The Most Important Number

A Dog Named Zero and The Apple With No Name is a wonderful children’s book that teaches counting in an fun and imaginative way. What inspired you to write this book?

My older brother is a mathematics professor, and he said to me one day that he has spent a lifetime with numbers because of the number zero. And when I did my research and checked on what kind of counting picture books used the number zero, I didn’t find any. I am sure there are some, but I couldn’t find any, and the number zero is the most important number of all numbers.

How do you see this book being used by teachers and parent to educate their children?

That’s difficult to say. I hope teachers and parents will enjoy the humor in the book and use the boohooing and sniffing words in a way that will make children laugh. There is no better way to learn than through laughter.

That’s an excellent question. It happens both ways for all of my children’s picture books. I might draw a quirky character, and then the story comes from the drawing. There are times when the story comes first, and then I decide the art style I’ll use that fits the story.

Do you have plans to write more educational picture books?

I feel all children’s picture books are educational. Some are more specific with one point to be made, as in A Dog Named Zero and the Apple With No Name, than others. I have a new picture book that was published March 1st titled Letting Go. It’s about a leaf that doesn’t want to let go, a cycle of life story. And I have another picture book coming out titled Birds Fly, A Cat Tries on June 1st. It’s a wordless picture book about a cat who wants to fly. Each time the brave tabby tries, he fails. But in the end, with some help, the cat finally takes flight.

Both stories have a message, and although they are not as educational as a counting book, my point is, there is always a lesson to learn from every one of my picture books. Or at least, that is my hope.

My plan, though, is to publish at least one picture a year. This year is different, as I will have published the two I mentioned above, Letting Go and Birds Fly, A Cat Tries.