Finding and Using Mathematical Children's Literature with Elementary Students

The following are children’s books series that are mathematical in nature.

Anno's Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno (1986). (Other Anno titles include: Anno's Counting House, Anno's Math Games, Anno's Math Games II, Anno's Math Games III, Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar, Anno's Magic Seeds.) Published by the Putnam & Grosset Group.

The Brainy Day Books Series by Marilyn Burns and others. (Titles include: The $1.00 Word Riddle Book, Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream, A Cloak for the Dreamer, The Greedy Triangle, The King's Commissioners, and Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!: A Mathematical Story.) Published by Math Solutions Publications.

Count Your Way Through Afghanistan by Jim Haskins (2006). (Also available: Count Your Way Through Africa, The Arab World, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Greece, Iran, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.) Published by Carolrhoda Books.

The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang (2001). (Other Tang titles include: The Best of Times, Math Appeal: Mind Stretching Math Riddles, Math Fables, Math Fables Too, Math for All Seasons, Math Potatoes: Mind-Stretching Brain Food, Math-terpieces.) Published by Scholastic Inc.

The Hello Math Reader Series. (Titles include: Monster Money (Level 1), How Many Feet? How Many Tails? A Book of Math Riddles (Level 2), Even Steven and Odd Todd (Level 3), and How Much Is That Guinea Pig in the Window? (Level 4).) Published by Scholastic Inc.

How Much Is a Million?, If You Made a Million, and Millions to Measure by David M. Schwartz. (Other Schwarz titles include: G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book and On Beyond a Million: An Amazing Math Journey.) Published by HarperCollins.

Let’s Count by Tana Hoban (1999). (Other Hoban titles include: 26 Letters and 99 Cents; Count and See; Cubes, Cones, Cylinders & Spheres; More, Fewer, Less; Shapes, Shapes, Shapes; and So Many Circles, So Many Squares.) Published by Greenwillow.

Math Counts by Henry Arthur Pluckrose. (Titles include: Capacity, Length, Numbers, Pattern, Shape, Sorting, and Time.) Published by Children’s Press.

The Math Matters Series. (Also available in Spanish: Math Matters En Espanol. Titles include: The 100-Pound Problem, Count on Pablo, and Deena’s Lucky Penny.) Published by Kane Press.

The MathStart Series, by Stuart J. Murphy. (Titles include: It’s about Time (MathStart 1), Give Me Half! (MathStart2), and The Penny Pot (MathStart 3).) Published by HarperCollins.

Pyramid by David Macaulay (1982). (Other Macaulay titles: Castle, Cathedral, City, Mill, Mosque, Unbuilding, and Underground.) Published by Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books.

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table A Math Adventure by Cindy Neuschwander (1997). (Other Neuschwander titles include: Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland, Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter, Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone.) Published by Charlesbridge Publishing.

The following resources provide lists and/or summaries of mathematical children’s literature, and/or offer suggestions for using such literature with children. Many provide math lessons, discussions, activities, and/or projects based on the recommended books. (Information about all of the Math Solutions resources are available here.)

Bay-Williams, J. M. and Martinie, S. L. (2004). Math and literature: Grades 6-8. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

Bresser, R. (2004). Math and literature: Grades 4-6, Second Edition. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

Burns, M. and Sheffield, S. (2004). Math and literature: Grades 2–3. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

Burns, M. and Sheffield, S. (2004). Math and literature: Grades K–1. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

Evans, C. W., Leija, A. J., and Falkner, T. R. (2001). Math Links: Teaching the NCTM 2000 Standards Through Children's Literature.  Portsmouth, NH: Teacher Ideas Press.

Griffiths, R., and Clyne, M. (1991). Books you can count on: linking mathematics and literature. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Hechtman, J., Ellermeyer, D. and Grove, S. F. (1999). Teaching Math with Favorite Picture Books (Grades 1-3). NY: Scholastic Professional Books.

Krech, B. (2002). Meeting the Math Standards with Favorite Picture Books: Lessons, Activites, and Hands-On Reproducibles That Help You Teach Essential Math Skills and Concepts. NY: Scholastic Teaching Resources.

Petersen, J. (2004). Math and Nonfiction, Grades K–2. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

Sheffield, S. and Gallagher, K. (2004). Math and Nonfiction, Grades 3–5. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

Thiessen, D., and Matthias, M. (1992). The wonderful world of mathematics: a critically annotated list of children's books in mathematics. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Using children's literature in math and science. (1997). ENC Focus for Mathematics and Science Education. Columbus, OH: Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC). 4(5). (Available, with paid subscription, at

Whitin, D. J. and Whitin, P. Choosing and Using Quality Books in Mathematics Classrooms. (Available, with paid subscription, at

Whitin, D. J. and Whitin, P. (2004). New Visions for Linking Literature and Mathematics. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Whitin, D. J. and Wilde, S. (1995). It's the story that counts: more children's books for mathematical learning, K-6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Whitin, D. J. and Wilde, S. (1992). Read any good math lately? Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.