Math is all around us. It's in the patterns of nature, shapes of our homes, and numbers on our devices. Math is marvelous, but understanding mathematical concepts can often be a huge hurdle. What's a great way of learning to love math? It's with books!
To better understand math concepts like counting, subtraction, and geometry, books can go a long way! From counting books to picture books to story books, each type of book can provide its own valuable lessons on learning and teaching math.
In this guide, we share the best math books for kids! Selections are organized by math subject with a focus on pre-k, elementary school, and pre-teen. That way, you can easily find a book that fits your needs.
Ready for a math adventure? Let's begin!
The Power of Children's Books
Oftentimes, math textbooks can be... well... a little boring or intimidating.
Transforming math problems and concepts into fun math stories, riddles, and visual journeys are some of the best ways to instill in kids the wonder and meaningfulness of mathematics.
Whether it's learning to count to 10, understanding the concept of a million, or exploring the fascinating Fibonacci sequence, there's a book on this list for every child! Plus, these are great homeschool resources or supplements to current curriculum.
Below, you'll find recommendations in the following sections: picture books, counting books, telling time books, measurement books, addition and subtraction books, multiplication books, and geometry & shapes books.
Math Picture Books
Though virtually all books in other sections of this guide can be considered picture books, the following recommendations represent the top picks for this category.
12 Ways to Get to 11
Written by Eve Merriam, 12 Ways to Get to 11 makes counting so much fun!
Ideal for ages 4-8, this picture book takes a witty and colorful approach to adding to 11. And with 40 pages of imaginative illustrations, young kids will love learning to count in no time!
Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci
Authored by Joseph D'Agnese, with illustrations by John O'Brien, Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci follows a young Leonardo Fibonacci in medieval Italy. He daydreamed so much that locals called him Blockhead.
As he got older, Fibonacci traveled the world. Along his journey, he noticed that many things in nature seemed to follow a pattern. This eventually led him to uncover what is now known as the Fibonacci Sequence!
Written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith, Math Curse is said to be the type of book that can make math a child's favorite subject.
Would you like to see & hear a reading of this book? Visit the Geekie Teachie YouTube channel to view a Math Curse Read Aloud video!
The Chicken Problem
High on kid appeal and math problem-solving, The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley takes readers on a visual adventure with Peg and Cat. As the title implies, these two characters have a major chicken problem. And they need to solve it fast!
Equal parts silliness, unique characters, and clever math education, this book encourages young kids to develop math skills while enjoying a funny & charming story.
Learning to count is a fundamental skill. Here are our top picks to get young children enthusiastic about the world of counting!
Count to Love!
We start with a board book that makes counting adorable. From fingers to toes to bellies, this book utilizes rhyming text and precious baby illustrations to encourage even the youngest child to love learning how to count. It's also a great excuse for snuggle time!
By Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney (New York Times best-selling authors), Count to Love! is part of the Bright Brown Baby publishing program. This program highlights and celebrates Black and brown families and babies.
Each Orange Had 8 Slices
Looking for a book that makes real-world math lessons come to life? This one helps boost both basic math comprehension and visual literacy skills! Colorful and engaging, readers will be captivated by this perennial favorite.
Written by Paul Giganti Jr. and illustrated by Donald Crews, Each Orange Had 8 Slices: A Counting Book is not only perfect for younger kids just learning to count but also older kids looking for ways to improve their addition and even multiplication skills.
One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab
Filled with beach themes and counting creatures, this book shines as one of the best ways to go from counting ones to counting tens!
Created by the duo of April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre, One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab enlists the help of friendly snails, crabs, and various other characters to bring to life a sunny world of counting. The book is ideal for ages 5-8.
Telling Time Books
Do you or someone else want to learn how to read a clock? Here are the best books for telling time!
Want to learn how to read time on digital and analog clocks? This book teaches both skills! From the elements of time—seconds, minutes, hours—to why people need to tell time, this book explores much more than just the rudimentary process of reading a clock.
Telling Time, written by Jules Older and illustrated by Megan Halsey, clear and easy-to-understand for ages 5-8. The clock illustrations alone are worth a look at this book!
Telling Time with Big Momma Cat
Big Mama Cat has to remember many important things to do throughout the day, and it's made possible by being able to read the clock! From sunrise to sunset, readers get to follow her daily adventures and learn all about telling time.
Dan Harper's Telling Time with Big Momma Cat helps young kids learn how to tell time via a clock with movable plastic hands. Composed of 36 pages, this book is ideal for ages 4-7.
What Time is It Mr. Crocodile
With humor, this book wins over its audience every time! If you're looking to learn the concept of telling time and scheduling, this is a funny & informative read!
Written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Doug Cushman, What Time is It Mr. Crocodile? is a fan favorite involving some mischievous monkeys and a crocodile that help teach about two important concepts: telling time and the importance of friendship.
From beds to dogs, learning how to measure is made to be fun & memorable in the following math books!
Inch by Inch
Being built to measure is pretty useful. This is certainly the case for the lovable inchworm character in this book! This is a whimsical read that can be enjoyed by both young listeners and older readers.
As a classic by Leo Lionni, Inch by Inch is a great introduction to all things measurable, from a toucan's beak to robin's tail. But the captivating question is, can you measure a song? You'll have to read this popular book to find out for yourself!
How Big is a Foot
It's pretty common knowledge how big beds are now, but there was a time when beds weren't even yet invented! In this story, the King wants to give the Queen a bed as her birthday present. The only problem is, how big is a bed?
