Books about math for kids are such helpful tools to inject some fun into your math block, introduce a new concept, or reinforce a topic kids have learned in a new way. And great news: There are SO many awesome choices! We’ve pulled together this list of some of our favorite authors and stories, both new and old, to spark great math conversations with students.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
1. The Animals Would Not Sleep! by Sara Levine (Pre-K-1)
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!
Math concepts: Attributes and sorting
Early childhood classrooms will want to add the entire Storytelling Math series to their collections of books about math for kids! Each title introduces math concepts through real-life situations and has gorgeous illustrations featuring characters of color. The extension ideas included at the end of each story are also perfect for sharing with families to encourage mathematical thinking at home.
2. Ten on a Twig by Lo Cole (Pre-K-1)
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.
Math concepts: counting, subtraction
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.
Math concepts: Shapes, relative size
6. How Many? (Talking Math) by Christopher Danielson (Pre-K-2)
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!
Math concepts: Counting, explaining mathematical thinking
7. Which One Doesn’t Belong? by Christopher Danielson (Pre-K-2)
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.
Math concepts: Shapes, attributes
8. Place Value by David Adler (1-5)
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
Also by this author: Telling Time, Fraction Fun, Mystery Math: A First Book of Algebra, How Tall, How Short, How Far Away, Shape Up!: Fun with Triangles and Other Polygons, Perimeter, Area and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions, Millions, Billions and Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers, and more.
9. Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! by Marilyn Burns (Pre-K-3)
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
10. Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan (2-7)
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.
Math concepts: Radius, diameter, circumference
Also by this author: The Sir Cumference series explores math concepts from algebra and geometry to measurement and fractions.
11. Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford (K-5)
Delightful illustrations and a dreamy young girl pondering the vastness of the universe make a very difficult concept approachable and interesting.
Math concept: Limitless numbers and infinity
12. Billions of Bricks: A Counting Book About Building by Kurt Cyrus (Pre-K-2)
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
13. A Very Improbable Story by Edward Einhorn and Adam Gustavson (2-5)
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 will entertain your students as it teaches a difficult concept.
Math concept: Probability
Also by this author: Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure
14. Zero the Hero by Joan Holub (1-5)
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!
Math concept: Concept of zero
15. Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy (1-3)
A beautifully illustrated book about math that shows how flips, slides, and turns can create amazing symmetrical images.
Math concept: Symmetry
16. A Second, a Minute, a Week With Days in It: A Book About Time by Brian P. Cleary (1-4)
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
Also by this author: Cleary has written a whole series of books called Math is CATegorical, including The Mission of Addition, The Action of Subtraction, A Dollar, a Penny, How Much and How Many, A Fraction’s Goal-Parts of a Whole, and more.
17. Equal Shmequal by Virginia Kroll and Philomena O’Neill (K-3)
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
18. & 19. One Odd Day and My Even Day by Doris Fisher (K-3)
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 numbers
Also by this author: My Half Day
20. Pitter Pattern by Joyce Hesselberth (K-2)
Definitely add this to your list of books about math for kids you use to introduce patterns! This fiction and nonfiction hybrid covers many types of patterns, including simple visual patterns, sound patterns, patterns in nature, and more.
Math concepts: Patterns and variations of pattern types
21. A Remainder of One by Eleanor Pinczes (Pre-K-3)
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 concepts: Grouping, division
22. Seven Golden Rings by Rajani LaRocca (1-5)
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.
Math concepts: Part and whole, addition and subtraction equations, binary numbers