When children are having difficulty understanding math lessons, math picture books will help. The best math picture books use storytelling and visual expression to explain abstract math concepts and reinforce math skills.

Children who are engaged with math picture books will improve their understanding of a wide range of mathematical principles and skills like counting, addition, subtraction, fractions, and sorting. Stories that incorporate math concepts like symmetry, geometry, patterns, measurements and even telling time will reinforce the problem solving skills needed for math success!

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## Table of contents

## Counting and Calculation Picture Books

Counting books will help kids build a strong foundation for learning how to calculate. These books also teach addition and subtraction, skip counting, multiplication and division, and place value

*Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money* by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by G. Brian Karas. I know, it sounds crazy to set up a lemonade stand in the snow, but these young entrepreneurs will not be dissuaded. This book teaches counting, addition and subtraction as well as predicting. Your kids will be singing a catchy little tune, setting up their own stand, and sorting their change by the time you finish reading.

*Zero the Hero* by Joan Holub, illustrated byTom Lichtenheld. Who knew a math picture book could be so joyful? Zero proclaims himself a hero, but the other numbers just aren't buying it so Zero goes on a mission to prove himself. Kids learn the concept of zero and why it's important. This is a fun book to spend some time over, with lots of clever dialogue and asides in speech bubbles.

*The Chicken Problem* by Jennifer Oxley; Billy Aronson. I don't mean to sound like a snob (*it just comes naturally, ha ha ha*) but I didn't know about the PBS show, Peg and Cat, which leads me to the chicken and egg problem... which can first the book or the show. The book... I think? Anyway... Peg and Cat like to solve problems and one day when the chicks get out of the coop, there are a lot of problems -- math problems -- to solve.

*Two of Everything* by Lily Toy Hong, is a fun way to teach about doubling. In this mathematical folktale, a man finds a large pot in his garden. When he uses it to store his purse of gold coins, he discovers the pot’s magic properties. The couple use the pot to increase their wealth and double everything they own, including themselves.

*Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives* by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal. This nonfiction math picture book is an interesting look at numbers in the animal world. Cross-disciplinary learning is one of the most effective ways for kids to explore their passions. Number-loving kids will enjoy reading about animals and nature-loving kids will start to connect to the mathematical world.

*How Many Jelly Beans? *by Andrea Menotti, illustrated by Yancey Labat. Kids are fascinated by very large numbers. It can be hard to grasp just how big a thousand is, let alone a million. In the narrative, a couple of kids try to one up each other on the number of jelly beans they will eat. A giant fold out page illustration demonstrates exactly how many they would need to eat should they actually get 1 million jelly beans. (*I'm getting a stomach ache just thinking about it.*)

*How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?* (Mr. Tiffin's Classroom Series) by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Students in a classroom learn about skip counting, addition and estimating quantity by comparing how many seeds are in each child's pumpkin.

*This Plus That: Life's Little Equations* by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace. Sometimes you need a break from concrete mathematical problem solving! This book is not going to teach your kids how to calculate 7 + 6, but it may just help them see that adding things up is bigger than counting. After reading this book, take a break from numbers and come up with your own "lifestyle calculations!"

*Each Orange Had 8 Slices *by Paul Giganti Jr., illustrated by Donald Crews. Bold graphics turn simple word problems into fun problem solving math calculations.

*Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday* by Judith Viorst, illustrated by

Ray Cruz. Money is a terrific everyday tool to teach math and this picture book will help you along. Check out how coins can help with sorting and skip counting! Alexander's grandparents give him a dollar and he has to figure out how to spend it wisely. Sure, there are some outdated items like phone booths, and a dollar doesn't go quite so far anymore, but that's all part of the fun.

*Pigeon Math *by Asia Citro, illustrated by Richard Watson. Math is fun when it is also hilarious! Citro's clever and wacky narrative follows the chaos that happens when trying to count pigeons that won't stay still. The concept of unstable quantities and may be unfamiliar to kids before reading *Pigeon Math*, but surely they will want to learn more afterwards!

## Geometry and Patterning Math Picture Books

These books about patterns, shapes, symmetry and other geometry concepts are excellent supplement materials for any math lesson at home or in the classroom.

*The Greedy Triangle* by Marilyn Burns, illustrated by Gordon Silveria. This geometry picture book explores shapes and angles, and is good supplementary material for a classroom geometry unit. A triangle continues to add angles to his "body." His greediness transforms his shape into something new.

