Sunday, November 14, 2010

Building a Children's Math Library

Latest Update: Dec 9, 2011...From this date forward I plan to only update the link at the top of the page...go there for ALL the books!!!
I try to update the following list on a regular basis. You can always access it from the link at the top of the home page.

Why Do I Keep Up This List?
1. I'm addicted to math-related children's books.
2. I teach continuing education courses utilizing this list and many of these books.
3. Most importantly, if you're interested in purchasing any of these books through Amazon, all commissions go toward foster care through Grace and Hope at no additional cost to you. I do not keep any money myself; I am hoping to be able to sponsor an additional child in foster care through commissions on this site. Thank you for your help! I've provided links but suggest that you look around if a book looks outrageously high. I've noticed that many of the OOP (out-of-print) books have multiple listings...some for pennies and some for hundreds of dollars, often for the same book. Please let me know of new books on the market.

Linking Children's Literature to Math
A few important notes about this list:

1. Book titles/authors are organized by concept. You may disagree with some of my categorization. I sometimes had a hard time deciding. Know that many of the books could fit multiple categories.

2. Over time, I'll be trying to add OOP notations to books as well as links to "reviews" and "lessons" within my blog.

3. New addition...I'm putting an "*" in front of a few of my favorite titles. Usually it's just because I truly enjoy the book as a good literature. (I was a language arts and literature teacher before I became obsessed with math!) Sometimes a book becomes a favorite because it made a lesson come alive. Sometimes it's just because. Plenty of great books don't have "*"...and some that you love may not be marked.

*The 329th Friend, Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (lesson)
The Action of Subtraction, Brian Cleary
Bunches and Bunches of Bunnies, Louise Mathews
Centipede's 100 Shoes, Tony Ross
Each Orange Had 8 Slices, Paul Giganti
Elevator Magic, Stuart Murphy (subtracting)
The Grapes of Math, Greg Tang
Math Appeal, Greg Tang
Math Fables, Greg Tang
Math For All Seasons, Greg Tang
Math-terpieces, Greg Tang
Monster Math, Anne Miranda
My Little Sister Ate One Hare, Bill Grossman
Panda Math; Learning About Subtraction from Hua Mei and Mei Sheng, Ann Whitehead Nagda
Ready, Set, Hop!, Stuart Murphy (building equations)
The Real Princess: A Mathematical Tale Brenda Williams (variety of problems) 
Rooster's Off to See the World, Eric Carle
Safari Park, Stuart Murphy (finding unknowns)
Shark Swimathon, Stuart Murphy (subtracting two-digit numbers)
Splash!, Ann Jonas
Subtraction Action, Loreen Leedy

Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!, Marilyn Burns

Counting/Early Childhood Topics (a LOT of books exist in this category. My focus is grades 2-5 and up, however, so this category is mostly limited to what's on my shelf. )
Anno's Counting Book, Mitsumasa Anno
Anno's Counting House, Mitsumasa Anno
The April Rabbits, David Cleveland
*The Button Box, Margarette Reid (lesson)
Changes, Changes, Pat Hutchins (wordless picture book, building with blocks)
Count and See, Tana Hoban
*Equal, Shmequal, Virginia Kroll (equality) (review)
How Many Snails?,Paul Giganti
In My Garden, Ward Schumaker
Is It Larger, Is It Smaller, Tana Hoban
Little Quack's Hide and Seek, Lauren Thompson
The M&M's Counting Book, Barbara Barbieri McGrath
Monster Math, Grace Maccarone (Hello Math)
More, Fewer, Less, Tana Hoban (photos)
More or Less Mess, Sheila Keenan (Hello Math)
More Than One, Miriam Schlein
Nine Ducks Nine, Sarah Hayes
One is a Snail Ten is a Crab April Pulley Sayre
Seaweed Soup, Stuart Murphy (matching sets)
Ten Little Elvi, Laura Henson (counting book for Elvis fans!)
Ten Little Fish, Audrey Wood
The Sundae Scoop, Stuart Murphy (combinations)
*Two Greedy Bears, Mirra Ginsburg
What's a Pair? What's a Dozen?, Stephen Swinburne

