From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—"Zero is...the sound of snowflakes landing on your mitten. 0 sounds." "Zero is...the kites in the sky once the wind stops blowing. 0 kites." Using these and other evocative examples from children's everyday experiences throughout the seasons, Franco explores the concept of zero. The gouache illustrations are done in soft, muted tones and have a naive charm that will have substantial child appeal. Most of the scenes are set outdoors, clearly depicting and emphasizing the book's link to the passing seasons. While the idea is a simple one, the presentation is such that it could easily be used to encourage youngsters to think of ways they could use any of their five senses to experience having zero of something. Like Franco's Mathematickles
(S & S, 2006), this is another fine addition to the growing number of books that make math concepts both enjoyable and memorable.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Picture books about numbers typically go from one up to 10. The idea of zero may be a bit more abstract, but this picture book communicates the concept in child-friendly terms: “Zero is . . . the balls in the bin at recess time. 0 balls,” or “. . . the sound of snowflakes landing on your mitten. 0 sounds,” or “the kites in the sky once the wind stops blowing. 0 kites.”...Nicely composed and often quiet in tone, Arihara’s gouache paintings illustrate those images with sensitivity.—
Booklist magazineHow exactly do you define zero? Franco’s thought-provoking meditations challenge readers to move beyond conventional school-taught facts (it’s a number; it’s egg-shaped) to poetic observations about zero outside the classroom via a tour of the seasons....Cleverly upending the notion that zero amounts to nothing, the book reveals instead that zero is an absence that is observable, countable, and meaningful.
—The Horn Book Review