN 9780670861941Tang, Greg. THE GRAPES OF MATH. ISBN 9780439598408
By Kimberly C. Kinnaird