Zero the Hero

A child’s first exposure to math should be fun. Forget repetitive drills and boring worksheets. One of my favorite books I first used to teach my young boys the concept of counting was the M & M’s Counting Book. It’s a fun and yummy introduction to basic math. I’d get other colorful books from the library, anything creative and eye-catching would work for such an important concept. Zero the Hero is another excellent choice to show children specifically how the number zero works – it has everything I look for in a children’s math picture book.

It’s interesting : it tells the story of how the number zero became a hero to the numbers 1-9.

It’s colorful : nicely illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.

It’s educational: teaches how to add, multiply, and even divide with zero.
It’s just the right length: about 40 pages.

It’s inspirational : it shows even the underdog, the one who was destined to amount to nothing became a hero, and earned the respect and admiration of his community.

Joan Holub has taken what could have been a hard to grasp concept and made it entertaining and memorable.
Kids will likely enjoy reading this several times – one is likely to miss some of the play on words the first time around.

I remember my first born (now 17 and teaching himself pre-calculus) loved numbers. He’d arrange his fruit loops, skittles, and all his Halloween candy into color-coded groups before eating them. Today you’ll find him watching physics videos and doing math/logic puzzles for entertainment. I’d like to think he developed an interest and knack for math because we had such a good time with it when he was younger. Reading books like Zero the Hero is a great way to keep your child’s initial exposure to math light, playful, and interesting. Odds are you’ll be building a foundation that will make math less intimidating, and set your child up for a successful future with math.

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