16 Picture Books About Math to Inspire Curious Kids

You can count on them loving these reads.

math picture books

Picture books about math are the perfect cross-curricular tool to introduce your kids to complicated concepts and mathematical thinking. We chose some of our favorite authors and stories, both new and old, to add to your classroom library and inspire your students’ mathematical minds.

Our picks for the best books about math are listed by grade level and math concept so you can easily find the right selection for your class.

1. Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

A sassy story about sneaky Triangle trying to play a trick on his friend Square that turns into a shape showdown. Kids will be mesmerized by this whimsically illustrated tale.

Math concepts: Shapes, relative size

Best for: Grades K–4

 

2. Place Value by David Adler and Edward Miller

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.

Math concept: Place value

Best for: Grades 1–5

Also by this author: Fraction Fun, Mystery Math: A First Book of AlgebraHow Tall ,How Short, How Far AwayShape Up!: Fun with Triangles and Other PolygonsPerimeter, Area and Volume: A Monster Book of DimensionsMillions, Billions and Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers, and more.

 

3. Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! by Marilyn Burns and Debbie Tilley 

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.

Math concepts: Area and perimeter

Best for: PreK–Grade 3

Also by this author: The Greedy Triangle, Math for Smarty Pants, The $1.00 Word Riddle Book, This Book is About Time, and more.

 

4. Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan 

Brave knights, a strong ruler, and a dilemma that needs to be solved using math. This book about math is great for introducing geometry concepts in a fun and accessible way.

Math concepts: radius, diameter, circumference

Best for: Grades 2–7

Also by this author: The Sir Cumference series has more than 10 books that explore math concepts from algebra and geometry to measurement and fractions.

 

5. Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford and Gabi Swiatkowska 

Delightful illustrations and a dreamy young girl pondering the vastness of the universe make a very difficult concept approachable and interesting in this book about math.

Math concept: Limitless numbers and infinity

Best for: Grades K–5

 

6. Billions of Bricks: A Counting Book About Building by Kurt Cyrus 

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.

Math concept: Counting in quantities

Best for: PreK–Grade 2

 

7. A Very Improbable Story by Edward Einhorn and Adam Gustavson

Ethan wakes up one morning with a strange cat on his head and the only way it will agree to get it off is if Ethan agrees to play a game of probability with it. This kooky book about math will entertain your students as it teaches a difficult concept.

Math concept: Probability

Best for: Grades 2–5

Also by this author: Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure

 

8. Zero the Hero by Joan Holub and Tom Lichtenheld

Kids will love this fun story with delightful cartoon illustrations 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!

Math concept: Concept of zero

Best for: Grades 1–5


9. Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy

A beautifully illustrated book about math that shows how flips, slides, and turns can create amazing symmetrical images. 

Math concept: Geometry, symmetry

Best for: Grades 1–3

Also by this author: Missing Math: a Number Mystery, The Great Graph Contest, Fraction Action, Mission: Addition

 

10. A Second, a Minute, a Week With Days in It: A Book About Time by Brian P. Cleary and Brian Gable

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.

Math Concept: Time

Best for: Grades 1–4

Also by this author: Cleary has written a whole series of books called Math is CATegorical, including The Mission of AdditionThe Action of SubtractionA Dollar, a Penny, How Much and How ManymA Fraction’s Goal- Parts of a Whole, and more.

 

11. Equal Shmequal by Virginia Kroll and Philomena O’Neill 

books about math

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.

Math concept: Equality

Best for: Kindergarten–Grade 3

 

12. One Odd Day by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed 

13. My Even Day by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed 

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 a read-aloud or for independent readers who will love hunting through the detailed pictures to find the odd or even items.

Math concepts: Odd and even

Best for: Kindergarten–Grade 3

Also by this author: My Half Day 

 

14. Counting on Frank by Rod Clement

Your students will love quirky Henry and his wild imagination as he uses his dog Frank as a unit of measure. Henry thinks about real life objects and how they can take up specific spaces. This story will get kids thinking creatively about numbers and many other math concepts. 

Math concepts: Problem-solving, measurement, estimation, and calculation.

Best for: PreK–Grade 3

 

15. Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris and Anna Green

Colorful fish bob, glide, and swish through the ocean until POP, a shark appears! Kids not only love hearing and seeing this story, it will get them interested in learning and creating their own patterns.

Math concepts: Patterns and variations of pattern types

Best for: Kindergarten–Grade 2

Also by this author: Pattern Bugs

 

16. A Remainder of One by Eleanor Pinczes and Bonnie MacKain

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.

Math concept: Grouping, division

Best for: Preschool–Grade 3

Also by this author: Inchworm and a HalfMy Full Moon Is SquareOne Hundred Hungry Ants

 

Posted by Elizabeth Mulvahill

Elizabeth Mulvahill is a passionate teacher, writer and mom who loves learning new things, traveling the globe and everything Zen.

2 Comments

  1. Katherine Olson June 12, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Is there a list with books on science concepts?

    1. No, but we’ll work on it!

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