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Zero the Hero

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  647 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. That's what all the other numbers think of Zero. He doesn't add anything in addition. He's of no use in division. And don't even ask what he does in multiplication. (Hint: Poof!) But Zero knows he's worth a lot, and when the other numbers get into trouble, he swoops in to prove that his talents are innumerable.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published January 1st 2011)
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May 22, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, math, 2012
This is a fun book about numbers, specifically the importance of zero in our number system. The concept of adding, subtracting, multiplying and the impossibility of dividing by zero are all discussed in a dialogue-heavy format. With many word balloons all over the page, the book is a bit distracting to read aloud, but we still enjoyed reading it together.

I like that it reinforced the properties and importance of this number, substantially making our arabic numerals different from the Roman nume
May 24, 2012 Joella rated it it was amazing
Have you read Emergency yet? It is this brilliant book about the alphabet letters and what happens when the letter “E” gets injured. Well, if you haven’t read that…consider it added to your to-read list. Seriously. It is hilarious! Anyway, this particular book is that level of comedy but with numbers. Oh yeah, numbers are just as important as letters.

So all the various numbers are gathered around and are talking about this or that. And Zero says, “From now on, call me Zero the Hero!” because he
Mar 03, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
I love the subtitle of this book: A Book about Nothing. And that's exactly the focus of this book about Zero, the place holder. But wait! Zero is so much more than a place holder, and this book tells why. Although Zero considers himself important, the other numbers taunt him because he is not useful when counting, and he has a self-identity crisis, often being mistaken for other round objects and being useless when it comes to addition, subtraction, and division. After the other numbers recogniz ...more
Teresa Moreland
Feb 16, 2016 Teresa Moreland rated it liked it
Zero the Hero is a book about zero. Zero feels useless, and is not appreciated by the other numbers. He runs away, leaving the other numbers unable to defend themselves against the Roman numeral soldiers. Zero must return to save his friends by showing the Roman numerals that anything times zero is zero, and that he could defeat them if he wanted to.

I think this would be a good book to read before a math lesson. There are many math terms and fun play on words. This could be read before any lesso
May 13, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, picture, math, 2012
I really liked this predictable but still fun book about the number Zero. Zero, who fancies himself a hero and wears an awesome cape, ends up feeling useless after all the other numbers brag about themselves. He leaves his friends, who end up in a battle with Roman numerals. (The Roman numerals wear togas, yay!) Zero returns to help save the day and prove his worth.

Packed with math jokes, this is a book that will appeal to younger and older listeners. Recommended for grades 1 - 4. The third gra
Mar 06, 2012 Maddypictures rated it really liked it
Humorous math book - not quite about counting. Loved the little decorations adding funny details on nearly all the pages - for example, the tiny cop explaining that 0 does not equal donuts. Each number is imbued with his or her own personality which stays consistent through the book - 1 is a pickle-green winner, 2 is a frou-frou girly-girl, 7 is a surfer, 5 is a pocket-protector, bow-tie wearing nerd. The roman numerals who attack are shown as fierce, toga-wearing barbarians, and I liked the mom ...more
Feb 09, 2016 Summer rated it liked it
Clever story, but the puns and wry humor are a bit lost on a K-1st audience, which is who I read it to! It would be a winner with 8-12 year-olds, though! Also, this book is better to read to yourself than as a read-aloud, because there are lots of random little speech bubbles all over each page in addition to the story.
Okay, any kid with a sense of humor will like this book. Some of the jokes make it more accessible to middle grades, but it would be a good story even for a kid who just needs to get a good sense of numbers and the way math works. 1st through 7th graders and maybe even older would enjoy it, so long as the older kids could get over the "picture book" thing.
The numbers take the stage in this fun book (with illustrator Tom Lichtenheld!). I enjoyed the humor in the illustrations. And I loved the twist with the Roman numerals! So happy to have my own copy now, autographed by the illustrator--who is totally awesome (and posed with Bob the Turtle!).
Mary Lee
Feb 16, 2012 Mary Lee rated it really liked it
Shelves: math
I didn't love it as much as E-Mergency, but there's no denying the importance of zero now. He took out those evil Roman numerals and saved the day for big numbers!!
Excellent book about zero and its role in mathematics. Playful puns and math concepts woven throughout the book.
Feb 22, 2012 SantosGray marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads, kids
As a former math teacher, I think this just looks perfect for my son! I can't wait to read it with him!
Maxwell Peter
Jun 23, 2016 Maxwell Peter rated it it was amazing
I like the the dog hidden in the book on page xxviii
Chris Calzolaio
Dec 14, 2016 Chris Calzolaio rated it it was amazing
This picture book tells the story of Zero, the lonely number that none of the other numbers want to be around because if anyone multiplies with him they will disappear. The plot follows a classic Hero's Journey pattern. The hero, Zero, is misunderstood and unwanted at first. It isn't until the other numbers find themselves under attack by the Roman Numerals that Zero is able to return and save the other numbers from certain doom.

Viviane Elbee
Jan 28, 2017 Viviane Elbee rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about the number zero.
The story is funny and preschoolers will laugh at all the zero jokes (is it a doughnut?)
This book can even appeal to older elementary children since it discusses multiplication, division and roman numerals.
It can definitely be used as a math teaching tool in class.
Zero doesn't fit in with all the counting numbers. Until they are captured by Roman numerals, and he finds a way to save them. Full of math principles, puns and fun.
Jan 28, 2017 Corey rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-read
Cute and punny story starring zero
Dec 08, 2016 Sydney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book did a great job of intertwining math and a story line! I really enjoyed it and I definitely think it would make math fun and interesting to students.
Aug 14, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Zero the Hero by Joan Holub, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld is a book about math, respect, cooperation, and the power of zero.

