Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Zero” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  730 ratings  ·  163 reviews
Zero is a big round number. When she looks at herself, she just sees a hole right in her center. Every day she watches the other numbers line up to count: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 . . . !" "Those numbers have value. That's why they count," she thinks. But how could a number worth nothing become something? Zero feels empty inside. She watches One having fun with the other numbe ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 15th 2010 by KO Kids Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Zero, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Zero

Zero by Kathryn OtoshiOne Grain Of Rice by DemiThe Greedy Triangle by Marilyn BurnsZero the Hero by Joan HolubHow Much Is a Million? by David M. Schwartz
Picture books about numbers and math
1st out of 118 books — 44 voters
Song for Papa Crow by Marit MenzinIt's Okay to Be Different by Todd ParrThe Ugly Duckling by Jerry PinkneyA Color of His Own by Leo LionniChrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
It's Good To Be Me
40th out of 154 books — 82 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,164)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lisa Vegan
Jan 10, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: for a counting book & those who enjoy books with multiple meanings
I loved the premise and liked the execution well enough. The story and illustrations are enjoyable and educational and a bit philosophical. I was sufficiently impressed that I just reserved One at the library, another earlier book by this author that seems to be a companion book to this one.

The counting starts from 1 to 7 then 1-9, then 10, 20, etc. all the way to 1,000,000.

Zero is a character with a personality in this book. My favorite line is “Zero felt empty inside.”

Zero is gray, as is one,
Theme: Everyone has worth and value

Another outstanding book by Kathryn Otoshi; loved the simple illustrations and the simple yet complexity of the meaning of the text (leads to great class discussion during and at the end of the book).

Golden nuggets: don’t try to be someone that you are not, everyone has value (everyone counts), believing in yourself and who you are.

Love the quote: "Be open. You'll find a way."

Classroom use: This would be a great book to use at the beginning of the year when w
Even though it's numerically out of order, it helps a little to read One before this rather than after, as I did. However, this is a brilliant stand-alone book as well on the real necessity of self value. The art is lovely, which is a true compliment when coming from a traditionalist like me who doesn't really appreciate modern art. Somehow, the sparseness really works for this book, and the sparing use of iridescence is fantastic.
It's curious that Zero is a female, as the woman who loaned me th
by Kathryn Otoshi

This book is titled “Zero.” Where have you seen this number/letter before? Make a prediction as to what you think this book is about based upon the cover and share with a partner. Do you think this will be about numbers or letters? Lets take a look at some of the pictures. Now that we have seen it is about numbers based upon the pictures, what do you think this book is about? Did your predictions change or stay the same? I will tell you that this book is about more than numb
May 28, 2012 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gr.1-3
Zero, by Kathryn Otoshi, is the follow up to One. The moral of this story is peer perception and self-value as the number zero has to find where it fits in with the other numbers. Zero feels empty inside, but discovers that by being open, it can facilitate creating bigger and greater value(s). I like both of these books for incorporating deeper meanings into lessons on counting through bold splotches of colorful illustrations. Between them, I do prefer One for its simple, powerful message on ant ...more
Mary Conroy
This gorgeously illustrated book is all about the number zero. The book is narrated from zero's perspective. It is designed to help children develop an understanding of what zero means and how it relates to other numbers. The story is very touching, and the beautiful watercolor illustrations keep the reader engaged. The story starts by explaining what zero is, then goes on to discuss zero's relationship to other numbers, getting up to four digit numbers. It talks about how "zero brings value to ...more
Zero was the second book written in this series, and my favorite of the three. The protagonist of this book is the number Zero. Zero, however, does not like herself. Whenever, she looks at herself, she only sees a big hole in her middle. Like the rest of the numbers, she wants to count! In a sad development, she tries to change her shape. She stretches herself to try and look like the number One. She twists and turns herself to try and look like the number Eight. Eventually, she realizes a way t ...more
Abbey Reeser
Otoshi, K. (2010). Zero. San Rafael, CA: KO Kids Books

Zero is a book about numbers. It starts out with a zero who is showing some self-esteem issues thinking that she is not worthy of playing with the other numbers because she has no value and all the other numbers do. She wants to count with them but instead she just watches, while feeling empty inside. She tries to make herself look like the other numbers so that she could have value but no matter how hard she tried she could never quite make
Zero was an endearing picture book that I wish I had read as a child. It addresses the idea that not everyone is the same and there are different body types and no one is the same. It presents this in a less direct way because the number Zero wants to "count" quite literally as something more and she is convinced that it is because she is round, has a hole in her center and several other image issues. She tries to fix it and change into other things, but in the end realizes that she was created ...more
Fabulous book not just for counting but a much more powerful message about finding the value in yourself. I can't believe I'm admitting this but this book actually almost brought tears to my eyes but that's just because I'm in on the those funks where I don't think I count so I know how zero feels!
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
A counting book with a twist. Zero is having a bit of a life crisis. The other numbers seem to have substance but zero has a big whole in the middle. Until one day, zero learns how important he can be. Just a fun book that can be used in a variety of ways with kids of all ages.
Apr 24, 2011 Lee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lee by: Lisa Vegan
Shelves: picture-books
Another winner from the author of our favourite book One this time focusing on accepting who you are and appreciating the value of everyone.
This book is about the number zero and how he feels excluded from all the other numbers because he felt that she had no value because all the numbers started with the number 1. Zero tries to turn itself into any number possible. However, she can not be anything but zero and feels sad and defeated. Finally, zero realizes that if she keep counting, she has value to add to the other numbers. This can teacher children counting and number sense as well as friendship skills. It can help children learn ...more
Colby Sharp
I love books that help kids see that they should be proud of who they are.
Surprisingly inspiring for a numerical book. Zero has her own personality and worries - one of these concerns being an empty circle. Zero learns though, that she can count! When added to other numbers, that number's value can increase by 10 times. The point of this book is illustrate counting by tens on a larger scale, such as 10,000 to 10,000,000. However, it also implies that even when we feel we don't count and aren't as important as the numbers of people around us, we are still useful and ha ...more
It's a nice book.
Jamie Short
1. Look at the cover of the book. What do you notice about the colors? What do you notice about the title….how it’s written or how each letter looks? How does the cover make you feel? The colors and the title make me feel alone and kind of sad. What do you think the book is going to be about? Well, in “Zero” by Kathryn Otoshi, the number Zero doesn’t feel she has any worth because she’s worth nothing. She doesn’t think she has any value, like other numbers. She keeps trying to make herself into ...more
Barb Middleton
Zero finds her Zorro. Actually Zorro is not a part of this delightful book, I just liked the illiteration.

