Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-08-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Otoshi builds on the success of her acclaimed picture book about bullying, One, with another moral lesson whose characters are digits. It's Zero who's in trouble this time as she compares herself to the other brightly colored numbers, all of whom seem to be doing marvelously well. "But how could a number worth nothing become something? Zero felt empty inside." Otoshi's delicate brushwork portrays Zero as a wistful gray outline whose uncertain edges echo her anxiety. Clever wordplay ("If I were like One, then I could count too!" thinks Zero) reinforces nicely paced action as Zero tries and fails to look like other numbers ("Zero twisted and turned to try to be Eight") until Seven tells her, "Every number has value.... Be open. You'll find a way." And she does; adding a zero to every number, the group finds, "bring more value to everyone." What could have been a pedestrian just-be-yourself tale is distinguished by Otoshi's simple and lucid text, judicious use of white space, and a voice that stays sincere without becoming overly moralistic. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)