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June Discussion – The Hueys in None the Number by Oliver Jeffers

The Hueys in None the NumberOliver Jeffers’ creation, The Hueys, the little oval-shaped characters with stick-like arms and legs, are back in their third story. Some of the members of the group have been fans of Oliver Jeffers for a long time but for others it was their first introduction to the argumentative but entertaining Hueys.

We noted that zero as a mathematical concept is quite difficult for some children to grasp. Jeffers explains this concept by revealing a series of objects from one to ten – for example, the number of seagulls chasing Frank’s chips, the number of Kevin’s daily tantrums (my favourite page) and a randomly distributed collection of chairs. Jeffers always seems to take the humblest everyday items, conveys them in a simple illustrative form to get his point across; in this instance: Is none a number?

Some of the group had used this text with their prep or year 1 students and found that it was very well-received – the students laughed at the Huey’s antics but did grasp the concept of “none”. We also appreciated the historical background at the back of the book that explained the history of numbers.

We are looking forward to the release later in the year of Jeffers’ exploration of the alphabet.