Bug Dance, Stuart Murphy (My 5yo loves this book. Big Book Edition available)

17 Kings and 42 Elephants, Margaret Mahy
A Remainder of One, Elinor J. Pinczes
Bean Thirteen, Matthew McElligot
Cheetah Math, Ann Whitehead Nagda
The Doorbell Rang, Pat Hutchins 
Divide and Ride, Stuart Murphy
The Great Divide, Dayle Ann Dodds
One Hungry Cat, Joanne Rocklin (Hello Math)

Betcha!, Stuart Murphy
The Candy Corn Contest, Patricia Reilly Giff (chapter bk) (review)
*Great Estimations, Bruce Goldstone (lesson, review)
*Greater Estimations, Bruce Goldstone (author letter, review)
*How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin, Margaret McNamara (review)

Fractions, Decimals, Percents
Apple Fractions, Jerry Pallotta
Eating Fractions, Bruce McMillan
Fabulous Fractions, Lynette Long
Fraction Action, Loreen Leedy
Fraction Fun, David Adler
Full House, Dayle Ann Dodds
The Grizzly Gazette, Stuart J. Murphy
The Hershey’s Fraction Book, Jerry Pallotta
Jump, Kangaroo, Jump!, Stuart Murphy
*Little Numbers and Pictures That Show Just How Little They Are!, Edward Packard
Music Math, Kathleen Collins
*Picture Pie, Ed Emberley (lesson here, here)
Piece=Part=Portion, Scott Gifford
Twizzlers Percentages Book, Jerry Pallotta
The Wishing Club, Donna Jo Napoli (review)

All About Where, Tana Hoban
The Amazing Book of Shapes: Explore Math Through Shapes and Patterns, Lydia Sharman (OOP)
Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes, Stuart J. Murphy (lesson)
*A Cloak for the Dreamer, Aileen Friedman (tessellations)(lesson here, here)
Cubes, Cones, Cylinders, and Spheres, Tana Hoban
Eight Hands Round: A Patchwork Alphabet, Ann Whitford Paul (Quilts)
Grandfather Tang's Story, Ann Tompert (lesson here, here)
*The Greedy Triangle, Marilyn Burns (lesson here, here, here)
Hamster Champs, Stuart Murphy (angles)(review/lesson)
Icky Bug Shapes, Jerry Pallotta 
If You Were a Polygon, Marcie Aboff
If You Were a Quadrilateral, Molly Blaisdell (lesson)
The Incredibly Awesome Box, Joanne Rocklin (Hello Math Reader)
A Light in the Attic (poem, “Shapes”), Shel Silverstein
The Magic Mirror Book, Marion Walter (OOP, symmetry)(lesson)
Magic Mirror Tricks, Marion Walter (OOP, symmetry)(lesson)
*Mouse Shapes, Ellen Stoll Walsh
Museum Shapes, Metropolitan Museum of Art
*Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry, Cindy Neuschwander (lesson)
The Seasons Sewn, Ann Whitford Paul (quilts)
Shapes, Shapes, Shapes, Tana Hoban
The Silly Story of Goldie Locks and the Three Squares, Grace Maccarone (Hello Math)(lesson)
*Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, Cindy Neuschwander
*Sir Cumference and the First Round Table, Cindy Neuschwander (lesson,lesson)
*Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland, Cindy Neuschwander (lesson, lesson)
Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter, Cindy Neuschwander
Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone, Cindy Neuschwander (lesson)
So Many Circles, So Many Squares, Tana Hoban
*I Spy Shapes in Art, Lucy Micklethwait (lesson)
Square Cat, Elizabeth Schoonmaker 
Three Pigs, One Wolf, and Seven Magic Shapes, Grace Maccarone (lesson)
The Village of Round and Square Houses, Ann Grifalconi
When a Line Bends…A Shape Begins, Rhonda Greene
Zachary Zormer, Shape Transformer, Joanne Reisberg

