Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to math. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about math.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.
When it comes to children’s stories about math, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Baby Loves Gravity to popular sellers like The Lemonade War to some of our favorite hidden gems like Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code.
We hope this list of kids books about math can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 - The bold story of an African-American mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race and was depicted in the film “Hidden Figures, “ and how she made sure that the crew of Apollo 13 returned home. Full color.
Katherine Johnson (You Should Meet) - Get to know the woman who made many of NASA’s early missions possible in this fascinating, nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read, part of a series of biographies about people “you should meet!” Meet Katherine Johnson, a brilliant mathematician who worked at NASA in the early 1950s until retiring in 1986. Katherine’s unparalleled calculations (done by hand) helped plan the trajectories for NASA’s Mercury and Apollo missions (including the Apollo 11 moon landing). She is said to be one of the greatest American minds of all time. A special section at the back of the book includes extras on subjects like history and math, plus inspiring careers for math lovers. With the You Should Meet series, learning about historical figures has never been so much fun!
A Computer Called Katherine - The inspiring true story of mathematician Katherine Johnson—made famous by the award-winning film Hidden Figures—who counted and computed her way to NASA and helped put a man on the moon! Katherine knew it was wrong that African Americans didn’t have the same rights as others—as wrong as 5+5=12. She knew it was wrong that people thought women could only be teachers or nurses—as wrong as 10-5=3. And she proved everyone wrong by zooming ahead of her classmates, starting college at fifteen, and eventually joining NASA, where her calculations helped pioneer America’s first manned flight into space, its first manned orbit of Earth, and the world’s first trip to the moon! Award-winning author Suzanne Slade and debut artist Veronica Miller Jamison tell the story of a NASA “computer” in this smartly written, charmingly illustrated biography.
The Girl with a Mind for Math - Meet Raye Montague—the hidden mastermind who made waves in the U.S. Navy! After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted—finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever. The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague is the third book in a riveting educational series about the inspiring lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you’ll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Montague herself!
Want to see books about African Americans?
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine - Offers an illustrated telling of the story of Ada Byron Lovelace, from her early creative fascination with mathematics and science and her devastating bout with measles, to the ground-breaking algorithm she wrote for Charles Babbage’s analytical engine.
Ada Lovelace - Meet Ada Lovelace, the British mathematician and daughter of poet Lord Byron. New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the colourful life of Lord Byron’s daughter, from her early love of logic, to her plans for the world’s first computer program. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch - Readers today are still fascinated by “Nat,” an eighteenth-century nautical wonder and mathematical wizard. Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in a sailor’s world—Salem in the early days, when tall-masted ships from foreign ports crowded the wharves. But Nat didn’t promise to have the makings of a sailor; he was too physically small. Nat may have been slight of build, but no one guessed that he had the persistence and determination to master sea navigation in the days when men sailed only by “log, lead, and lookout.” Nat’s long hours of study and observation, collected in his famous work, The American Practical Navigator (also known as the “Sailors’ Bible”), stunned the sailing community and made him a New England hero.
Ada's Ideas - Ada Lovelace (1815–1852) was the daughter of Lord Byron, a poet, and Anna Isabella Milbanke, a mathematician. Her parents separated when she was young, and her mother insisted on a logic-focused education, rejecting Byron’s “mad” love of poetry. But Ada remained fascinated with her father and considered mathematics “poetical science.” Via her friendship with inventor Charles Babbage, she became involved in “programming” his Analytical Engine, a precursor to the computer, thus becoming the world’s first computer programmer. This picture book biography of Ada Lovelace is a compelling portrait of a woman who saw the potential for numbers to make art.
Want to see books about history?
A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars - “This picture book is one in a gazillion.”—Jane O’Connor, the New York Times–bestselling author of the Fancy Nancy series Did you know that the earth is covered in three trillion trees? And that seven billion people weigh about the same as ten quadrillion ants? Our world is full of constantly changing numbers, from a hundred billion trillion stars in space to thirty-seven billion rabbits on Earth. Can you imagine that many of anything? The playful illustrations from New York Times–bestselling artist Isabel Greenberg and the friendly, straightforward voice of author Seth Fishman illuminate some of the biggest numbers in the universe—a hundred billion trillion stars—and the smallest—one unique and special YOU. Here is a book for story time, for science time, for math time, for bedtime, and all the times in between. Perfect for curious children, classrooms eager for STEM content, and readers who have devoured Ada Twist, Scientist and How Much Is a Million?
La Llorona - Counting Down / Contando Hacia Atras - Inspired by one of the oldest folktales ever told, this book will introduce your little one to their first English and Spanish numbers and words.
What in the World? - Discover nature by the numbers in this gorgeous, innovative counting book. The natural world is full of sets of numbers: from birds’ wings in twos and clover leaves in threes to deer hooves in fours and octopus arms in eights. This book uses playful rhyming text to explore these numerical sets in vibrant detail, ending with the stars in the sky—a number set too big to count!
100 Bugs! A Counting Book - A boy and girl find and count 100 different bugs in their backyard in increments of ten.
Want to see books about numbers?
