Young mathematicians often have a hard time understanding abstract math concepts. Enhancing your lessons with books about math for kids will help make connections while having fun in the process. Motivate your students while introducing new concepts, reinforcing ideas, and talking about all things math with some of our favorite books. We have you covered through the year with lots of elementary math topics!
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Marco needs to get his stuffed animals organized before bedtime. He tries sorting them in lots of different ways, but they just won’t settle down. Kids will be clamoring to give him ideas!
Buy it: The Animals Would Not Sleep! at Amazon
A beautifully illustrated book about math that shows how flips, slides, and turns can create amazing symmetrical images.
Buy it: Seeing Symmetry at Amazon
Definitely add this to your list of books about math for kids to introduce patterns! This fiction and nonfiction hybrid covers many types of patterns, including simple visual patterns, sound patterns, patterns in nature, and more.
Buy it: Pitter Pattern at Amazon
Ten adorably colorful birds sit happily on a branch—until they begin to fall off one by one! Subtraction is a hard concept to introduce to young kiddos, but this story makes it nice and concrete.
Buy it: Ten on a Twig at Amazon
This cute book about math for kids starts with a little monster patiently waiting for guests to arrive at the birthday party. As more and more arrive, kids can use addition skills to keep track. Once there are 50 guests, Monster Mom has had enough, and they begin to leave. This, of course, lends to using subtraction skills.
Buy it: Monster Math at Amazon
Kids love the humor and whimsical illustrations in the sassy stories in the Shapes trilogy. Great for talking about the attributes of different geometric shapes in a fun context.
Buy it: Triangle, Square, and Circle at Amazon
Keep the mathematical talk going by talking about attributes of shapes and how they are the same and different. Observations about the shapes on each page can go in many different directions.
Buy it: Which One Doesn’t Belong at Amazon
Brave knights, a strong ruler, and a dilemma that needs to be solved using math. Great for introducing geometry concepts in a fun and accessible way.
Buy it: Sir Cumference and the First Round Table at Amazon
This really is “a different kind of counting book”! Each page has a thought-provoking photo in which readers decide what and how to count. If you’re looking for a kids’ book about math to get interesting number talks flowing, this is it!
Buy it: How Many? (Talking Math) at Amazon
Watch as this busy construction crew creates impressive structures by grouping bricks by twos, fives, and tens. Kids will love the catchy repetitive verse and charming illustrations.
Buy it: Billions of Bricks: A Counting Book About Building at Amazon
Follow the adventures of an adorable inchworm as he measures different body parts of his animal friends. When a bird threatens to eat the inchworm if he can’t measure an intangible item, he gets creative. Kids love the colorful and whimsical artwork common to Lionni’s books.
Buy it: Inch by Inch at Amazon
Love the story about monkeys jumping on the bed? You’ll adore this version that tells the story of the monkeys at Banana Cafe making one very large banana cupcake.
Buy it: Place Value at Amazon
Mr. and Mrs. Comfort are having a family reunion and need to arrange the tables so that everyone in the family can enjoy their fabulous spaghetti and meatballs. A witty tale by math guru Marilyn Burns.
Buy it: Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! at Amazon
Delightful illustrations and a dreamy young girl pondering the vastness of the universe make a very difficult concept approachable and interesting.
Buy it: Infinity and Me at Amazon
Ethan wakes up one morning with a strange cat on his head, and the only way it will agree to get off is if Ethan agrees to play a game of probability with it. This kooky book will entertain your students as it teaches a difficult concept.
Buy it: A Very Improbable Story at Amazon
Kids will love this fun story with delightful cartoon illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld that teach the importance of zero as a placeholder in our number system. Without Zero the Hero, we wouldn’t be able to count beyond the number nine!
Buy it: Zero the Hero at Amazon
Mouse and her friends want to play a game of tug-of-war but have a hard time making the sides fair. This charming story teaches the concept of balance and equality.
Buy it: Equal Shmequal at Amazon
Two more rhyming tales with colorful, busy illustrations that kids will love. In each of these books about math, a boy wakes up one day and finds that things are kookily out of order. Great as read-alouds or for independent readers who will love hunting through the detailed pictures to find the odd or even items.
Buy it: One Odd Day and My Even Day at Amazon
Books about math for kids are especially helpful when demonstrating very large numbers since it shows a visual picture of them. Kids love hearing about the numbers in the millions, billions, and trillions, so this book will add to the excitement. With a mystical main character named Marvelossissimo the Magician and illustrations by Steven Kellogg, this book is beyond memorable.
Buy it: How Much Is a Million? at Amazon
A playful book with silly characters and perfect rhyming that teaches not just the basics of telling time, but the tricky concept of relative time.
Buy it: A Second, a Minute, a Week with Days in It: A Book About Time at Amazon
How long is a minute, really, when trying to make sense of time? Kids can look at a clock and read the time, but this book helps them understand what can be done in different amounts of time to build deeper meaning. It is never to early to introduce time management skills.
Buy it: If You Were a Minute at Amazon
The 25th Beetle Army Corp is trying to solve the problem of how to divide their troops into equal groups for the parade march without leaving any stragglers. A fun rhyming book about math that will get kids thinking about how numbers are put together and pulled apart.
Buy it: A Remainder of One at Amazon
At the beginning of the story, 80 contestants are ready to compete in the Great Divide. Dangers lie ahead at every turn, causing more and more runners to leave the competition. Who will be left at the end and survive the obstacles?
Buy it: The Great Divide: A Mathematical Marathon at Amazon
Incorporating books about math with tasty treats is a surefire way to get kids’ attention. Hershey’s chocolate bars are made up of 12 rectangles. Pass out a chocolate bar to each student. Then, use them with this book for a delicious, hands-on fractions lesson.
Buy it: The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Fraction Book at Amazon
Good books about math for kids hone in on problem-solving, identifying patterns, symmetry, and grouping. This one uses all four concepts to help students count in groups, instead of going one by one. Your students will think out of the box as they come up with ways to solve each math riddle. Watch the enthusiasm grow bigger with each turn of the page!
Buy it: The Grapes of Math at Amazon
In this Indian folktale, a greedy raja keeps all of the rice for himself. As the rest of the village starves, a clever girl named Rani devises a plan. She makes a deal to receive one grain of rice, doubled, for 30 days. As time passes, over 1 billion grains of rice become available for all of the villagers to share. Problem-solving, along with multiplication, are a big part of this book. At the same time, the valuable lessons of fairness and sharing shine through.
Buy it: One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale at Amazon
This story of a clever young boy in ancient India can be enjoyed on many levels. Bhagat must figure out how to stretch his family’s only fortune, seven golden rings, as far as possible—which leads to some creative mathematical thinking! To engage older students, use the afterword to introduce how to write numbers in binary.
Buy it: Seven Golden Rings at Amazon
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