A lot of parents are a little afraid of math. Possibly because they struggled with it themselves as kids. Or they have heard it’s being taught differently now or just because they don’t like it. Math is a sensitive topic in my own background having been tutored from 5th grade on my confidence in it has never been high. What changed all that for me was teaching it using manipulatives, games, and books. Picture books are great tools to teach math concepts. Even well into the elementary grades and feel very accessible to parents who may shy away from other math activities. You can find some of my favorite books about math.
There is also a chance to enter to WIN the two fantastic Sir Cumference books from Scholastic Book Clubs, see details below!
You Can, Toucan, Math: Word Problem-Solving Fun by David Adler is a graphically amazing book and the concepts are awesome too. This book focuses on word problem solving but the author has others (one about fractions that is actually a great cheat sheet for out of practice parents too) and many others. I chose to review this one because it’s closer to the level of math more of my readers will be at now or soon. The book offers word problems and the illustrations are built in manipulatives and help children along naturally.
While many of the problems answer keys use multiplication or division many can be broken down more easily and younger kids can simply count the illustrations. I like that this book will have a long shelf life in any home. Also, the illustrations by Edward Miller can not be any more amazing. Great book for math interested preschoolers but more specifically school age kids.
Quack and Count by Keith Baker is even better than Big Fat Hen. This book is awesome for multi-age groups. Although the text is simple there are two levels of math on each page. Simple duck counting as well as addition to arrive at the same number. I squealed when I read this to my son and daughter. We immediately realized how perfect this book was for us! Your kids will love the illustrations too.
Eggs and Legs: Counting by Twos by Michael Dahl is a cute book with silly illustrations and a fun concept to teach counting by twos. The book counts from 0-20 by 2s but each page has multiple depictions of each number. Including dots to count and the number in the text. This was super useful to show my son as we counted by 2s. We weren’t skipping the numbers, just grouping them to count faster. Fun and useful book.
On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets by Michael Dahl was a great find, my son loved counting down from 12-1 with the bright illustrations, simple text and hidden numbers on each page. Something that seems simple but was really awesome was that each page had the number written as a word, shown as a digit and as dots to count. You can take the time to count each dot, read the word or simply recognize the digit!
1, 2, Buckle My Shoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines is a wonderful first counting book and a favorite of my daughter. The text is a simple rhyme and the pictures are photos of quilted numbers and buttons. The buttons correspond to the numbers. They are so bright that they practically beg a child to touch and count them. My daughter who is 14 months loves to push the buttons, trace the numbers and laughs at the hen. Very sweet book.
1+1=5: and Other Unlikely Additions by David LaRochelle was sent to me by the publisher a few months back. I waited to review it because the concept was a little over my son’s head until recently. The book as you might guess by the title is not about adding the obvious but rather the less obvious numbers in an illustration. Do not read this book with your child until they understand addition, counting and won’t get confused. That said when they have that down this book is a genius! I say that because it forces them to look at all different numbers of things to figure out what the author is counting. Readers see the equation first. But the objects to be counted are hidden and you will have to turn the page to figure it out.
Flip the page and it’s more obvious, for example, 1+1 = 100 and the picture includes a pumpkin and watermelon. You will see they are cut open with many seeds in full view when you flip the page. It’s tricky but if you have a child interested in math or mysteries grab it and have a look.
Just Enough Carrots (MathStart 1) by Stuart J. Murphy is a wonderful book about the concepts of less, more and the same amount. Unlike many books in the genre, this book manages to keep the words minimal. The story was engaging and the text even rhymes! It’s a scene that will be familiar to many preschoolers. The setting is a grocery store with a mom and her son shopping. Kids will love the thought of buying worms to eat. As the characters are animals, will quickly catch on to the concepts.
Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens: A Math Adventure by Cindy Neuschwander is a story about Sir Cumference a faithful Knight to King Arthur and a mathematician in shining armor! In this adventure, Sir Cumference and his wife Lady Di Ameter are trying to surprise the king with a birthday celebration. But they are trying to figure out how many guests need to be fed. The story takes a turn for the math when they decide to group people in order to count them. It was an interesting read with my 5-year-old who is just at the cusp of understanding the very beginnings of place value. He enjoyed it very much. Plus it gave me a chance to introduce the concepts and a story to refer back to later. * Win this!
Sir Cumference: And the First Round Table (A Math Adventure) by Cindy Neuschwander is all about geometry and how the knights at the table came to be at a round table. King Arthur is sick of all the side conversations and shouting at the long rectangular table, and asks Sir Cumference to find a solution. They go through a bunch of different shapes. But each has some major flaw until they finally settle on a circle. The terms diameter, radius, and circumference are fit into the story. This was a great way to introduce the terms to my son. Great book for early elementary aged kids. * Win this!
How Much, How Many, How Far, How Heavy, How Long, How Tall Is 1000? by Helen Nolan has been sitting patiently on my shelf waiting for my son to be ready to read it. I used this in a math unit when I was a student teacher and absolutely love this book. The whole concept of this book is to explain the concept of 1000. We often teach our kids to count to 100 but don’t pay the same attention to getting them from 100-1000. This book takes it to the next step and demystifies the huge number 1000.
It’s interesting, it uses examples kids can relate too. But it gives many scenarios so those cogs turning in your child’s head has lots of chances to catch! I read it to my son for the first time yesterday. I love being there for those moments when I know he just got it!
Enter For A Chance To Win
Sir Cumference and All The King’s Tens & Sir Cumference and The First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander from Scholastic Book Clubs.
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post answering this question:
Did you like math when you were in school?
This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must leave a comment on this post answering the question “Did you like math when you were in school”? A winning commenter will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Sunday, April 8th at 8:00 pm PST. The winners will receive the two books listed, valued at $16. After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address for Scholastic to ship their books to, or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in any way other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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For more quick tips on helping your child learn to read check out my book; Raising A Rock-Star Reader. It is packed with fun ideas for families, book lists, and advice for parents.