Graphs, Charts, Coordinates, Data
Bart’s Amazing Charts, Dianne Ochiltree (Hello Math Reader)
The Best Vacation Ever, Stuart Murphy 
*The Fly on the Ceiling: A Math Myth, Dr. Julie Glass (Step into Reading)
The Long Wait, Annie Cobb (Math Matters Reader)
Tiger Math, Nagda & Bickel

The 100-Pound Problem, Jennifer Dussling
*Balancing Act, Ellen Stoll Walsh
Beanstalk; the Measure of a Giant, Ann McCallum (lesson)
The Biggest Fish, Sheila Keenan (Hello Math)
Biggest, Strongest, Fastest, Steve Jenkins
*Counting on Frank, Rod Clement
*The Dragon's Scales Sarah Albee (weight) (review)
*Equal Shmequal, Virginia Kroll (review)
Hottest, Coldest, Highest, Deepest, Steve Jenkins
*How Big is a Foot?, Rolf Myller (lesson)
How Big Is It?, Ben Hillman
How Long Is It?, Donna Loughran
How Long or How Wide?, Brian Cleary
How Tall, How Short, How Faraway, David Adler
*If Dogs Were Dinosaurs, David Schwartz (Ratio/Proportion)
*If You Hopped Like a Frog, David Schwartz (Ratio/Proportion)
*Inch by Inch, Leo Lionni (lesson here, here)
Inchworm and a Half, Elinor Pinczes
Incredible Comparisons, Russell Ash (boys in my class love this book!)
Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? Robert Wells
Jim and the Beanstalk, Raymond Briggs
Length, Henry Arthur
*The Librarian Who Measured the Earth, Kevin Hawkes (review)
Me and the Measure of Things, Joan Sweeney
Measuring Penny, Loreen Leedy
Millions to Measure, David Schwartz
More For Me!, Sydnie Meltzer Kleinhenz (Hello Math)
Pastry School in Paris: An Adventure in Capacity, Cindy Neuschwander
Pezzettino, Leo Lionni (area)(Mathwire lesson)
Pigs in the Pantry, Amy Axelrod
Racing Around, Stuart J. Murphy
Slower Than a Snail, Anne Schreiber (Hello Math)
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!, Marilyn Burns (area, perimeter)
Super Sand Castle Saturday, Stuart Murphy
Ten Times Better, Richard Michelson (multiplying by ten)
Twelve Snails to One Lizard, Susan Hightower
Twenty-One Elephants, Phil Bildner (see lesson)
Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing, April Jones Prince (see lesson)
Weight, Henry Arthur
What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew?, Robert Wells
*Who Sank the Boat?, Pamela Allen (lesson)

26 Letters and 99 Cents, Tana Hoban
A Dollar for Penny, Julie Glass
*Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, Judith Viorst
*Arthur's Funny Money, Lilian Hoban (review)
The Big Buck Adventure, Gill & Tobola
Benny's Pennies, Pat Brisson
The Coin Counting Book, Rozanne Williams (review)
Growing Money, Gail Karlitz (resource/reference)
How Much is that Guinea Pig in the Window?, Joanne Rocklin (Hello Math)
How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty, Nathan Zimelman (review)
If You Made a Million, David Schwartz
Jelly Beans for Sale, Bruce McMillan (review)
Jenny Found a Penny, Trudy Harris
Max's Money, Teddy Slater (Hello Math)
*Monster Money, Grace Macarone (Hello Math)(My boys love this)
My Rows and Piles of Coins, Tololwa Mollel (setting: Tanzania)
*Once Upon a Dime; A Math Adventure, Nancy Kelly Allen (review)
The Penny Pot, Stuart Murphy
Pigs Will Be Pigs: Fun with Math and Money, Amy Axelrod
A Quarter from the Tooth Fairy, Caren Holtzman (Hello Math)
The Story of Money, Betsy Maestro
Tight Times, Barbara Shook Hazen
The Toothpaste Millionaire, Jean Merrill (chapter book)
*Where the Sidewalk Ends (poem, "Smart"), Shel Silverstein (lesson here, here)

