Zero Zebras asks a bold question: can you count what isn’t there? Can you count… to zero? Bruce Goldstone takes us on a wild animal safari counting one wallaby, two tuna, three thrushes, four frogs… but absolutely ZERO zebras. Readers will realize the infinite possibilities of counting what is and isn’t on the page. Goldstone's imaginative and creative text is brought to life by Chung's vibrant illustrations which include hidden numbers beautifully integrated into each stunning scene for fun some hide-and-seek. This is the perfect introduction to the concept of zero and infinity, showcasing the profound wonder of numbers in a playful, dazzling picture book that will wow readers of every age!
Starred review! A counting book cleverly designed to raise awareness about nothing.
“Zero is a big nothing,” Goldstone rightly writes, “but it’s also a big deal.” Younger audiences will definitely get a sense of what he means from this effervescent animal count, which begins with “I see one wallaby…” and goes on from “Two tuna splish / and splash / and splosh…” to “Twelve turtles / wallow in mud”—each verse ending with a refrain that is some variant on “and zero zebras.” Zero zebras are indeed what viewers will find in the cheery illustrations, too, as Chung employs bright colors and precisely drawn geometric shapes in neat but lively compositions that feature arrays of (other) creatures, inconspicuously placed numerals, and, for sharper eyes to spot, glimpses of the odd foxtail, beach ball, or other visual reference to scenes just past. Then, after closing with a veritable litany (“When the stars come out tonight, / zero zebras do, too. / Along with zero pandas / eating zero bamboo”), the author eases in the mind-blowing notion that zero isn’t really a number at all but more of an idea, not unlike a different but adjacent concept: infinity. For an author who has already introduced picture-book readers to probability, pattern recognition, and estimation theory, it hardly seems a stretch.
Another heady foray into math’s conceptual reaches, with zero chance of failing to entertain. (Math picture book. 6-9)