Zero the hero

Joan Holub

Book - 2012

Zero believes that he is a hero, but the counting numbers think he is worthless until they get into trouble with some Roman numerals, and only Zero can help.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Holub Due Dec 7, 2023
Picture books
New York : Henry Holt 2012.
Main Author
Joan Holub (-)
1st ed
Item Description
"Christy Ottaviano Books."
Physical Description
unpaged : ill
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

What, O what, would we be without the number zero? A big fat nothing, that's what, because Zero truly is as essential as he believes himself to be. Although, as this picture book opens, his proclamations of necessity don't compute, as the other numbers, from One to Nine, mock his lack of addition, subtraction, and multiplication skills and point out that when it comes to division, he's absolutely useless. However, once they hit double digits and are attacked by some zero-less Roman numerals, they realize just how much they need their colleague in this funny and factual exposition of an important mathematical concept. The numbers come to life with personalities and puns all their own (Two misses Zero twice as much as anyone else ; Eight gets confused with a snowman), and the masked and caped protagonist flies in faster than a speeding donut to save the day and fill the nothingness inside him with the joy of arithmetic. With cartoon energy and amusing visual asides, this story does for numbers what Laurie Keller did for states, and that's saying something.--Medlar, Andrew Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

This story about the concept of zero recalls both Lichtenheld's recent E-mergency and Kathryn Otoshi's Zero (2010). Like the former, it features walking, talking written characters (digits, in this case, rather than letters), accompanied by Lichtenheld's snappy, cartoon-style art. And like the latter, it features a Zero who's scorned by his fellow numbers and who worries that he "doesn't count." But Holub's (Wagons Ho!) Zero, who dresses in a superhero cape, has an inner "belief in his wonderfulness" and awaits a chance to prove it. At this point, several involved exchanges about Zero's arithmetic functions establish that Zero extinguishes anything he's multiplied by (Zero times a rock equals Zero), but the discussions weigh the story down and don't seem likely to enlighten math-o-phobes. Past the blackboard digressions, things pick up as Zero rescues the other numbers from an attack by toga-clad Roman numerals, scaring them off with his destructive multiplicative powers ("Run IV your life!" one yells). Despite the energetic artwork and some clever ideas, though, Zero's story doesn't quite add up. Ages 6-10. Agent: Eden Street Literary. Illustrator's agent: Amy Rennert Agency. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Zero is a number who is starting to feel utterly worthless. His friends, like One and Seven, have fun playing counting games. Zero can't join in because he's not a counting number. His friends are frightened by him when it comes to multiplication because he will make them disappear. Zero leaves when his confidence reaches an all-time low. His friends realize that they need him when they can't finish math problems, but before they can tell him, they are captured by the Roman numerals. Zero becomes the hero he believed himself to be when he successfully makes the Roman numerals disappear and saves his friends. L. J. Ganser voices each number and Roman numeral in a uniquely appropriate manner, giving an added oomph to Holub's story (Holt, 2012) of mathematical heroism and witty puns.-Kelly Roth, Prospect Park School, PA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Poor Zero. He's having a hard time proving himself as a superhero, what with the fact that he is not a counting number and can only live in the shadow of other numbers. He is such a nonentity that folks mistake him for a donut, the letter O, and even a Froot Loop. The rules of addition and subtraction render him useless, and no one wants to divide, let alone multiply, with him. Multiplying means obliteration of the other number and that means that Zero is a lonely fellow indeed. But when our hero disappears, things get rough in the number world. How can they make 10? Or 1,000? When the Roman numerals capture the counting numbers, Zero comes to the rescue, terrifying the captors with his multiplicative power. Tiny visual jokes and graphic elements keep this mathematically accurate book humming with humor, nudging the funny bone of the confident and mathphobic alike. Read this aloud to whet the new reader's appetite, but there is just so much to see that only a slow reading, with a magnifying glass in hand, will do. The endpapers tell more of Zero's story (he enters a phone booth a zero and leaves it a caped superhero). Readers will make visual connections to Laurie Keller's works (Open Wide, rev. 5/00; The Scrambled States of America), and wise teachers will encourage their students to think just as imaginatively as they study other math concepts. robin l. smith From HORN BOOK, Copyright The Horn Book, used with permission.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

(Picture book. 7-12)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.