Whether your child is new to math, reluctant about math or absolutely loves math, these children’s books about math are for you!
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Parents often think of math and reading as two separate endeavors.
We teach our kids to count and do basic addition and subtraction and separately teach kids to read.
But put the two together – math and reading – and you have a magical formula that can increase kids’ knowledge of numbers while at the same time promoting literacy skills.
Here’s what makes math picture books for kids so wonderful:
- They can help kids better visualize mathematical concepts
- They teach math in a fun and sometimes whimsical way
- They can spark curiosity in math lessons
- They can create a bridge for kids who “don’t like math” but love stories
- They can help kids who love math but aren’t so fond of reading get buried into a book
The math books for kids listed below are mainly for younger children but a few are appropriate for older kids as well. Since each has a different focus, at the bottom of each book description is list the math skills concept highlighted in the story.
You’ll also find that while some books integrate math into stories, others provide riddles and games to make math come to life and pique kids’ interest in mathematical concepts.
Have fun getting cozy with your kids and going through a few of the best math books resources for kids.
22 Math Books for Kids
by Judy Sierra
On an island in the sea, lives a monkey who has nothing else to eat but lemons. Across the sea she spots a banana tree – the only problem is the water is infested with crocodiles. The monkey wonders just how many crocodiles there are and begins counting them. Featured math concept: counting up to ten
by Greg Tang
This book contains a series of counting rhymes accompanied by pictures – each of these math puzzles challenges kids to find patterns that will help them visualize numbers and count faster than if they were to count each individual item. Featured math concept: counting
by Greg Tang
Numbers are introduced to kids in this book through a series of sing-song tales. Illustrations correspond to the stories and numbers in each fable. Featured math concept: counting up to ten
by Asia Citro
You would think it would be easy to tell a story about pigeons. But what if the number is constantly changing? This suspenseful story’s narrator uses math to keep up with the changing numbers. Featured math concept: counting
by Dr. Suess
Three animal friends balance apples on their heads while counting them. Soon, the friends learn they can do different things while balancing apples. But watch out! Someone is coming along to try and knock down the apples. Featured math concept: counting up to ten
This fun book shows kids that time can be measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades. It can be observed on watches, calendars, cell phones, computers and clocks. Beginning with seconds, the story illustrates which activities can be done in each measurement of time. Examples include: you can sing the birthday song four times in a minute and riding your bike for a full hour would take a lot of strength. Featured math concept: telling time
by Loreen Leedy
This book illustrates that symmetry is all around us. It’s in man-made object and nature. It’s in words and even numbers. This book also shows kids how they can make their own symmetrical designs. Featured math concept: Geometry and symmetry
by Cindy Neuschwander
Lady Di and her husband, Sir Cumference, decide to throw a surprise birthday party for the king who’s appeared a bit gloomy lately. They invite people from the entire countryside but are surprised by how many show up – it is more than can fit in their castle. The couple tries a few different strategies to count exactly how many people have shown up until they discover placing them in groups of ten and then combining those groups into tens helps. Soon they are able to erect tents for everyone and surprise the king. Featured math concept: Number groupings and place value
by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan
The king needs to meet with his knights but their rectangle table is a problem – some men need to yell to be heard by King Arthur. Sir Cumference tries many different solutions – each with it’s own unique shape and design – until his wife, Lady Di realizes that a round table will work best. Featured math concepts: geometry
by Theoni Pappas
This book takes math concepts – such as real numbers, exponents, dimensions and the golden rectangle – and explains them through a variety of stories geared especially for kids. Featured math concept: Each tale features a different concept
by David Adler
This book visually explains fractions to kids in language and descriptions they’ll understand and relate to – such as dividing a pizza. It also suggests activities to further kids’ understanding. Featured math concept: fractions
by Marilyn Burns
Mr. and Mrs. Comfort decide to invite 32 guests over for a spaghetti dinner. Mrs. Comfort rents eight tables that seat four people each – just enough seats for everyone. But as guests start arriving, they have different ideas of how the seats should be arranged. Mrs. Comfort protests – pointing out that there won’t be enough seats for everyone but the guests and Mr. Comfort don’t listen. In the end, Mrs. Comfort is proven correct. Featured math concept: counting and geometry
by Jennifer Oxley
Peg and Cat (from the TV show Peg+Cat) enjoy a picnic on the farm with their friend Pig. But soon they discover that someone left the chicken coop open and with chickens everywhere the two embark on a math adventure to solve their problem. Featured math concept: addition
by Julie Ellis
This story, of a boy who lives in ancient Greece, fictionalizes how Pythagoras came to find his theorem of right angles. Several examples are used to help kids visualize what is a right angle and how the theorem works to solve any right angle equation. Featured math concept: geometry and algebra
by Betsy Duffey
Marty loves math – even before starting kindergarten he counted everything and felt no problem was too difficult. Until he starts third grade and realizes that being good at math won’t keep him from being the last kid picked in gym class. This book is perfect for newly independent readers who are more interested in math than books. Featured math concept: a few addition and multiplication problems
by David Adler
With a county fair as a backdrop, kids will learn fractions, decimals, and percents and how they relate to one another. Featured math concepts: fractions, decimals, and percents
by Edward Einhorn
One morning Ethan woke up with a cat on his head. This wasn’t improbable – Ethan’s cat usually sleeps by his head – but this morning at talking cat named Odds was not only on his head but wouldn’t get off! Ethan tries everything he can to get Odds off of his head, but Odds tells Ethan he must first win a game. The story continues with the two going through a series of probability games. Featured math concepts: probability and chance
by Johnny Ball
This is an in-depth look at all things numbers – How did counting begin?, How did different civilizations use numbers?. The book also looks at various numerical concepts such as infinity and prime numbers, shapes, and how math fits into our world – to name a few. Featured math concepts: numbers
by Johnny Ball
The follow-up book to Go Figure!, Why Pi? contains a series of historical accounts of how people discovered the principles behind measurement. It takes the reader from ancient times up to present day to help bring greater understanding to how certain concepts and theorems came about. Featured math concepts: measurements
by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Mrs. Fibonacci tells her math class “You can think of almost everything as a math problem.” And for the main character in the story – this starts to become true! He wakes up late and tries to determine how much time he has to make the bus. He takes out milk for his cereal and wonders – how many quarts are in a gallon? This book illustrates in a fun and natural way that numbers and math are everywhere and something we encounter every day.
by Claudia Mills
Wilson Williams finds math difficult and can’t stand Mrs. Porter’s timed multiplication tests. His parents try to help, but Wilson isn’t always grateful. Fortunately, he finds comfort in his friend Josh and the class hamster Squiggles. Wilson struggles on in his quest to do well on the timed tests – and rescue comes from an unexpected source. A helpful book for newly independent readers who don’t find math easy.
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