** Nonfiction Monday is a weekly round-up of nonfiction children's literature from around the blogosphere! It is being hosted this week over at Mother Reader! **
Zero Is the Leaves on the Tree
Written by Betsy Franco
Illustrated by Shino Arihara
"Zero is ...
the shape of an egg.
Zero is a number."
Summary from the School Library Journal: "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.
Mary Elizabeth's Musings: As an elementary school teacher and a mother of four, I am always looking for books that link math and literature together ... and this book does a fabulous job of doing just that!! Zero is a concept often overlooked in traditional, elementary arithmetic, so a children's book that dicusses this concept is absolutely essential. The simple prose in this piece of literature is breathtaking, along with its gentle, mesmerizing illustrations. Children from ages two and up will possess a fundamental understanding of the number zero after enjoying this book. It works as both a teaching tool and a bedtime story!