*Round Trip* by Ann Jonas is a fascinating look at reflection and symmetry. The book is meant to be read forwards, then turned around and read upside down. Your kids won't be able to stop studying this fascinating math picture book, examining how the mirrored images created two stories.

**MORE:** Symmetry Math Art Project for Kids

*Grandfather Tang's Story *by Ann Tompert, illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker. Tangrams are a wonderful hands on way for kids to learn about geometry. In this story about two shape-shifting fox fairies, kids see tangrams in action and will be motivated to create their own pictures with the traditional puzzle shapes.

*Six-Dinner Sid *by Inga Mooe is a well-read book in our house. Sid is a cat who has six owners, gets six dinners, has six names and has to go to the vet six times. Patterning and simple counting are seamlessly woven in to the narrative. Kids won't even realize they are strengthening their math skills!

*Follow the Line *(series) by Laura Ljungkvist is a classic picture book in which a single line creates a multiple number of scenes. While it may not seem like your typical math book, the illustrations reinforce spatial concepts and geometry. Plus, it's just really cool!

*Seeing Symmetry *by Loreen Leedy is a lovely look at the symmetry all around us, from animals and words, patterns on fabrics, and more. Kids are introduced to the concepts of horizontal, vertical and even rotational symmetry. End notes explain the concept further, as well as give activity suggestions.

*Math at the Museum* by Group Majoongmul, illustrated by Yun-ju Kim. A family decides to visit a museum where they gaze upon masterpieces and learn the hidden mathematical principles behind their compositions. Numerous famous artworks are highlighted and the book includes hands-on activities kids can explore after reading. Be sure to visit your local museum, too!

**MORE:** Math Art Picture Books

*Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature* by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes is a gorgeous introduction to the world of mathematical spirals in nature. Short, charming poems identify both common and mysterious spirals in the natural world, drawing kids into the lyrical text. Be sure to go out for a nature walk afterwards.

**MORE: **21 Beautiful Math Art Projects for Kids

## Measurement and Telling Time Books

Learning about units of measurements, whether it's length, width, or volume is important for mathematic-based subjects like engineering. Measuring and telling time both require a knowledge of fractions and these books make math learning fun.

*Fannie in the Kitchen: The Whole Story from Soup to Nuts of How Fannie Farmer Invented Recipes with Precise Measurements* by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. We all know that cooking involves a lot of math, and this book is a nice way to introduce just why math and proportions are important to recipes. There aren't a lot of historical fiction picture books that you can also use to teach math so grab this one!

*A Second is a Hiccup* by Hazel Hutchins, illustrated Kady MacDonald Denton. In this whimsical rhyming picture book about measurements, Hutchins compares units of time to ordinary human moments, like hiccups, a song, or time spent in pretend play. Kids will no doubt want to measure how long their own actions take to compare to the examples in the book, which would be a fun way to incorporate this book into a measuring unit lesson plan!

*An Oak Tree Grows *by G. Brian Karas. What's 200 years in the life of an oak tree? This beautiful book helps kids explore long stretches of time, relative size and how the world changes as time passes, even if you can measure by two centuries!

*How Long or How Wide? A Measuring Guide* by Brian P. Cleary, illustrated by Brian Gable. Part of the Math Is CATegorical series, this rhyming, humorous nonfiction book is a comprehensive look at measuring lengths. Kids will learn about the metric system and U.S. units of length. The illustrations feature animals using measuring tools to size up and compare items in the world around them. The Math Is CATegorical series also has good math books about time, fractions, patterns and more.

I am collaborating with The Measured Mom on this math education series. Hop on over to get some quality ideas to help kids continue to love math in K - 2 and avoid the "I'm no good at math!" complaint.

**MORE MATH RESOURCES:**

**MORE SIMPLE MATH FUN:**

Anna@The Measured Mom says

As always, you've introduced me to a lot of great new books! Zero the Hero is absolutely hilarious and one of our favorites. Six Dinner Sid is one we own and love. The rest are all new, so I'm headed to our library's website!

Lucy Mitchell says

Love love love this list! I have a fair few counting books (I think Anno's Counting Book is our fave) but its great to see these others. I've already ordered Round Trip and think I will be getting Seeing Symmetry soon too. I would get the Alexander one but we are in Dublin and I need to get my boys counting Euros before dollars!