Gabi's If/Then Garden - Gabi’s garden needs some help. Where to begin? Gabi and her best friend Adi use if/then statements to decide what to plant, what to water, and what to pick! These scientific thinkers find ways every day to use computer coding concepts to make work and play more fun!
Gabi's Fabulous Functions - Computer coding in the kitchen? Yes! Best friends Gabi and Adi are baking a special birthday treat-and making a recipe is a lot like creating a function in a computer code. These scientifically minded junior programmers are always on the lookout for ways to work coding concepts into their day with Code Play!
Who Says Women Can't Be Computer Programmers? - A picture book biography of Ada Lovelace, the woman recognized today as history’s first computer programmer—she imagined them 100 years before they existed! In the early nineteenth century lived Ada Byron: a young girl with a wild and wonderful imagination. The daughter of internationally acclaimed poet Lord Byron, Ada was tutored in science and mathematics from a very early age. But Ada’s imagination was never meant to be tamed and, armed with the fundamentals of math and engineering, she came into her own as a woman of ideas—equal parts mathematician and philosopher. From her whimsical beginnings as a gifted child to her most sophisticated notes on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, this book celebrates the woman recognized today as the first computer programmer. A Christy Ottaviano Book
Baby Loves Structural Engineering! - Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners. Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the basics of building—from foundation to rooftop—and ties it all to baby’s world. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!
Baby Loves Gravity - Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners. Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the ups and downs of gravity. When baby drops food from a high chair, why does it fall? Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!
Quantum Information for Babies - Simple explanations of complex ideas for your future genius! Written by an expert, Quantum Information for Babies is a colorfully simple introduction to one of the fastest-growing areas of technology research. Babies (and grownups!) will learn all about qubits, information systems, and more. With a tongue-in-cheek approach that adults will love, this installment of the Baby University board book series is the perfect way to introduce basic concepts to even the youngest scientists. After all, it’s never too early to become a quantum physicist! Baby University: It only takes a small spark to ignite a child’s mind.
100 First Words for Little Geniuses - Are you a theoretical physicist? An engineer? A mathematician? Then of course your baby will be a genius too. But where to begin? Introducing 100 First Words for Little Geniuses, a brainy primer for kids learning their first words! Forget apple and dog. Little geniuses are ready for quark, integral, and thermodynamics. From math to physics to philosophy, these are the words every budding genius needs in his or her vocabulary (even at the age of 2). Packed with fun illustrations and 100 words every genius baby should know, 100 First Words for Little Geniuses is the perfect board book for smart families everywhere.
Want to see books about vocabulary?
That's a Possibility! - Combines colorful photographs and interactive examples in an introduction to the science and math of probability that provides comprehensive explanations about games of chance and various easy-to-understand scenarios. By the author of Great Estimations.
Cece Loves Science and Adventure - Cece loves being an Adventure Girl almost as much as she loves science, which is why she can’t wait for her troop’s camping trip. Nature is full of science for Cece to explore! Along with her friends, her mom, and her dog, Einstein, Cece learns how to pitch a tent, set up a campsite, and document landmarks on the trail. Then thunder booms in the distance! Working together, the girls use meteorology and math to determine the location of the storm; engineering to build a shelter; and technology and math to calculate the length of the trek back to the campsite. After all that teamwork, Cece’s mom gives them an Adventure Girl surprise!
The Cookie Fiasco - Four friends. Three cookies. One problem. Hippo, Croc, and the Squirrels are determined to have equal cookies for all! But how? There are only three cookies . . . and four of them! They need to act fast before nervous Hippo breaks all the cookies into crumbs!
Ellie, Engineer - A charming, hilarious illustrated middle grade about a girl who is an engineer—perfect creative, STEM-powered fun for girls who have interests in how things work. “Look out, Junie B. Jones! Ellie the engineer is thinking, making, creating, and showing enthusiasm and brilliance with her creations!” —School Library Connection Ellie is an engineer. With a tool belt strapped over her favorite skirt (who says you can’t wear a dress and have two kinds of screwdrivers handy, just in case?), she invents and builds amazing creations in her backyard workshop. Together with her best friend Kit, Ellie can make anything. As Kit’s birthday nears, Ellie doesn’t know what gift to make until the girls overhear Kit’s mom talking about her present—the dog Kit always wanted! Ellie plans to make an amazing doghouse, but her plans grow so elaborate that she has to enlist help from the neighbor boys and crafty girls, even though the two groups don’t get along. Will Ellie be able to pull off her biggest project yet, all while keeping a secret from Kit? Illustrated with Ellie’s sketches and plans, and including a fun how-to guide to tools, this is a STEM- and friendship-powered story full of fun!
Ada Lace And The Suspicious Artist - From Emily Calandrelli—Emmy-nominated host of Xploration Outer Space, correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World, and graduate of MIT—comes the fifth novel in a fun illustrated chapter book series about an eight-year-old girl with a knack for science, math, and solving mysteries with technology. Third grader and inventor extraordinaire Ada Lace is on spring break. But it’s just a little less relaxing than she’d imagined. Nina is beside herself with excitement about meeting her favorite artist and enlists Ada and Mr. Peebles’s coding-whiz nephew to help revamp her online portfolio. When Nina finally meets Miroir, he snubs her, and her confidence is shaken—but not enough to miss the art show opening. While there, Ada spots a suspiciously familiar painting that may mean Miroir isn’t the original he claims to be. Will the friends be able to reveal the artist’s true nature, before he fools someone else?
