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.
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 Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition 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.
Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader—AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Acclaimed picture book author Laurie Wallmark (Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine) once again tells the riveting story of a trailblazing woman. Grace Hopper coined the term “computer bug” and taught computers to “speak English.” Throughout her life, Hopper succeeded in doing what no one had ever done before. Delighting in difficult ideas and in defying expectations, the insatiably curious Hopper truly was “Amazing Grace” . . . and a role model for science- and math-minded girls and boys. With a wealth of witty quotes, and richly detailed illustrations, this book brings Hopper’s incredible accomplishments to life.
An introductory primer for kids focusing on the “E” portion of “STEAM” engineering. With original Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci as inspiration, this exciting new volume in the Little Leonardo series introduces kids to many of the different types of engineering they can aspire to. Littles will learn how nine types of engineers design and build all sorts of things, from the tiny microcircuitry in your smartphone to large projects like dams and bridges that transform the very face of the planet. Part of the Little Leonardo’s Fascinating World Series. Greg Paprocki works full-time as an illustrator and book designer. He has illustrated several Curious George books, as well as the BabyLit alphabet books and The Big Book of Superheroes. Bob Cooper is a veteran editor whose twenty-year career has found him working on everything from comic books to art, architecture, and children’s titles.
Most people think of mathematicians as solitary, working away in isolation. And, it’s true, many of them do. But Paul Erdos never followed the usual path. At the age of four, he could ask you when you were born and then calculate the number of seconds you had been alive in his head. But he didn’t learn to butter his own bread until he turned twenty. Instead, he traveled around the world, from one mathematician to the next, collaborating on an astonishing number of publications. With a simple, lyrical text and richly layered illustrations, this is a beautiful introduction to the world of math and a fascinating look at the unique character traits that made “Uncle Paul” a great man.
“Introduces kids to many of the basic concepts of mathematics, including their connection with so many things in our everyday lives.”—Back cover.
Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners.
Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the climate of our planet and the need to protect it for all babies. 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!
Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing - A true story from one of the Women of NASA! Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world. Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed. Dean Robbins and Lucy Knisley deliver a lovely portrayal of a pioneer in her field who never stopped reaching for the stars.
ABC's of Mathematics - This alphabetical installment of the Baby University series is the perfect introduction for even the youngest mathematicians! A is for Addition B is for Base C is for Chord From addition to zero, The ABCs of Mathematics is a colorfully simple introduction for babies—and grownups—to a new math concept for every letter of the alphabet. Written by an expert, each page in this mathematical primer features multiple levels of text so the book grows along with your little mathematician
Terrible Times Tables - A modern multiplication primer that tackles the terrors of a typical school year. Learning math has never been this much fun! Inspired by a Victorian math primer, Terrible Times Tables is a modern take on learning one’s multiplication tables, from numbers 2 to 10, featuring elementary school themes of homeroom, field trips, cafeteria food, holidays, and recitals. Featuring a reluctant narrator and a few unwitting critters, learning math has never been so much fun or amusing.
How to Be on the Moon - In the follow-up to How to Find Gold, best friends Anna and Crocodile are going on another intrepid adventure — this time, to the moon. It’s almost impossible to get to the moon. It’s out in space, which is dark and empty, and it’s very far away. If Anna and Crocodile are going to make it to the moon, they’ll need some special skills, like being able to do math and having a lot of patience. They’ll also need to build a rocket. Not to mention the sandwiches for the journey. Luckily, when Anna and Crocodile put their minds together, nothing can stand in their way. Full of the same cheerful charm that made How to Find Gold so endearing, Viviane Schwarz’s pitch-perfect text and wonderfully colorful illustrations launch this story off the page in a true celebration of curiosity and the magic of imaginative play.
“The next two books in the Baby Loves series tackle the first law of thermodynamics (energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can change forms) and Schreodinger’s Cat, the famous thought experiment involving quantum theory (quantum physics states that a particle can exist in multiple places at once). Accurate enough to satisfy an expert and simple enough for the rest of us to comprehend, the Baby Loves board books are perfect for geeky moms and dads who want to share their love of science, for parents who want to give their infant a head start on Harvard, and for hipster aunts and uncles who want that oh-so-clever gift for the baby shower.”—
Fairies, butterflies, and magic help to make this math-focused board book from the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “Goodnight, Numbers” and star of “The Wonder Years” positively enchanting! Full color.
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!
“How Many? A Counting Book is a student book and accompanying teacher’s guide that explore the essential mathematical ideas of units and place value.”—
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.
Baby Loves Coding - Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book showcases the use of logic, sequence, and patterns to solve problems. Can Baby think like a coder to fix her train? 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!
What's the Matter with the Three Little Pigs? - What’s the matter with the three little pigs? They’re being tormented by a hungry wolf! And no matter what kind of matter they use to build their homes, it doesn’t matter. The STEM-savvy, rhyme-loving wolf in this fractured fairy tale always seems to spoil the day. A glossary and critical thinking questions support the story’s physics content.
Slide and See Adding at the Circus - Young children will love moving the sliders to make the circus animals do tricks and reveal the answers to simple sums. Counting the animals on the page, then moving the slider to add one more, shows how addition works in a simple yet entertaining way. A delightful book that children will return to again and again.
Dinner at the Panda Palace - Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dinner at the Panda Palace! In this charming counting book, perfect for back to school, children will learn the importance of inclusion. Join one hungry elephant, two carsick lions, three pigs running from a wolf, and dozens of other playful yet famished animals as they swing, bound, and bounce into the Panda Palace for a hearty meal. But when the restaurant is totally full, will Panda make room for one more guest?
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.
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!
Children’s Choice Award winner Bethany Barton applies her signature humor to the scariest subject of all- math! Do multiplication tables give you hives? Do you break out in a sweat when you see more than a few numbers hanging out together? Then I’m Trying to Love Math is for you! In her signature hilarious style, Bethany Barton introduces readers to the things (and people) that use math in amazing ways — like music, and spacecraft, and even baking cookies! This isn’t a how-to math book, it’s a way to think differently about math as a necessary and cool part of our lives!
A new book in the bestselling series with simple explanations of complex ideas for your future genius! It only takes a small spark to ignite a child’s mind! The ABCs of Engineering introduces babies (and grown-ups!) to a new engineering concept for every letter of the alphabet - including entries for various aspects of engineering like mechanical, architectural, and beyond. 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 mathematicians.
Math is all around us, and in this clever and enlightening picture book, readers see how math, nature, and poetry intermingle and collaborate . . . well, naturally. Each clever equation is a tiny, perfect poem that prompts readers to look at the ordinary and see the miraculous. Can you look at an egg in a nest and see a jewelry box? How are sunlight and heat like an alarm clock? Engaging sidebars reveal the science behind the signs of spring.
Ada Lace and the Impossible Mission - From Emily Calandrelli—Emmy-nominated host of Xploration Outer Space, correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World, and graduate of MIT—comes the fourth 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 has a new social studies teacher—who loves group projects. While most of the class has constructed regular dioramas with clay and construction paper, Ada, her best friend Nina, and sometimes nemesis Milton have built a complex scale model of an historic silver mine. But when Milton reveals that he added his “old Milton touch” on their project right before turning it in, Ada worries that he has sabotaged their work. In a desperate attempt to save their project, Ada and Nina use their combined creative and technical prowess to perform a heist and break into their teacher’s supply closet after school. Do the two friends have what it takes to deceive the school’s security system? Or will they get caught trying to pull off this seemingly impossible mission.
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.
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!
Ice Cream Summer - A little boy writes a letter to his grandfather about all the reading and studying he is doing this summer—but all his activities revolve around ice cream.
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.
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.
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!
Introduce young children to the concept of taking away with this delightful interactive book. Children can count the animals in each scene, then move the slider so one disappears and see how many animals there are now. Each scene shows up to five animals, from buzzing bees to splashing frogs and a cat creeping out in the night.
