Posted by: **Dave Richeson** | April 14, 2011

## Math books for young children

I have a child in first grade and another who will be in elementary school in a couple years. So I’m on the lookout for good children’s books about mathematics. Below is a collection of books that I’ve read or that have been recommended to me. (I got some of these suggestions from people on Twitter.) I’d really appreciate it if you would add your own suggestions in the comments (if you want to give age-ranges, descriptions, or links, that would be great too). I’ll add more to the list as I find them.

Again, I’d say that the primary focus would be books for kids ages 5-12. Thanks!

- Go Figure!: A Totally Cool Book About Numbers, by Johnny Ball
- Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure, by Hans Enzensberger
- The Sir Cumference series of books by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan
- You Can Count on Monsters: The First 100 Numbers and Their Characters, by Richard Schwartz
- Math Curse, by Jon Scieszka
- What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? A Math Adventure, by Julie Ellis
- The Grapes of Math, by Greg Tang
- Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar, by Masaichiro Anno
- Math: A Book You Can Count On, by Dan Green and Simon Basher
- Grandfather Tang’s Story, by Ann Tompert
- Less Than Zero, by Stuart J. Murphy
- The Greedy Triangle, by Marilyn Burns
- The King’s Chessboard, by David Birch
- The “Real World Math” series by Capstone Publishers
- The Real Princess: A Mathemagical Tale, by Brenda Willams and Sophie Fatus
- How Much is a Million? and Millions to Measure, both written by David M. Schwartz
- A Million Dots, by Andrew Clements
- How High can a dinosaur count and other math mysteries, by Valorie Fisher
- Greater Estimations, by Bruce Goldstone
- 365 Penguins, by Jean-Luc Fromental

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This list is awesome! Thanks.

By:

Dana Ernston April 14, 2011at 4:22 pm

I can recommend Kjartan Poskitt’s Murderous Maths series:

http://www.amazon.com/Kjartan-Poskitt/e/B001HCU8N4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

They’re very well and humorously written, but as the ‘Maths’ indicates, are UK rather than US based, which may or may not be an issue for you!

By:

Jon Ingramon April 14, 2011at 6:32 pm

My kids all loved “G is for Googol” when they were in the 4-7 range.

http://www.amazon.com/G-Googol-Math-Alphabet-Book/dp/1883672589

The partner book “Q is for Quark” was also quite good.

By:

Mark Jameson April 14, 2011at 7:16 pm

I posted my favorites here, and a longer list (less detailed reviews) here. Some of these are great for kids under 5. I so love Quack and Count, but 5 is getting on the old side for that. Some of the Anno books are for younger kids, too.

By:

Sue VanHattumon April 14, 2011at 7:20 pm

The How and Why Book of Mathematics. I read it when I was three, in 1960. It’s where I learned what Infinity, Googol, and Googleplex were. I was 3 years old. I didn’t understand what exponents were, but the book listed Googol with all 100 digits. I thought it weird that same number could be represented with 5 symbols. The COOL thing at three was, BIG numbers … LISTED! Aw, what are you going to do? Kids!

The BEST things your kids have is having YOU as a Dad. The 5 best books for 8-yr-olds to 80, IMO, are in order: 50 Things You Really Should Know About Mathematics, The MaTH bOOK, Mathematics 1001, Euler’s Gem, and The Princeton Companion.

And guess who wrote one of those?

Take em fishing, would be my advice. Lots of Math in fishing. And as an added bonus … time with Dad. If Mom comes along too, a plus. :-)

By:

Steven Colyeron April 14, 2011at 10:54 pm

Recommend the Phantom Tollbooth as well, there’s lots of mathematics in it. Nice list!

By:

dweeson April 14, 2011at 11:00 pm

Daniel very much enjoys The Number Devil. When he was bit younger he loved the Anno book as well, and Can You Count to a Googol? – http://www.albertwhitman.com/content.cfm/bookdetails/Can-You-Count-to-a-Googol

By:

Ed Webbon April 15, 2011at 12:44 am

My own children are (almost) grown, but I love Rabbits Rabbits Everywhere: A Fibonacci Tale by Ann McCallum, ages 4-8.

http://www.amazon.com/Rabbits-Everywhere-Fibonacci-Tale/dp/1570918953

Great Estimations by Bruce Goldstone, grades 1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Estimations-Bruce-Goldstone/dp/0805074465

This is a book with beautiful photographs that teaches estimating.

One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale by Demi, grades 1-4

http://www.amazon.com/One-Grain-Rice-Mathematical-Folktale/dp/059093998X

A lovely book that combines morals, math, and Indian culture to illustrate the doubling function.

The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang, probably 1st-2nd grade is a book of math riddles in rhyme.

http://www.amazon.com/Grapes-Math-Gregory-Tang/dp/043921033X

My kids absolutely LOVED these next two and still remember them fondly. They both deal with numbers and counting.

Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells, pre-school to grade 2

http://www.amazon.com/Bunny-Money-Ruby-Rosemary-Wells/dp/0670886882/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0

We made “bunny money” and a pocket in the back of the book to keep it in and my kids loved counting out the money along with the story.

http://rosemarywells.com/bunny-money.html

Too Many Eggs, by M. Christina Butler, ages 4-8

http://www.amazon.com/Too-Many-Eggs-Counting-Book/dp/0879237414

This book is put of print, but I think it’s well worth searching out. There are eggs to punch out and count into mixing bowls along with the story.

Have fun and thanks for helping me recall some great memories of reading these to/with my sons.

By:

bonnyon April 15, 2011at 10:13 am

Here’s another goodie oldie, which can easily be purchased from Amazon.com: “The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures” by Malba Tahan

Here’s the URL: http://tinyurl.com/3g3ur8r

Have a pleasant reading!

By:

Yan Kow Cheongon April 17, 2011at 7:31 am