Multiplication, Skip Counting, Doubling, Square Numbers
The 512 Ants on Sullivan Street, Carol Losi (Hello Math Reader), (doubling, add, multiply)
A Grain of Rice, Helena Clare Pittman (doubling)
Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream, Cindy Neuschwander
Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar, Mitsumasa Anno
Arctic Fives Arrive, Elinor Pinczes (skip counting by 5s)
Bats on Parade, Kathi Appelt (mult, square #s)
*The Best of Times, Greg Tang
Bunches and Bunches of Bunnies, Louise Mathews
Counting Coconuts, Contando Cocos  (counting by 2s,3s,4s,5s,10s...#s also in Spanish)
Double the Ducks, Stuart Murphy
Each Orange Had 8 Slices: A Counting Book, Paul Giganti, Jr.(multiply, add, count)
How Do You Count a Dozen Ducklings?, In Seon Chae
*How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?, Margaret McNamara (review)
*The King's Chessboard, David Birch (doubling)(lesson here, here)
The King's Commissioners, Aileen Friedman (addition, skip counting)
The M&M's Counting Book, Barbara McGrath (counting, add/subtract/multiply)
More M&M's Math, Barbara McGrath (many topics)
My Full Moon is Square, Elinor Pinczes (square #s)
*One Grain of Rice, Demi (doubling)(lesson here, here)
One Hundred Hungry Ants, Elinor Pinczes
One Hundred Ways to Get to 100, Jerry Pallotta (many topics)
*Sea Squares, Joy N. Hulme (square numbers) (lesson here, here)
Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens, Cindy Neuschwander
Stay in Line, Teddy Slater (Hello Math), (add, multiply)
Spunky Monkeys on Parade, Stuart Murphy (count by 2s, 3s, 4s)
Too Many Kangaroo Things to Do!, Stuart Murphy (multiplying)
*Two of Everything,  Lily Toy Hong (doubling)
*Two Ways to Count to Ten, Ruby Dee

Number and Operations, Number Sense (lg/sm)
*100 Ways to Celebrate 100 Days, Bruce Goldstone (100 day celebrations)(review, author)
*365 Penguins, Jean-Luc Fromental (review, lesson)
Big Numbers: And Pictures that Show Just How Big They Are!, Edward Packard
Can You Count to a Googol?, Robert E. Wells
Dinosaur Deals, Stuart Murphy (equivalent values)
How Big is It?, Ben Hillman (large numbers)
How Many Candles?, Helen Griffith
*How Much is a Million?, David Schwartz
If You Made a Million, David Schwartz
Less Than Zero, Stuart Murphy
*Little Numbers: And Pictures that Show Just How Little They Are!, Edward Packard
A Million Dots, Andrew Clements 
On Beyond a Million, David Schwartz
Zero: Is It Something? Is It Nothing?, Claudia Zaslavsky (OOP)
Zero Is the Leaves on the Tree, Betsy Franco

Odd/Even Numbers
*Even Steven and Odd Todd, Kathryn Cristaldi (Hello Math)
Missing Mittens, Stuart Murphy
Ocean Counting: Odd Numbers, Jerry Pallotta

One Hundred Days of School
*100 Ways to Celebrate 100 Days, Bruce Goldstone (review, author)
The One Hundredth Day of School!, Abby Klein (chapter book)

*Growing Patterns,  Sarah Campbell (Fibonnaci #s)
*Pattern Bugs, Trudy Harris (lesson)
*Pattern Fish, Trudy Harris (lesson)
*Patterns in Peru: An Adventure in Patterning, Cindy Neuschwander (review)
The Rabbit Problem, Emily Graves (review)

Place Value
Earth Day—Hooray!, Stuart Murphy (place value) 
Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens, Cindy Neuschwander (base 10)(lesson)

Probability, Data Analysis, Graphs
Do You Wanna Bet? Your Chance to Find Out About Probability, Jean Cushman (chapter bk)
Pigs at Odds, Amy Axelrod
Probably Pistachio, Stuart J. Murphy
Socrates and the Three Little Pigs, Mitsumasa Anno
A Very Improbable Story, Edward Einhorn (review)

