You can use books about math for kids to have fun with your math class, introduce a new concept, or teach a subject in a new way. It’s even better news: There are a lot of great options! We’ve put together this list of some of our favorite authors and stories, both new and old, to help students have great math talks. People who click on the links on this page might make money for us. You can trust us to only show you things that our team likes!
The Animals Would Not Sleep! by Sara Levine (Pre-K-1)
Marco needs to get his stuffed animals in order before going to bed. He tries to organize them in a lot of different ways, but they just won’t stay where they are. Kids will want to give him ideas.
Attributes and sorting are two math concepts:
They’ll want to add the whole Storytelling Math series to their collection of books about math for kids. Each book shows math concepts in real-life situations and has beautiful illustrations with characters of color. The extension ideas at the end of each story are also great to share with your family to help them think about math at home.
Ten on a Twig by Lo Cole (Pre-K-1)
Ten cute and colorful birds are sitting on a branch when they start to fall off one by one. Subtraction is a hard concept to teach to young kids, but this story makes it easy to understand. A few math concepts: counting and subtracting.
Triangle, Square, and Circle by Mac Barnett (K-4)
It is fun for kids to laugh at and see silly pictures in the Shapes trilogy. Great for talking about the different characteristics of different shapes in a fun way.
shapes, size in relation to other things
How Many? (Talking Math) by Christopher Danielson (Pre-K-2)
A different kind of counting book is what this one is. Each page has a picture that makes you think about what to count and how. A math book for kids that will make number talks interesting is here!
Counting, explaining mathematical thinking are some of the math concepts.
Which One Doesn’t Belong? by Christopher Danielson (Pre-K-2)
It’s a good way to keep the math talk going. You can talk about the attributes of shapes and how they are the same and different. The shapes on each page can be looked at in many different ways.
math ideas: Shapes, properties.
Place Value by David Adler (1-5)
The story about the monkeys jumping on the bed is one of my favorite ones, too. Enjoy this version that tells the story of how monkeys at Banana Cafe made one very big banana cupcake for all of them to eat.
Place value is a math idea. Mystery Math: A First Book of Algebra and Telling Time are also written by this person. How tall, how short, and how far away are you? Then, get in shape! It was a lot of fun to play with triangles and other polygons. It’s called “A Monster Book of Dimensions.” It also talks about “Millions, Billions, and Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers.”
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! by Marilyn Burns (Pre-K-3)
Mr. and Mrs. Comfort are having a family reunion, and they need to set up the tables so that everyone in the family can eat their delicious spaghetti and meatballs at the same time. Marilyn Burns, a math guru, wrote this funny story.
Area and perimeter are two math concepts. They also wrote The Greedy Triangle, Math for Smart Pants, and The $1.00 Word Riddle Book.
Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan (2-7)
Brave knights, a strong ruler, and a problem that needs to be solved with math are in this story. Great for teaching geometry in a fun and easy way. People use math to figure out things like the radius and diameter of a circle, and the circumference.
Also by this person:
The Sir Cumference series teaches kids about math, from algebra and geometry to measurement and fractions, in a fun way.
Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford (K-5)
Delightful illustrations and a dreamy young girl who thinks about the size of the universe make a very difficult concept easier to understand and interesting.
Limitless numbers and infinity are two math concepts.
Billions of Bricks: A Counting Book About Building by Kurt Cyrus (Pre-K-2)
Watch as this busy construction crew puts together bricks by twos, fives, and tens to build impressive structures. Kids will love the rhymes and illustrations in this book.
Math: Counting in quantities
A Very Improbable Story by Edward Einhorn and Adam Gustavson (2-5)
He wakes up one morning with a strange cat on his head. The only way it will let him off is if Ethan plays the game of chance with it. This wacky book will make your students laugh as it teaches them a hard thing.
Probability is a math concept.
Also by this person: An adventure in math with fractions disguised as something else
Zero the Hero by Joan Holub (1-5)
This is a great story for kids to learn about the value of zero as a placeholder in our number system. The illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld are so cute that kids will love them. There would be no way to count past the number nine without Zero the Hero!
Math: The idea of zero.
Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy (1-3)
It’s a great book about math that shows how flips, slides, and turns can make amazing symmetrical images.
Symmetry is a math concept.
Math: A Number Mystery, The Great Graph Contest, Fraction Action, and Mission: Addition are all written by this person, as well.
A Second, a Minute, a Week With Days in It: A Book About Time by Brian P. Cleary (1-4)
A fun book with silly characters and perfect rhymes that teaches more than just how to tell time. It also talks about the tricky concept of relative time.
Time is a math concept.
All of these books are written by the same person: Cleary has written a whole series of books called Math is CATegorical. They include The Mission of Addition, The Action of Subtraction, A Dollar and a Penny, How Much and How Many, and more.
Equal Shmequal by Virginia Kroll and Philomena O’Neill (K-3)
Mouse and her friends want to play tug-of-war, but it’s hard to make the sides even. This cute story teaches about balance and equality.
Equality is a math concept.
One Odd Day and My Even Day by Doris Fisher (K-3)
Two more rhyming stories with bright, busy pictures that kids will love. A boy wakes up one day and finds that things are a little weird. As a read-aloud or for people who want to read on their own, this is a great book. You can look through the detailed pictures to find the odd or even items.
Math: Odd and even numbers
Also by this person: My Half Day
Pitter Pattern by Joyce Hesselberth (K-2)
Check out this book! It’s a great way to show kids patterns in math. This book is a mix of fiction and nonfiction. It talks about many types of patterns, like simple visual patterns, sound patterns, patterns in nature, and more.
Math: Patterns and different types of patterns.
A Remainder of One by Eleanor Pinczes (Pre-K-3)
Trying to figure out how to divide their troops into equal groups for the parade march without leaving any stragglers. Rhyming book about how numbers are put together and taken apart. It’s a good way for kids to think about how numbers are put together and taken apart.
A math concept: grouping and division.Another book by this author is Inchworm and a Half, which is about an inchworm and a half.
Seven Golden Rings by Rajani LaRocca (1-5)
Many people can enjoy this story about a clever young Indian boy. Bhagat has to figure out how to stretch his family’s only money, seven golden rings, as far as possible. This leads to some interesting math. To keep older students interested, use the afterword to show them how to write numbers in binary.
Part and whole, addition and subtraction equations, and binary numbers are some of the math concepts.