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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Math story books

My children love stories, and I love reading them aloud.

That is why I was really happy to find that there were some good read-aloud picture books that also dealt with math concepts from A Thomas Jefferson Education (Ray's Arithmetic was among the books recommended!). I took the list from the website, then found the books on Amazon, looked for related ones, and typed the titles into our library's search engine. I eliminated those that were too obviously "schoolish," since I would be bored senseless having to read them aloud, anyways!

I have been picking up these titles as they have become available and reading them aloud to the children. Some have gone over better than others, but all were fun (at least for me). Below I have compiled a list of a lot of the books I found, the ones I have read have a bit of a review. Even though these books are appealing to elementary ages, my older students have benefited. A sneaky way to get the older children to read them is to have them read aloud to their younger siblings.

Books by Cindy Neuschwander:

Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens--the children really liked this one. I think it gave them a more clear reason why we count by 10's, 100's, and 1,000's.

Sir Cumference and the Viking's Map--this one was a bit less interesting, as the story was sort of "hurried" in places, although I think they did actually get the X and Y grids for higher math.

Pastry School in Paris--this was our funnest so far. The three-year-old noticed right away that the drinks from the refrigerator did not look as though they were "fair" (one was in a short, fat bottle, the other in a slim, tall one), so we went into the kitchen and I used some vessels in our cupboard to explain why they actually held the same amount of liquid. She was amazed, along with the 5 and 8-year-old.

I have a number of books by Neuschwander on hold from the library, which we plan on enjoying thoroughly!

Books by Mitsumasa Anno

Anno's Math Games II--there isn't a lot of explanation here, but there are a lot of opportunities for thinking. The situations presented give the reader enough information to try and solve the different problems presented, but the answers are not immediately obvious.

Anno's Magic Seeds--this one contains a very human story, with math concepts in tow. It is the quiet, reflective sort of book that you walk through slowly on a rainy afternoon.

Books by Greg Tang

Math Potatoes--as with all of his math books, the rhyme carries one through the different math proposals, and gives one ample opportunities for counting and figuring, with computer graphics to match.

Math For Every Season--much of the same, only different situations.

Here are some that I haven't picked up yet:

Books by Eleanor J. Pinczes:

100 Hungry Ants
A Remainder of One

Books by Dayle Ann Dodds

Full House: An Invitation to Fractions
Minnie's Diner: A Multiplying Menu
The Great Divide: A Mathematical Marathon

What are some good math books you have been reading aloud to your children?

* At this writing, I do not have an affiliate relationship with Amazon for the sale of these books. I offer these links as a courtesy.


  1. My absolute favorite is The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns.

    1. I'll have to try to find this one...

  2. Thanks for sharing. I'm definitely checking to see if our library system has any. They sound very interesting.

  3. I just had to share. I went right from here to our library page, copied in the author's name and a whole page came up with her books.

    Off to do some holds!

    1. So glad you could use this information--I never knew there were so many fun titles, did you?

  4. We have enjoyed "Mathematicians Are People, Too" volumes 1 & 2!

    1. Sadly, our library does not have this one!

  5. We have "One Hundred Hungry Ants" littles love it! I was surprised that they wanted it read to them again over some other new titles in our book basket.