Problem Solving
*365 Penguins, Jean-Luc Fromental (review, lesson)
Anno's Hat Tricks, Mitsumasa Anno
Anno’s Magic Seeds, Anno (lots in here!)
The Case of the Backyard Treasure, Joanne Rocklin (Hello Math Reader)
The Further Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat, Theoni Pappas (chapter bk)
Math Curse, Jon Scieszka (humor)
Math Trek, Paterson & Henderson (chapter book)
Painless Math Word Problems, Marcie Abramson (chapter book)
You Can, Toucan, Math, David Adler

Roman Numerals
Fun With Roman Numerals, David Adler (new!)
Roman Numerals, David Adler (this is the book I own which I don't see on Amazon. I'm wondering if it's an older version of Fun With Roman Numerals??)
Roman Numerals I to MM, Arthur Geisert

Spatial Sense/Direction
Pigs in the Corner, Amy Axelrod

Square Numbers
Bunches and Bunches of Bunnies, Louise Mathews
My Full Moon is Square, Elinor Pinczes
*Sea Squares, Joy Hulme (lesson here, here)

All About Time, Jeunesse & Verdet
All in a Day, Mitsumasa Anno, et al
Bats Around the Clock, Kathi Appelt
Chimp Math, Nagda & Bickel
Clocks and More Clocks, Pat Hutchins
Cluck O'Clock, Kes Gray 
Four Season Make a Year, Anne Rockwell
Just a Minute!, Teddy Slater (Hello Math)
My First Book of Time, Claire Llewellyn
On the Same Day in March, Marilyn Singer
Telling Time, Jules Older
Telling Time with Big Mama Cat, Dan Harper

********** Additional Assorted Topics in Math **********

Activity Books
Circles: Fun Ideas for Getting A-Round in Math, Catherine Ross 
*Math Games & Activities from Around the World, Claudia Zaslavsky  
*The Secret Life of Math: discover how (and why) number have survived from the cave dwellers to us, Ann McCallum (lesson)

MathART: Projects and Activities, Carolyn Ford Brunetto (teacher book)
*Math-terpieces, Greg Tang
Museum Shapes, Metropolitan Museum of Art

*Blockhead: the Life of Fibonacci
*Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Jean Lee Latham (chapter book, Newbery Award, maritime biography)
*Mathematicians Are People, Too, Reimer (two volumes, biographies of mathematicians)
Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia, D. Anne Love
*Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein, Don Brown

Fact & Photo Books (fun for kids to share during gathering time)
*A Closer Look, Mary McCarthy
Incredible Comparisons, Stephen Biesty
Life-Size Aquarium, Teruyuki Komiya
Penguins Swim But Don't Get Wet; and Other Amazing Facts About Polar Animals, Berger

*The History of Counting, Denise Schmandt-Besserat (picture book, advanced) 
The Warlord's Beads, Virgian Walton Pilegard (history of abacus)

Count Me a Rhyme: Animal Poems by the Numbers, Jane Yolen
Mathematickles!, Betsy Franco

Puzzles, Rhymes and Riddles (I LOVE opening math sessions with things from this category!)
Amazing Math Puzzles, Adam Hart-Davis
Arithme-Tickle: An Even Number of Odd Riddle-Rhymes, J. Patrick Lewis
*Easy Math Puzzles, David A. Adler
How Many Feet? How Many Tails?, Marilyn Burns (Hello Math)
Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School, Louis Sachar (chapter book)

World With No Numbers (great to spur creative writing)
A Day With No Math, Marilyn Kaye (OOP)(lesson)
Missing Math, Loreen Leady (lesson)
Neil's Numberless World, Lucy Coats (OOP)(lesson)

