What You Need to Know:|
• Zero is a powerful story about self-worth.
• This picture book would make a great read-aloud for all ages.
• One (the author's previous book) and Zero, bundled together, would make for a perfect gift for a newborn
or even your child's preschool or early elementary library.
Kathryn Otoshi has done it again. In her previous picture book, One, Otoshi took on the subject of bullying. In this quieter picture book, Otoshi writes about self-esteem. Again, Otoshi cleverly uses the easy to understand concepts of colors and numbers to convey her message to the pre-school crowd.
Zero is sad. She wants to count like all the other numbers and she certainly doesn't want a big, gaping whole in her center. She feels empty. While all the other numbers get to count and have fun, Zero is worth nothing. Zero tries to stretch herself to look like one. She tries to roll herself up to look like nine, but to no avail. She is still worthless in her mind. Zero then tries to impress the rest of the numbers, but ends up knocking everyone down and making a mess of things instead.
Just when she thought things couldn't get any bleaker, Seven has a suggestion for Zero. Seven urges her to be open. Zero realizes she can be open instead of empty. And when she clears her mind of all the negative thought, Zero has an idea. She gathers the numbers around her and explains that if she just latches on to them, they can count even higher. Suddenly 2 becomes 20 and 3 becomes 30 and so on. The values are endless!
"Zero and the number explored and had fun, bringing more value to everyone."
When Zero lets go of all of her self-destructive thoughts, she gives herself room to grow. This is a weighty concept for pre-schoolers, however Otoshi brilliantly tells this story in a way that children (and adults!) can understand and learn from its message. I think this important book and its companion One are a must for every classroom and home. Let's teach our children, from the outset, that we all have worth and value.
2010, 32 pages
Self-Awareness/Discovery, Compassion/Empathy, Counting, Colors, Feelings, Excellent Read-Aloud, Exquisite Illustrations
• Have you ever felt unworthy? Why?
• How did you make yourself feel better?
• Has anyone around you ever struggled with self-worth? Who?
• What are some things you can do to help yourself or anyone else that isn't feeling worthy?
• Who are the adults in your life who can help you when you feel that way?
• Can you list five traits that you love about yourself?
• Can you list five traits that you love about someone special in your life?
• Why is it better to remember the good in you and your friends, rather than the negative?
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