The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses is meant to demonstrate various forms of learning, creativity, and intelligence. Each book introduces a realistic example of triumph over difficulty in a positive, humorous way that readers of all ages will enjoy! Max is convinced he will never succeed at memorizing his multiplication facts. When it’s time for a test, one by one, Max’s classmates turn in their finished papers before the timer rings. Not Max. As soon as the teacher starts the timer, his heart begins to pound, his hands begin to sweat, and his brain freezes! He is always the last to finish…and sometimes the other kids tease him about it. Is Max the worst math student ever? This positive story is perfect for anyone who has ever struggled with learning by memorization. Readers of all ages will discover that struggles don’t always mean you’re bad at something, but that maybe you just learn differently from others.
“Children and teachers alike will celebrate the message, conveyed poignantly in Last to Finish, that ‘mathematics is much more than memorizing math facts and taking timed tests’…Esham richly captures the dilemma when one such youngster encounters difficulties with memorizing math facts but, in fact, is a deep thinker of mathematics just the same. The reader will discover that the solution is both true and simple.” —Dr. Susan Baum, The College of New Rochelle Professor Emeritus,
Gifted Education Praise for the series: “This is a wonderful book series. Each story shows children that success is about effort and determination, that problems need not derail them, and that adults can understand their worries and struggles. My research demonstrates that these lessons are essential for children.” —Dr. Carol S. Dweck
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.
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?
Bug - Bug is a quirky little girl who’s mad about insects and drawing . . . and hates arithmetic. But when her teacher promises the class a field trip if everyone does well on their math test, Bug knows she HAS to pass. This humorous story shows kids that there are many ways to find the correct answer—if you use your imagination and count on the things you love.
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!
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.
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
Count on Absolutely One Thing for a singularly funny look at simple math as encountered by Charlie and Lola. Sometimes, as a treat, Mom takes Charlie and Lola to the store and says they may choose one thing. “One thing to share?” Lola asks. No, it’s one thing each, explains Charlie, or two actual things between two. Lola is nine minutes late getting ready, and on the way, there are ladybugs and birds to count and maybe a squillion leaves on a tree. At the store, Lola says she’ll choose three things, or possibly two. “How about no things?” asks Mom. With Lola hilariously bending everyday numbers to her will, the math goes down easy in this charming picture book loaded with visual appeal.
William Wenton and the Secret Portal - William Wenton is a code-breaking genius, but now he faces a new threat—one that’s lurking inside him—in the second book in the William Wenton series that School Library Journal calls “part Alex Rider, part Da Vinci Code for kids, and part Artemis Fowl.”
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.
All of the Above - Now with a new cover! A heart-warming, transformational story about a motley group of kids whose lives are changed by a math teacher’s challenge, written by award-winning author Shelley Pearsall with interior illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Javaka Steptoe. James Harris III, Rhondell, Sharice, and Marcel are four inner city students with a quest to build the world’s largest tetrahedron. Weaving together their different personal stories, their teacher, and the community that surrounds them, award winning author Shelley Pearsall has written a vividly engaging story about math, life and good-tasting barbecue. Filled with unexpected humor, poignant characters and quiet brilliance, All of the Above is based on a true story. Bonus content includes a revised authors note with photos, resources, and more!
Bringing Down the Mouse - Charlie Lewis goes on a roller coaster ride of risk, math, and gaming in this middle grade novel that parallels the New York Times bestselling Bringing Down the House, which inspired the movie 21 with Kevin Spacey. Charlie Lewis is a nerd. All he’s ever been good at is math—and he’s really good at math. So good that he’s recruited by a group of kids determined to game the system at the biggest theme park in the world—and win the grand prize. Soon Charlie is caught up in the excitement and thrill of using his math skills for awesomeness…but what’s at stake may be more than he’s willing to risk. How far will Charlie go for a chance at the ultimate reward?
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!
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.
A charming introduction to simple money concepts in which a bunny learns he can’t buy everything he wants with his allowance!
Sonny gets three whole carrots a week for his allowance and wants to buy everything with it! But he soon discovers his money won’t go that far, and his mom tells him he needs to make some choices. That doesn’t sound like much fun to Sonny, especially when he learns that the bouncy castle he’s been eyeing goes for ONE HUNDRED carrots. Ridiculous! But eventually, after a little math and a little more thinking, he has a blast discovering what’s really important to him and worth spending his carrots on.
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.