Zero really finds her zip. Not only does this book make counting fun but it is about how a number doesn't feel she is worth anything because she adds no value to the other numbers. Zero tries page after page trying to transform into another number or force her presence on the other numbers. The page where she takes a rolling start, leaps into the numbers in order to impress them, only to kn
Written by: Kathryn Otoshi
Ko Kids publications
Where's the math: Discovering the value of zero in numbers. In the story, zero feels bad for herself because she has a hole in her center, and she's not included with the other numbers when counting. Zero soon discovers that she has important parts to play as she jumps in to the counting arena with the other numbers (i.e. 0, 10). She especially recognizes her value as she joins the other numbers to become 10,20,30,etc. Children can learn to under
My first thought when reading through this book was that it could have been a set of sketches for Otoshi's fabulous One, so much did it consist of the same ideas recycled, both the philosophical ideas and the graphic design ideas. So, I kind of assumed that Otoshi had toyed around with these ideas a bit in Zero before they finally culminated in One. I don't know why I therefore felt a little let down by this book once I realized that One actually came first. As a sequel, Zero is just not as good ...more
Cameron Kisselbaugh
I was immediately drawn to this counting book by the shiny, bold title "Zero". Written and illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi, this book brings to life the numbers 0-9 in a tale of the number zero trying to find its place among the numbers of value. Zero tries many different methods to fit in and attempts to conform to the other numbers but to no avail. On top of the unique method of introducing numbers to young students, it also incorporates important values that everyone should know. The lesson tha ...more
Scott Pagel
Poor Zero. She feels empty inside and feels like she isn't valued as much as the other numbers. Many books have covered this territory and others have done it better (see Amy Krouse Rosenthal) and some probably worse. Zero finds her way when she realizes that she isn't actually worth nothing but that she actually allows all the other numbers to do more by moving to the right of the other numbers in the tens, hundreds, etc place. She learns that she adds more value than all of the other numbers. ...more
Alexis Priestley
Math has never been one of my favorite subjects in school. However, I thought that this book was well done. It was such a clever way to give meaning to numbers and such a clever way to teach about numbers. I feel like with math taught like this children will be able to remember what is being taught. Not only is it a clever way to teach but it is just a cool book to read. I think children would love reading this book.
This reminded me a lot of the Exclamation Point book. The Zero want to be able to count like the rest of the numbers. Zero soon realizes that he is a very important number and is needed to count with high numbers. I thought that it was a great mathematics book but should be used for a much younger age group.
I really liked this book. It put a lot of emotion into the zero and how it couldn't become like the numbers 1-9. Yet, it had a developed plot that led to many wonderful things and numbers too. I found the writer very clever in phrasing and writing certain ideas. Found a happy ending for this little zero.
LOVED this book...once again, I don't rate too many children books because I would have to rate thousands in a year, but this one was great. This is written by the same author who wrote "One". AMAZING message and a great counting book. The deeper meaning is what makes the book spectacular!
Katie Hibbard
Not only does this book teach about numbers, it also has a good moral. I liked how Zero found her worth in the story; she learned that she did have a purpose in the number world other than being nothing. It is a fun book that teaches kids how zero can be used in different ways.
I enjoyed this book, it was surprisingly deep for a children's book. It can work on one level for little kids to see the different numbers and the idea of zero, but it also points out the hardships of finding your place with everyone else and accepting yourself as you are.
Feb 19, 2013 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their younger children
Shelves: 2013, childrens, math
We've already read the book One by Kathryn Otoshi, but I didn't know that this book existed until I read about it here on Goodreads.

This story is an interesting tale about the importance of the number one. I like that it is a simple tale, but shows the significance of the number. And I love that it shows that everyone makes a contribution.

I would've liked to see more mathematical details, but for younger children, this is enough. The illustrations are rather basic, but overall the story is ent
Kelly Tessitore
Zero is a book with very simple structure yet it still provides a wonderful message to share with people of all age groups. Zero has an emphasis on the idea that everyone has an important role to play, everyone is valuable in society, and no one is insignificant. Zero acts as a good reminder to all readers who have lost a little faith in themselves and feel empty in the large world where we live. Young children are especially vulnerable to this lost and lonely feeling, but as they go on a journe ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 38 39 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Spoon
  • How to Heal a Broken Wing
  • Sky Color
  • Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are
  • The Invisible Boy
  • Miss Twiggley's Tree
  • The Recess Queen
  • Spork
  • Ralph Tells a Story
  • Cloudette
  • Each Kindness
  • My Name Is Not Isabella
  • Those Shoes
  • Zero the Hero
  • A Bedtime for Bear
  • The Name Jar
  • Should I Share My Ice Cream?
  • Along a Long Road
One Two What Emily Saw One [and] Zero Simon and the Sock Monster

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »