Simple Math through Books for Young Children
Developed for the Go Figure! traveling exhibition, which, through literature, brought the exciting world of math and its everyday uses to children two to seven years old and their parents. This list includes representations from many children’s books, including Arthur’s Pet Business by Marc Brown, The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins, The Quilt by Ann Jonas, Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears illustrated by James Marshall.
Download this list (RTF).
Picture Books That Support Math Concepts
Anderson, Lena. Tea for Ten. R & S Books, 2000.
Anno, Mitsumasa. Anno’s Counting Book. HarperCollins, 1987.
Archambault, John. Knots on a Counting Rope. Holt, 1987.
Baker, Keith. Big Fat Hen. Harcourt Brace, 1994.
Bang, Molly. Ten, Nine, Eight. Greenwillow, 1987.
Bennett, David. One Cow Moo Moo! Holt, 1990.
Cabrera, Jane. Over in the Meadow. Holiday House, 1999.
Carlstrom, Nancy White. Let’s Count It Out, Jesse Bear. Simon & Schuster, 1996.
Christelow, Eileen. Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Clarion, 1989.
———. Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree. Clarion, 1991.
Crews, Donald. Ten Black Dots. Morrow, 1986.
Ehlert, Lois. Fish Eyes. Harcourt Brace, 1990.
Evans, Lezlie. Can You Count Ten Toes? Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
Fleming, Denise. Count! Henry Holt, 1992.
Galdone, Paul. Over in the Meadow. Simon & Schuster, 1989.
Grossman, Bill. My Little Sister Ate One Hare. Crown, 1996.
Gunson. Christopher. Over on the Farm. Scholastic, 1995.
Hague, Kathleen. Numbears. Holt, 1999.
Hutchins, Pat. The Doorbell Rang. Greenwillow, 1989.
Keats, Ezra Jack. Over in the Meadow. Viking, 1999.
Kirk, David. Miss Spider’s Tea Party. Scholastic, 1994.
McGrath, Barbara Barbieri. The Cheerios Counting Book. Scholastic, 1998.
———. The M & M’s Brand Chocolate Candies Counting Book. Charlesbridge, 1994.
Masurel, Claire. Ten Dogs in the Window. North-South, 1997.
Mora, Pat. Uno, Dos, Tres: One, Two, Three. Clarion, 1996.
Peek, Merle. Roll Over! A Counting Song. Clarion, 1991.
Pinczes, Elinor J. One Hundred Hungry Ants. Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
Pomeroy, Diana. One Potato. Harcourt Brace, 1996.
Root, Phyllis. One Duck Stuck. Candlewick, 1998.
Ryan, Pam Munoz. One Hundred is a Family. Hyperion, 1994.
Schwartz, David. How Much Is a Million? Morrow, 1985.
Sierra, Judy. Counting Crocodiles. Harcourt Brace, 1997.
Slate, Joseph. Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten. Dutton, 1998.
Swinburne, Stephen. What’s A Pair? What’s A Dozen? Boyds Mills Press, 2000.
Walsh, Ellen Stoll. Mouse Count. Harcourt Brace, 1991.
Wells, Rosemary. Emily’s First 100 Days of School. Hyperion, 2000.
Ahlberg, Janet and Allan. Each Peach Pear Plum. Viking, 1979.
Baker, Keith. Hide and Snake. Harcourt Brace, 1991.
Barton, Byron. The Little Red Hen. HarperCollins, 1993.
Carle, Eric. Very Busy Spider. Philomel, 1985.
———. Very Hungry Caterpillar. Putnam, 1984.
———. Today Is Monday. Philomel, 1993.
Carlstrom, Nancy White. Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? Simon & Schuster, 1986.
Galdone, Paul. Three Billy Goats Gruff. Houghton Mifflin, 1979.
———. Three Little Kittens. Houghton Mifflin, 1986.
Jonas, Ann. The Quilt. Puffin, 1994.
Jones, Carol. This Old Man. Houghton Mifflin, 1990.
Kalan, Robert. Jump Frog Jump. Morrow, 1995.
Martin Jr., Bill. Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Holt, 1992.
Mosel, Arlene. Tikki Tikki Tembo. Holt, 1988.
Palatini, Margie. Piggie Pie! Clarion, 1995.
Raffi. Five Little Ducks. Crown, 1999.
Rounds, Glen. Three Billy Goats Gruff. Holiday, 1993.
Slobodkina, Esphyr. Caps for Sale. HarperCollins, 1988.
Stewart, Matthew. A Pair of Socks. HarperCollins, 1996.
Taback, Simms. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Viking, 1997.
Trapani, Iza. How Much Is That Doggie in the Window? Whispering Coyote Press, 1997.
Williams, Sue. I Went Walking. Harcourt Brace, 1990.
Wood, Audrey. Napping House. HarcourtBrace, 1984.
Aliki. My Feet. HarperCollins, 1990.
Bridwell, Norman. Ciifford, the Small Red Puppy. Scholastic, 1990.
Brown, Marc. D.W. Thinks Big. Little, Brown, 1993.
Carle, Eric. The Grouchy Ladybug. HarperCollins, 1996.
Cuyler, Margery. The Biggest, Best Snowman. Scholastic, 1998.
Gilman, Phoebe. Something from Nothing. Scholastic, 1992.
Joyce, William. George Shrinks. HarperCollins, 1985.
Kellogg, Steven. Jack and the Beanstalk. Morrow, 1991.
———. Much Bigger than Martin. Dial, 1976.
Krauss, Ruth. The Carrot Seed. HarperCollins, 1988.
Marshall, James. Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Puffin, 1998.
Miller, Margaret. Big and Little. Greenwillow, 1998.
Most, Bernard. How Big Were the Dinosaurs? Harcourt Brace, 1994.
Murphy, Stuart. Best Bug Parade. HarperCollins, 1996.
———. Super Saturday Sand Castle. HarperCollins, 1999.
Petach, Heidi. Goldilocks and the Three Hares. Putnam & Grosset, 1995.
Taback, Simms. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. Viking, 1999.
Burns, Marilyn. Greedy Triangle. Scholastic, 1995.
Carle, Eric. Draw Me A Star. Philomel, 1992.
———. The Secret Birthday Message. HarperCollins, 1987.
Ehlert, Lois. Color Farm. HarperCollins, 1997.
———. Color Zoo. HarperCollins, 1997.
Greene, Rhonda Gowler. When a Line Bends . . . A Shape Begins. Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
Henkes, Kevin. Circle Dogs. Greenwillow, 1998.
Hoban, Tana. Shapes, Shapes, Shapes. Morrow, 1986.
Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Are Friends. HarperCollins, 1979.
Pienkowski, Jan. Shapes. Little Simon, 1998.
Shaw, Charles. It Looked Like Spilt Milk. HarperCollins, 1988.
Tompert, Ann. Grandfather Tang’s Story. Crown, 1990.
Adler, David. Fraction Fun. Holiday, 1996.
Axelrod, Amy. Pigs Will be Pigs: Fun with Math and Money. Simon & Schuster, 1994.
———. Pigs Go to Market: Fun with Math and Travel. Aladdin, 1999.
———. Pigs in the Pantry: Fun with Math and Cooking. Aladdin, 1999.
———. Pigs on a Blanket: Fun with Math and Time. Turtleback Books, 1999.
———. Pigs on the Ball: Fun with Math and Sports. Aladdin, 2000.
———. Pigs on the Move: Fun with Math and Travel. Aladdin, 2002.
Baker, Keith. Quack and Count. Harcourt Brace, 1999.
Beil, Karen Magnuson. A Cake All For Me. Holiday, 1998.
Brown, Marc. Arthur’s Pet Business. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 1995.
Demi. One Grain of Rice. Scholastic, 1997.
Hoban, Tana. 26 letters and 99 cents. Greenwillow, 1987.
Jonas, Ann. SPLASH! Greenwillow, 1995.
McMillan, Bruce. Eating Fractions. Scholastic, 1991.
Merriam, Eve. 12 Ways to get to 11. Simon & Schuster, 1993.
Miranda, Anne. Monster Math. Harcourt Brace, 1999.
Murphy, Stuart J. Jump, Kangaroo, Jump! HarperCollins, 1999.
———. Room for Ripley. HarperCollins, 1999.
Pinczes, Elinor. J. A Remainder of One. Houghton Mifflin, 1995.
Schlein, Miriam. More than One. Greenwillow, 1996.
Schwartz, David. How Much Is a Million? Morrow, 1985.
Scieszka, Jon. Math Curse. Viking, 1995.
Viorst, Judith. Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday. Atheneum, 1978.
Wells, Rosemary. Bunny Money. Dial, 1997.
Young, Ed. Seven Blind Mice. Philomel, 1992.
Resources for Parents and Teachers
Compiled by Sue McCleaf Nespeca, with additions by the ALA Public Programs Office
Free Government Publications
U.S. Dept. of Education. Early Childhood: Where Learning Begins Mathematics: Mathematical Activities for Parents and Their 2- to 5-Year Olds. ECI 1999-9002, 1999. To order single copies, call toll free 1-877-4ED-pubs (1-877-433-7827) or order online at www.edpubs.gov/. This publication is also available at www2.ed.gov/pubs/EarlyMath/index.html.