Lichtenheld's colorful, humorous illustrations are rendered in ink, pastel, and colored pencil. The war-like Roman Numerals in toga's are a hysterical touch. My favorite images are addition, subtraction, multiplication, story problems, round off, just count, rescue, run, and last two illustrations.

The humor in the illustrations and text keeps the story from becoming didac
Oct 22, 2012 Sierra rated it really liked it
At the beginning of the book, Zero feels as though he does not fit in or has a special purpose amongst the other numbers. However, Zero feels as though he just needs a chance to prove that he really is a hero! This book certainly teaches students math concepts in a creative and fun way! The other numbers begin to realize that Zero is not needed because one can add and subtract a number from zero, and not get zero. He is "nothing,” but then comes multiplication, and zero suddenly finds he can tur ...more
{My Thoughts} – Zero the Hero is a Hero in every sense of the word. He is the number Zero and he is needed to solve math equations that wouldn’t be able to be solved without him. Zero the Hero goes through the book feeling like he is a nothing a no number because in a sense he is – his number is Zero which means nothing. But eventually the other numbers start to realize how much they need him and him how much he needs them and he becomes a Hero by the end of the book.

I really believe my seven ye
Tiffany Beedle
The story is about the number zero not being part of the normal counting numbers. This story tells of how zero is mistaken for many other round objects, which makes him very sad. After being so frustrated, he learns that he is important and proves why he is important.

The audience for this book would be a preschool classroom learning about numbers. Especially about counting forward and backwards. Also, students who need to learn that everyone is important.

I would use this book for teaching stud
Oct 22, 2012 Nicole rated it it was amazing
In the beginning of this math book, Zero is told over and over again by his friends that he has no purpose and is really just a placeholder for all the other numbers who have higher importance than zero. Then Zero begins to feel very sad and starts to think that he needs the right chance to show all his friends just how important he really is. The book highlights how if Zero and any other number are added together, it always equals them and not him and if you subtract Zero and any other number, ...more
M.M. Hudson
Nov 05, 2014 M.M. Hudson rated it it was amazing
I admittedly hate math with a passion. So, it was with pure reluctance that I even read this book. However, I like the author and so I gave it a go. I was not disappointed.

Zero simply gets a bad rap through the entire book. No one likes him. He thinks himself a hero from the very first pages, this includes the cape and mask and is only out to prove himself. What is a hero to do. Well...nothing?

That is where the book gets to be fun! I loved that each number had a different personality and is illu
Aug 04, 2012 Gale rated it it was amazing
What a delightful imaginary story about the importance of the numeral, 0, to our number system! However, to really appreciate this book, one would need some understanding including the introduction of counting, odd and even numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and Roman numerals. This book is for older, at least 3rd grade and higher who have explored the number-activities mentioned. Joan Hulub has a vivid, logical sense of math and an amazing imagination to write this partic ...more
Zero feels like nothing when compared to counting numbers, but when asked to solve problems, Zero finds he is the hero! Counting numbers can't add to ten or round off to the nearest ten Plus, zero has the power to multiply and "destroy"! The Roman numerals just can't compete! It's an extremely creative and humorous story.
This is a fabulously fun exploration of various mathematical concepts. My first reaction was that it was a K-2 audience, but it's an all ages math concept book. Upper elementary
Feb 19, 2012 Angelc rated it it was amazing
This children's picture book is hilarious and still has a heart of gold. This is a book that adults will love reading to their kids just as much as their kids will enjoy reading it. There is a great message about both accepting yourself and accepting others. And as a great bonus, there is a lot of MATH to learn here! It's not everyday you read a great story and you can also teach your kids a little something about basic math principles.

The illustrations are totally adorable and there are some ex
Sep 28, 2015 Miranda rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, humerous, tween
This book was so much better than I anticipated. I thought it would be a cute book where Zero becomes a hero to the other numbers through an unusual set of circumstances, but I never expected the story to be about numbers themselves and how they are used together in mathematics. The use of math concepts in the story was a brilliant technique.

I also didn’t expect this book to be humorous, yet I found myself laughing out loud several times. The interactions with the Roman numerals and the play wit
Sep 17, 2013 Alice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love-it
The world must have stopped turning because I gave something 5 stars...but when you mix humor, math and Roman Numerals you can't help but give it 5 stars!!! This book would be great for a math lesson, great for just a funny story. The 6th grader I read it to, knew Roman Numerals better than I did, (and I learned then the summer of my 6th and 7th grade year!) This would be more for a 3rd/4th grader but the 6th grader seemed to like it too!!

It is funny, it teaches math, the pictures are fun! 5 sta
Stephanie Field
Apr 26, 2015 Stephanie Field rated it liked it
Shelves: math-books
All the other numbers make fun of Zero and tell him he is useless. He becomes very sad and leaves; however then the other numbers realize that they need the number zero for many things – such as to create the number ten. When the numbers are captured by Roman Numerals (Roman soldiers), Zero comes to the rescue and saves them all by scaring the Roman Numerals. He truly is a hero after all.
This book is a great book to use in the classroom with a math lesson because it explains the function of zer
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Children's book author:
TOOL SCHOOL; MIGHTY DADS (a NY Times bestseller); LITTLE RED WRITING; the GODDESS GIRLS series (with Suzanne Williams); THIS LITTLE PRESIDENT, A Presidential Primer; ZERO THE HERO. Lucky to be doing what I love.
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