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Math can be a terrifying subject for some students. I liked it well enough, until Geometry (twitch, twitch). For those students who do not have a pleasant association with math, try some of these fun stories as a less threatening experience with the subject. And for those students who adore math, give them a read that combines story and mathematics.
I found so many amazing math books that I divided my recommendations into two groups: Math Stories and Math Practice. The books in the Math Stories section are stories where math plays a crucial role in the plot. The books in the Math Practice section are books that present problems in fun ways for students to solve.
Goodnight, Numbers by Danica McKellar, illustrated by Alicia Padrón shows numbers one through ten in everyday life. Suggestions for how to get the most educational value out of the book are listed on the last page.
Ten Magic Butterflies by Danica McKellar, illustrated by Jennifer Bricking shows different combinations that equal ten. Suggestions for how to get the most educational value out of the book are listed on the last page.
Math Fables: Lessons That Count by Greg Tang, illustrated by Heather Cahoon contains ten rhyming fables that each focus on a number: one through ten. Each fable shows different combinations that equal the featured number.
Give Me Half! by Stuart J. Murphy, illustrated by G. Brian Karas shows fractions, specifically halves.
Twinderella: A Fractioned Fairy Tale by Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Deborah Marcero shows fractions, specifically halves.
Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds, illustrated by Abby Carter shows fractions, specifically sixths.
One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale by Demi shows doubling.
Zero the Hero by Joan Holub, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld shows properties of the number zero.
One Riddle, One Answer by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Linda S. Wingerter shows properties of the number one.
Mouse Math Series illustrated by Deborah Melmon
- Albert the Muffin-Maker by Eleanor May
- Mice on Ice by Eleanor May
- A Mousy Mess by Laura Driscoll
- Albert Adds Up! by Eleanor May
- Albert Starts School by Eleanor May
- If the Shoe Fits by Jennifer Dussling
- Albert Doubles the Fun by Eleanor May
- Albert Helps Out by Eleanor May
- Bravo, Albert! by Lori Haskins Houran
- Where’s Albert? by Eleanor May
The Mouse Math Series is geared towards preschool through second grade students. There are more books in the series. I only listed the ones that I thought best combined math and story.
Sir Cumference Series by Cindy Neuschwander, illustrated by Wayne Geehan
- Sir Cumference and the First Round Table
- Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi
- Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland
- Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone
- Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter
- Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens
- Sir Cumference and the Viking’s Map
- Sir Cumference and the Off-the-Charts Dessert
- Sir Cumference and the Roundabout Battle
- Sir Cumference and the Fraction Faire
- Sir Cumference Gets Decima’s Point
The Sir Cumference Series is geared towards elementary students, but this way of presenting math concepts could also help middle or high school students who need to have the information presented in a different way.
The Bedtime Math Series gives mini scenarios and then asks three questions per scenario. The questions are for different ability levels. These books can be used with children in preschool through late elementary.
Animal Math Series published by Gareth Stevens Publishing
- Counting Lions by Adeline Zubek
- Fractions with Fish by Maeve Sisk
- Odd and Even with Otters by Rory McDonnell
- Shapes with Sheep by Mary Grace Osburn
- Sorting with Snakes by Mary Rose McDonnell
- Tell Time with Turtles by Melissa McDonnell
- Two-Digit Numbers with Tadpoles by Mary Grace Osburn
- Using Money at the Zoo by Mary Grace Osburn
- Word Problems with Wolves by Rory McDonnell
The Animal Math Series combines science and math by presenting fun facts about animals and using those animals to teach math concepts. The large print and short sentences makes this a perfect series for beginning readers. There are more books in the series. I only listed ones that included multiple math questions.
- “20 Exciting Math Games for Kids to Skyrocket New Math Skills On-The-Go” by Marcus Guido (This article lists online and in-person math games for 1st-8th graders.)
- “30 Active Math Games and Activities for Kids Who Love to Move” by Jill Staake (This article lists movement math activities and games that are perfect for elementary students.)
- “15 Math Games in 15 Minutes or Less” by Natalie Lorenzi (The math games in this article are appropriate, or can be adapted, for Pre-K through 8th graders. The games are sorted by the length of time it takes to play each game: 5, 10, or 15 minutes.)
- SplashLearn (This website offers free online math games for K-5th graders. Parents and teachers can create free accounts that allow them to monitor their child’s or students’ progress.)
For more themed book recommendations and activities, visit my post library.