Chapter Books (or more advanced, reference)
The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat, Theoni Pappas
Arithmetricks, Edward Julius
Body Math, Penny Dowdy
The Candy Corn Contest, Patricia Reilly Giff (early chapter book)
*Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Jean Lee Latham (chapter book, Newbery Award, maritime biography)
Chasing Vermeer, Blue Balliett
Fractals, Googols and Other Mathematical Tales, Theoni Pappas
The Further Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat, Theoni Pappas
G is for Googol; A Math Alphabet Book, David Schwartz
Go Figure!, Johnny Ball
How Math Works, Carol Vorderman
Isador A. Inchworm's Magic Math Glasses (old, but good)(lesson)
The Longitude Prize, Joan Dash
The Man Who Counted, Malba Tahan
Mathemagic (Childcraft, old but good)
Murderous Maths series by Kjartan Poskitt. You can sometimes find them used and inexpensive on Amazon, but there are a few dealers who sell them new in the U.S.
*The Number Devil, Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Sideways Arithmetic From Wayside School, Louis Sachar
The Toothpaste Millionaire, Jean Merrill (chapter book)
Walk Past the Wolf: A Mythmatical Battles Adventure, Scrivener Minion

Book list © 2010-11 love2learn2day. All rights reserved. You are welcome to link to this page. Please don't copy/paste the list onto another site. It took me a ton of work! :)

At a later date I'll add teacher reference books. And I'll be continually posting lessons that use the books listed here. :)


  1. This is a great resource! I'll put a permanent link here from my blog. I have lots of recommendations for books to add.

    The Cat in Numberland (on infinity), by Ivar Ekeland

    Quack and Count, by Keith Baker (number pairs, which goes with addition and subtraction)

    The Man Who Counted, by Malba Tahan (chapter books, cool number puzzles in a story)

    How Hungry Are You? by Donna Napoli (division)

    I've reviewed all of these at A Dozen Delectable Math books.

    When you're ready to add the teacher reference books, if you email me first, I can give you my list.


  2. Thanks so much, Sue! I'll be sure to look at your link and I'd love to see your reference book list. I'll get in touch with you sometime soon!

  3. i have bookmarked the page. many of these are my favorite books
    thanks for posting

  4. Wow! What a marvelous resource. Thank you!

  5. Ok, so this list is just AMAZING. I am going to link to this on Serious Moms, for sure! And for now, I just printed a copy for myself (I hope that's ok) to look up all of these at the library. I think this is going to help A LOT. I'm struggling with 1 particular kid with math. When he get's it, he GETS it--but it takes him a while to get it....Like a good hour working on one math worksheet, while I get sleepy and totally bored and frustrated...Ugh. Maybe a different approach will work better!! Yay! Thank you! :)

  6. Wow, what a fabulous list! And thank you so much for including my books. I'm working on a picture book right now on a math topic that has been almost totally neglected, yet kids start learning about it even in Kindergarten... wish I could spill the beans right now. It should be out in Fall of 2011 if all goes well. I'm bookmarking this list, too!

  7. Thank you! Are they listed according sequence? That would help so much, as I would know what to buy first.

  8. Hi Sara,

    No, no sequence. I don't exclusively use children's books to teach math, rather I pull them according to concept when we're studying that idea in our lessons.

  9. Some more books:
    The Phantom Tollbooth, Lost in Lexicon (amazing book!), Math and other Ideas Come Alive!, Mathematica Fantasia, The Dot and the Line.

  10. This is a fantastic resource, thank you for sharing. I would love to get some of these from the library or Amazon for my two. As the range is so wide and I can't get them all, is there any way of rating those you or others found most successful in the different areas and also giving an idea of age appropriateness?

    1. HI and thank you! If you look at the updated list (on the index at the top of the page), you'll find more links to lesson ideas and book reviews. That will help. I also have my own rating/star system, although it's hard to rate them because what I like changes so much depending on the exact concept I'm teaching. For age appropriateness, you can start with the suggestions from Amazon, although that can really vary as well. I try to focus on concept, because if the concept fits, it's likely the age will, even if the suggested age is slightly higher or lower. You might just want to check out a stack and see what your kids like and then get another stack, etc... Thanks for stopping by!


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