Melissa @ WhatToReadToYourKids.com says

Anno's Counting Book is one of our favorites as well! I love the independence and self-discovery it promotes.

Erica MomandKiddo says

I love Anno's books!

Julie says

Looks like some great reads here. My youngest is in 1st grade, so I will plan to look for some of these at our local library! Thank you for all the inspiration 🙂

Erica MomandKiddo says

You're welcome! I'm glad the book list will be useful.

Katie says

Perfect timing! I love your book lists and this one has come at just the right moment! I'm teaching math to the kids in our local homeschool coop and it's always a struggle to find engaging material for our kids (who range in age from 5-8).

I'm definitely going to grab some of these from the library.

Our kids also got a real kick out of the folk tale "One Grain of Rice" which is also about the power of doubling.

Keep the lists coming, please!!

Erica MomandKiddo says

Good luck with the math teaching!

Melissa @ WhatToReadToYourKids.com says

So great to see all of these book on one list! Thank you! I second the addition of "One Grain of Rice," although I have a weakness for Demi's illustrations. Another favorite is Kate Hosford's "Infinity and Me." Lots of people love the Sir Cumference books although for whatever reason my son never took to them...

Erica MomandKiddo says

I love One Grain of Rice, too. Infinity and Me is terrific.

Even in Australia says

Great list. I have a math-lover too. She loves At Our House by Isabel Minhos Martins, which also appeals to her interest in all things medical/human body related. It counts how many bones, noses, etc. there are in a household consisting of humans and non-humans. I don't like the Sir Cumference books at all - except for the titles!

Erica MomandKiddo says

I don't really like the Sir Cumference books either, though everyone recommends them.

Even in Australia says

And Fannie in the Kitchen looks great too. I didn't realize that it's by Deborah Hopkinson, whom I love.

:Donna says

It's been so long since I've been here, Erica! I know I've missed so much good stuff, too. I'm hoping my new method for following blogs will work out for me and I'll get to visit many regularly 🙂

Anyway, here's another math book for you that you may like:

EAT YOUR MATH HOMEWORK! Recipes for Hungry Minds by Ann McCallum, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez (who I know personally and can tell you, she is VERY funny and amazingly talented!) 🙂

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eat-your-math-homework-ann-mccallum/1100220227?ean=9781570917806

Erica MomandKiddo says

Thanks for the suggestion!

Laura says

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the lovely lists. My kids have enjoyed many of your recommended books since I found your blog not long ago, as evidenced by the shouts of, '' I'll be Tumtum and you be Nutmeg!" despite having finished that book at least 3 weeks ago. These two math lists are especially amazing. Tomorrow I am returning some from your preschool list to the library and picking up some from this list that I promptly put on hold.

Erica MomandKiddo says

I'm so glad you have found the lists useful! I love that your kids are engaging in pretend play based on Tumtum and Nutmeg!

Cathy R says

We enjoy Math Curse. Good through 4th or 5th grade, but my kindergartener likes is.

Erica MomandKiddo says

Great book!

Bethany says

I love this list! I've written about the advantages of learning math through the reading of math stories and how beneficial it is, and I'm now creating lessons and activities to correspond to various math story books to allow older students to take a more formal look at the math in the stories! I see some new book on this list I can go check out so thanks! 🙂 ~Bethany

Erica MomandKiddo says

Glad to be able to introduce you to some new books!

felicity says

Thanks for these.

I have a low ability year 1/2 class with some children who hAve emotional challenges and are struggling with a few basic concepts. They love stories though so have ordered some of these books and will give them a try.

Fingers crossed!

Erica MomandKiddo says

I hope they help and how great that the kids have a teacher like you who wants to try new ideas to help them!

Earl Leonard says

Great list and very insightful analysis. I had a crack at writing a maths picturebook once and would kind of love your opinion, but I won't clutter your comments with a link here!

sona says

I am sorry but I think the list have 17 books.

R. Anderson says

Excellent list! Thank you for sharing. One of our favorite math picture books is "Remainder of One" by Elinor Pinczes. It was given to us by my mother who is an elementary school librarian. It is a winner!

Erica says

Thanks for the recommendation!

Shannon Colclough says

Thank you for list of math books. I've been looking for math books to help inspire my students with math since the pandemic started.