You’re familiar with this question. It is usually asked to get an ‘optimist or pessimist’ answer.
In this book, Zero asks a similar question but the focus is more on perspectives rather than on character trait.
I adore this book too and Otoshi does an inspiring job in getting kids thinking at any age AND reminding grown ups of important life lessons. This book provides perfect opportunity to start a conversation with children when you think they are ready for them. (especially girls!) Otherwise, just read and enjoy the story! 🙂
I mentioned in my earlier post that it might be a better idea to start with ‘ONE’ and then pick up this book ‘ZERO’. That’s because ‘ZERO’ starts its story with the number characters and in ‘ONE’ you get to see how the numbers came to be. (They were originally just splashes of colour before they took on a more definitive form.) So it just seems less confusing to the little ones if the story progresses in this flow.ZERO is feeling a little insecure. She is not happy with the way she looks. She is big. She has a big hole right in her center. She feels left out in the counting game and watches her friends with envy as they play. She wants to be just like them…
Ah! An idea… she desperately tries to transform herself to be more like ‘1’… ‘8’… ‘9’… but sigh, ZERO is zero. How can a number worth nothing become something? ZERO feels empty inside.
Sounds familiar? Peer perception and self-esteem. We’ve all been through that journey at some point in our lives. We all wanted to fit in.
We’re also aware of the concerns raised in the last generation about girls and body image. This book is a great conversation starter with your preteen daughter if you want to talk about body image and accepting the beauty of who we are. Explore questions like why ZERO wanted to look like one instead of herself and if EIGHT and NINE encouraging her to look like them was helpful.
ZERO’s journey takes her through the ups and downs… and eventually to a realization that you are unique the way you are and you can accept and celebrate this uniqueness or choose to sulk over what is not. (This question of making a conscious choice is a very important and powerful one for me. I’ll never forget a time in my working life some ten years ago when I had to stop and ask myself this difficult question. And it proved to be a very powerful turning point. My story… some other time.)
Oh, do you notice in the above photo that it is number 7 who tells ZERO “Every number has a value”? Why do you think the author chose SEVEN to tell ZERO that?
(You have to read the book ‘ONE’ first!) Our author is very clever *wink*.
This brings me to my next point. Sometimes it is all about how we choose to see things. Our perspectives, our choice. And do not underestimate the power of choosing to see things in positive light. That the cup is half full, not half empty. ZERO learns this at the end of the day. I love how it ends with ”I’m not empty inside. I’m OPEN!’. Wow…
Same situation. Different thought. Positive thought.
See how the door to new possibilities open for you just because you chose to think so.
Ahh… this is a book you definitely want to revisit time to time with your kid and repeat the lessons of life wisdom in it. A book good to own!