Both written and illustrated by Rolf Myller, How Big is a Foot explores not only how to find the measurements of a bed but also how to measure in general. This book is also a great way to comprehend how to stand six feet apart!
Tasked with a big homework assignment, Lisa is on a mission to measure! Using standard tools like measuring tape and not-so-standard items like paper clips, she sets out on a mission to explore the world of measurement with the help of her dog, Penny.
Written by Loreen Leedy, Measuring Penny is a delightful exploration of common measurements: length, width, height, volume, and much more. This book, both funny and engaging, will win the heart of even the most math-hesitant kid!
Addition and Subtraction Books
Those in search of the fundamentals of adding and subtracting will enjoy these books!
Who says math can't be hilarious and fun? This story is both goofy and appealing to kids ages 5-10. A story that otherwise should be simple to tell is complicated, so the narrator has to use math to keep track of the ever-changing situation.
Written by Asia Citro and illustrated by Richard Watson, Pigeon Math wins readers and listeners over with its funny delivery (albeit from a narrator that's having a hard time telling the story because of flying pigeons). This is a must-read for children!
Rooster's Off to See the World
Join the adventures of a rooster as it is joined by other animals—cats, frogs, turtles, and fish—for a vibrant exploration of the world of addition and subtraction!
Eric Carle, award-winning author, captivates the young imagination in Rooster's Off to See the World. Through humorous text and colorful illustrations, this book makes math concepts fun and accessible for pre-K and other younger kids.
What's New at the Zoo
Combine animal adventures and addition, and you have a winning combination. This 32-page book makes learning the fundamentals as fun as a day at the zoo!
Written by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Joan Waites, What's New at the Zoo? is suitable for children in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. On top of that, readers get to learn about zoo animal diets and what real-life animal babies are called!
Ready to learn about multiplication? The following reads make it fun & easy!
Amanda Bean's Amazing Dreams
What's the fastest way to count? In this story, Amanda finds out it's through multiplication! Representing the fifth book in a series by Cindy Neuschwander, this 40-page book is a top pick for aspiring multipliers.
Originally published in 1998, Amanda Bean's Amazing Dreams is a classic children's story that combines funny illustrations with insightful text. Follow along as Amanda's love of counting grows to include the ease of multiplication!
Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar
Want to learn multiplication as well as factorials (a special kind of numerical relationship)? Then you should definitely get your hands on a copy of this elegant book!
Courtesy of the writing partners Masaichiro Anno and Mitsumasa Anno, Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar represents a beautiful melding of images and words to teach both the abstract and concrete elements of multiplication.
Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin
Starring the classic (and mischievous) character of Rumpelstiltskin, this multiplication story book takes its audience through a clever adventure of multiplication.
Authored by Pam Calvert and illustrated by Wayne Geehan, Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin follows the title character as he's ready to collect payment after 10 years. This certainly is a fun blend of fairytale and mathematics!
Division and Fractions Books
Division and fractions are made easy to understand with these books!
Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure
Dr. Brok is up to his villainous ways. Fortunately, George Cornelius Factor (GCF for short) is on the case! In order to break the disguise that Dr. Brok has placed on fractions, GCF invents a ray gun that shrinks them into their lowest common denominators.
Originally published in 2014, Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure explores fractions in the truest form through an entertaining & creative storyline. Writer Edward Einhorn and illustrator David Clark make fractions fun!
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All
With its real-life math scenarios, Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! offers a recipe sure to win the hearts of all readers. Follow along as Mr. and Mrs. Comfort prepare their famous spaghetti and meatballs for a family reunion. But what about the seating plans?
Filled with wit and humor from the author, Marilyn Burns, the story offers equal parts entertainment and math education (along with ample exercise of math skills). Time to serve up spaghetti, meatballs, and math!
The Lion's Share
We cap off books on division and fractions with The Lion's Share. The story begins with Ant being invited to a dinner. When it comes to dessert time, the other guests are greedy, leaving Ant and the King with only a crumb.
Written by Matthew McElligott, the children's book ponders the notion of how many cakes are really needed to feed the King, as the guests term the event into a contest. Now, you can "halve" your cake and eat it, too!
Geometry and Shapes
Circles, squares, triangles, lines, angles... the language of geometry is accessible and enjoyable courtesy of the following books.
Sir Cumference and the First Round Table
Packed with word play and geometry problem-solving, this book follows the characters of Sir Cumference and his family as they help King Arthur by building the perfect round table around which to discuss plans of peace.
Heralded as one of the best mathematical stories, Sir Cumference and the First Round Table is an educational adventure that makes concepts of geometry easy to understand via a medieval background.
The Greedy Triangle
What happens when a triangle no longer wants to be a triangle? Not happy with its current shape, a dissatisfied triangle enlists the help of a shapeshifter to change into a new shape. But by the end of the story, the triangle realizes it's happy being a triangle!
Written by Marilyn Burns, The Greedy Triangle explores different shapes like quadrilaterals, pentagons, and much more. It also instills the value of loving oneself for exactly who you are and your uniqueness.
What's Your Angle, Pythagoras
Filled with puns and wordplay, this book is all about angles and the Pythagorean theorem! Follow along with the adventures of young Pythagoras as he unveils the mysteries of the fundamental math equation.
What's Your Angle, Pythagoras? is the go-to children's book to learn about the Pythagorean theorem, as well as test one's math skills. Written by Julie Ellis and illustrated by Phyllis Hornung, this acclaimed read is a nice addition to any STEM/STEAM curriculum!
Need Help or Want to Keep Learning?
We hope you enjoyed our recommendations on the best math books for kids!
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