U.S. Dept. of Education. Helping Your Child Learn Math. MIS 1999-6560R, 2000. To order single copies, call toll free 1-877-4ED-pubs (877-433-7827) or order online at: www.edpubs.gov/. It is also available at www2.ed.gov/pubs/parents/Math/index.html.
Burns, Marilyn. Math and Literature: (K–3) Book One. Marilyn Burns Education Assoc., 1993.
Coate, Grace Davila, and Jean Kerr Stenmark. Family Math for Young Children: Comparing (Equals Series). University of California, 1997.
Dacey, Linda Schulman, and Rebeka Eston. Growing Mathematical Ideas in Kindergarten. Marilyn Burns Education Assoc., 1999.
Hechtman, Judi, Deborah Ellermeyer, and Sandy Ford Grove. Teaching Math with Favorite Picture Books. Scholastic Professional Books, 1998.
Kaye, Peggy. Games for Math: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math from Kindergarten to Third Grade. Pantheon, 1988.
Kohl, MaryAnn F., and Cindy Gainer. Matharts: Exploring Math through Art for 3 to 6 Year Olds. Gryphon House, 1996.
Polonsky, Lydia, ed. Math for the Very Young: A Handbook of Activities for Parents and Teachers. John Wiley & Sons, 1995.
Schiller, Pamela, and Lynne Peterson. Count on Math: Activities for Small Hands and Lively Minds. Gryphon House, 1997.
Slavin, Stephen L. Math for Your First- and Second-Grader: All You Need to Know to Be Your Child’s Best Teacher. John Wiley & Sons, 1995.
Stenmark, Jean Kerr, Virginia Thompson, and Ruth Cossey. Family Math. University of California, 1986.
VanCleave, Janice. Janice VanCleave’s Play and Find Out About Math: Easy Activities for Young Children. John Wiley and Sons, 1998.
Williamson, Susan, ed. Math Play! Williamson, 1997.
Zahler, Kathy A. 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Raise a Child Who Loves Math. Macmillan, 1997.
Please examine websites for their appropriateness for young children, taking into consideration reading abilities and computer skills; most of these websites are for caregivers and teachers to use with children.
www.funbrain.com/numbers.html. Math baseball, fresh-baked fractions, shapes, making change, measuring, and many other math activities are offered at four levels: easy, medium, hard, and super brain.
www.sesamestreet.org/parents/math. Children’s Television Workshop’s “Math Is Everywhere” website includes resources for parents and educators.
www.dupagechildrensmuseum.org/aunty/index.html. DuPage County (Illinois) Children’s Museum’s “Aunty Math” offers math challenges in a story format.
www.ed.gov/pubs/EarlyMath. Mathematical activities for parents and their two- to five-year-olds.
www.ed.gov/pubs/parents/LearnPtnrs/math.html. Let’s Do Math! for caregivers and children.
www.ed.gov/pubs/parents/Math/index.html. Helping your child learn math.
www.funschool.com. Basic math concepts for K–3 in colorful, fast moving, interactive games.
www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content4/math.myth.html. Math and the Myth of 1,2,3. Also, click on two related articles in the column at left on the screen: “Helping Your Child Learn Math” and “Learning Partners—Let’s Do Math!”
www.knowledgeadventure.com/math-games.htm. Interesting math games using everyday objects.
www.mathstories.com. Interesting word problems for children at various skill levels, including Grade 1. Also “Word Problems Based on Children’s Books.”
Compiled by Minnesota Children’s Museum and the American Library Association
Anderson, Ann G. “Parents As Partners: Supporting Children’s Mathematics Learning Prior to School.” Teaching Children Mathematics 4, no. 6 (Feb. 1998): 331–37.
Clements, Douglas H. “Young Children’s Ideas about Geometric Shapes. Teaching Children Mathematics 6, no. 8 (Apr. 2000): 482–88.
Corneille, Birgitta. “Recognizing the Mathematics.” Teaching Children Mathematics 4, no. 2 (Oct. 1997): 112–15.
Ducolon, Colin K. “Quality Literature As a Springboard to Problem Solving.” Teaching Children Mathematics 6, no. 7 (Mar. 2000): 442–46.
Harris, Jacqueline. “Interweaving Language and Mathematics Literacy through a Story.” Teaching Children Mathematics 5, no. 9 (May 1999): 520–24.
Lowe, Joy L., and Kathryn I. Matthew. “Classroom Connections: Exploring Math with Literature.” Book Links 9, no. 5 (May 2000): 58–62.
Rowley, Barbara. “As Easy as 1, 2, 3.” Parenting (fall 1999, special issue): 54–57.
Whitin. David J. “Explore Mathematics Through Children’s Literature.” School Library Journal 38, no. 8 (Aug. 1992): 24–28.