Ellie, Engineer: The Next Level - Ellie the Engineer is back in another charming, hilarious, illustrated story filled with creative, STEM-powered fun! “Look out, Junie B. Jones! Ellie the engineer is thinking, making, creating, and showing enthusiasm and brilliance with her creations!” -School Library Connection on Ellie, Engineer After Ellie’s first elevator build goes terribly wrong, her parents decide her “punishment” is to assist an elderly neighbor, Mrs. Curran, around the house. Ellie and her friends Kit and Toby are really only supposed to help with little things, but Ellie can’t turn down the opportunity to use her engineering skills here and there where she sees a need—because that’s what engineers do! It’s no fun, though, when Mrs. Curran always gives Toby the credit for all the ingenious projects, and acts like Kit and Ellie were just helping him. . . . Can Ellie come up with another great build to elevate Mrs. Curran’s ideas about this girl engineer? With Ellie’s designs and sketches throughout, and her fun guide to simple machines in the back, the continuation of this delightful series will leave young readers laughing and inspired to create.
Want to see books about friendship?
365 Penguins - The penguins are back! A slightly smaller trim size and all-new cover art give this classic, first published in 2006, a refreshed look. Full color.
Ten Little Ladybugs Storybook - One by one, ten tactile bugs disappear. Where did they all go? Young ones will love finding out as they feel their way through the sturdy, colorful pages of this innovative book. The cute critters provide a hands-on learning experience and the rhyming text reinforces the counting concept. Interactive, educational, adorable—this magical countdown book adds up to a whole lot of fun.
100 Snowmen - 1 + 1 = 2 snowmen. 3 + 4 = 7 snowmen. 5 + 6 = 11 snowmen. Finally, 100 snowmen! As you count and add, watch the snowmen enjoy a snowball fight, make funny faces, play hide-and-seek— and just plain have fun. And you’ll have fun, too!
Colors Lift & Learn - Introduce preschool children to basic concepts like color identification with Colors Lift & Learn, a bold, colorful, new lap book. What things are red? What things are blue? Little hands will love to lift the flaps and discover what’s under each color in this engaging, interactive introduction to the concept of colors. This large-format lap board book is perfect for sharing and reading aloud, with big, bold illustrations and fun flaps that encourage kids to peek and play with each and every page. The Lap Board Concepts series from Walter Foster Jr. is the perfect way to introduce toddlers to the early concepts of reading, counting, and problem solving. With a colorful, contemporary style, this traditional lift-the-flap learning book will help preschool children learn shapes, numbers, and colors in an entertaining, exciting new way. Bold, colorful illustrations entice young readers (and listeners!) to flip through the pages again and again, each time with a new understanding of each shape, color, or number. A thoughtful gift for preschoolers that can be kept, handed down, and treasured for many years to come.
Which One Doesn't Belong? - This is not your typical shapes book. This introducti on to geometry and mathemati cal thinking will excite young readers and make math a part of their everyday lives. Celebrated math educator Christopher Danielson encourages inquiry and criti cal thinking and sparks memorable mathematical conversati ons by asking which shape in each group does not belong. There’s no one right answer—the important thing is to have a reason why. Kids might describe the shapes as squished, smooshed, dented, or even goofy. But when they justi fy their thinking, they’re talking math!
Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition - New York Times bestselling author Margot Lee Shetterly’s book is now available in a new edition perfect for young readers. This is the amazing true story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African-American women who lived through the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.
Alan Turing - In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Alan Turing, the genius code cracker and father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Alan grew up in England, where his best friends were numbers and a little boy called Christopher. When his young friend died, Alan retreated to the world of numbers and codes, where he discovered how to crack the code of the Nazi Enigma machine. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the brilliant mathematician’s life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!
Statistical Physics for Babies - Simple explanations of complex ideas for your future genius! Written by an expert, Statistical Physics for Babies is a colorfully simple introduction to the second law of thermodynamics. Babies (and grownups!) will learn all about entropy, probability, and more. With a tongue-in-cheek approach that adults will love, this installment of the Baby University board book series is the perfect way to introduce basic concepts to even the youngest scientists. After all, it’s never too early to become a scientist! Baby University: It only takes a small spark to ignite a child’s mind.
Quantum Computing for Babies - Simple explanations of complex ideas for your future genius! Written by experts, Quantum Computing for Babies is a colorfully simple introduction to the magical world of quantum computers. Babies (and grownups!) will discover the difference between bits and qubits and how quantum computers will change our future. With a tongue-in-cheek approach that adults will love, this installment of the Baby University board book series is the perfect way to introduce basic concepts to even the youngest scientists. After all, it’s never too early to become a quantum physicist! Baby University: It only takes a small spark to ignite a child’s mind.