Octopuses Have Zero Bones: A Counting Book About Our Amazing World


by Anne Richardson


In partnership with One Tree Planted, Tra plants one tree for every book purchased on this website. At checkout, you have the opportunity to make an additional donation.

Download Bonus Material 


Do you wonder…

How many bones an octopus has?

How many breaths you take a day?

How many times a black bear’s heart beats each hour?

How many moons Mars has?

How many miles a trip to the moon and back is? How about a trip to Saturn?

How many leaves are on an oak tree?

How many meters there are between you and the clouds?

What happens when you keep placing zeroes at the end of numbers?

The answers to these questions appear in this book—along with many more amazing facts that celebrate the numbers zero to nine and powers of ten numbers ten to nine billion. Starting with zero instead of one, this whimsical, fact-filled counting book will delight readers of all ages. Combining elements of traditional and advanced counting books with a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around us, Octopuses Have Zero Bones encourages young readers to fall in love with numbers and the world around them. The book’s layered content offers an easy and attractive point of entry as well as the possible to explore and understand more at multiple levels.



“Prepared for the most inquisitive readers, bringing answers to fresh questions they may not even have thought to ask” —Smithsonian Magazine

"Octopuses Have Zero Bones deftly achieves two different goals. Its beautifully illustrated pages both describe our system of numerals and apply them to the universe around us, far and near. The young reader simultaneously acquires a sense of the scale of things and a language to describe it. Kids will be wowed by the pictures and linger over the examples—and maybe even measure a few new items for themselves. This is a multi-dimensional triumph." —Larry Gonick, Overeducated Cartoonist & Author of Cartoon Guide Series

"Anne Richardson so wonderfully captures the joy of exploration that is foundational to all scientific discovery. As humanity sets our sights on the Moon, Mars, and beyond, and as we increasingly look to science to help us tackle challenges such as climate change here on Earth, what could be more important than encouraging our kids’ natural curiosity and inspiring the next generation of scientists and confident, creative thinkers." —Adam Tobin, CEO, Chabot Space & Science Center

"This delightful book on numerals shows how just the simple act of counting opens up an amazing opportunity for inquiry about the world around us." —Rob Semper, PhD, Chief Science Officer, Exploratorium

"An instant classic—a fun, fascinating must-read for any child or kid at heart. This book will engage, delight, and enlighten learners of all ages and spark a lifetime of curiosity."  —Lindsay Bierman, Executive Director & CEO, Exploratorium

"I love this book! What a great banquet of numbers and nature, so joyfully illustrated. Times, size scales, numbers of hearts, toes, spots on a ladybug, and so much more… all come to life on pages overflowing with personality. I can imagine a parent and a child reading this again and again, both getting more from it each time. A clever structure introduces the counting numbers from 1 to 10 while also bringing in the powers of ten from 10s to Billions. There is simple information like the number of legs of a water bear and more complex concepts like the PH and decibel scale, all illustrated in such an endearing way that a fact-filled book becomes whimsically engaging." —Tom Rockwell, Senior Creative Director, Exploratorium

"What an exciting and fascinating read! From its creative approach to exploring numbers and measurement to the beautiful artwork, this book inspires an imaginative view of the world around us from the very big to the minute. A real joy to read and learn." —Ben Kramer, Global Lead of Artist & Label Development, YouTube

"A great educator who is always thinking about the power of a great question, Dr. Richardson assembles a wide-ranging look at multiple ways to think about the numbers that underly the world around us. Equal parts whimsical and thought-provoking, a must-read for parents of curious kids and future scientists in the making." —Sam Dean, Founding Executive Director, Scott Family Amazeum

An unconventional, engaging, and delightful counting book for curious minds that playfully uses numbers as an entry-point to discover the amazing, diverse, fact-filled world of wonders all around us. The book focuses on the numbers zero to nine and powers of ten counterparts of ten to nine billion. 

Anne Richardson is an author of experiences that kindle your curiosity. In her work, everything in the world is astonishing and worthy of our attention, from a drop of rain to the way we figure things out together. She is the senior director of Global Collaborations at the Exploratorium, San Francisco, where she works with partners worldwide to imagine and create new science centers and other extraordinary learning experiences. Richardson holds a PhD and an MS in environmental studies from Antioch University New England, and a BA in art history from Northwestern University. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family, including two little explorers.

Andrea Antinori is an award-winning illustrator based in Bologna, Italy. Since he was a child, he has loved animals and he has loved to draw them. His favorite animal changes all the time. He likes octopuses very much, but right now, lemurs are the creatures he loves most. He wrote and illustrated the book The Lives of Lemurs: A Short Treatise on Natural History. Other books he has illustrated include A Book about Whales and The Great Battle, the latter of which has received major international awards including: Best International Illustrated Book — China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair, Premio Andersen — Best book 6-9 years olds, Selected illustrator for exhibition of Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2017, Italian illustrator in IBBY Honor List 2016.


Publication Date | September 27, 2022 | Trade edition

Hardcover » Smyth Sewn Binding

68 Pages

Color Illustrations Throughout

9.25 x 12 in.

$19.99 ($26.99 CAN)


Reading Age: 6 - 9 years

This book has been translated into the following languages:

Complex Chinese, simplified Chinese, Italian, German, French (France), French (Canada), Spanish, Catalan, Greek, Korean.