This is a list of mathematical (mostly kid-oriented) books that I have come across and enjoyed/found useful. I have split them into several categories that made sense to me. Let me know if you think some obvious category is missing or something is miscategorized – this is very much a work in progress! Also, I’m always on the lookout for new, fun math books so tell me about yours in the comments!
Books for parents and teachers
Math From Three to Seven by Alexander Zvonkin is the book that inspired me to start math “lessons” with my older daughter at an early age. It was my bedtime reading for a long time, and sometimes still is. It is filled with great thoughts, stories, ideas and activities. While it was written about kids of ages 4-7, there is much to be found for older kids as well. As a bonus, it is a great read!
Other books with fun activities to do with kids in a class setting or at home.
Beyond School Math
These workbooks by Jane Kats are not like anything else I have seen. Through fun “logic” activities, they give kids glimpses of many areas of math that are mostly not touched upon in school: graph theory, topology, number theory, 2D and 3D geometry, algebra, logic – to name a few. And all of this in an age appropriate way!
While these books from the Art of Problem Solving present many topics that kids do encounter in school, they do so at a much deeper level. The “guide” books are presented as fun comics and the “workbooks” contain problems, many of which require thinking!
Math Picture Books – I believe that a good math picture book needs to present an interesting mathematical concept and not just state some facts (one can learn that a pentagon has 5 sides from an encyclopedia). And of course there needs to be a fun story where the math does not feel forced.
How big is a foot? – great conceptual introduction to units of measurement
Equal Shmequal – “equal” can mean different things!
The greedy triangle – cute story, kid’s intro to limits
How much is a million? – a sense for big numbers
How many jelly beans? – a sense for big numbers
Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens – decent introduction to place value
Math-y Chapter Books
Pretty much everything written by Martin Gardner is great. Here are two of his puzzle books in which I found some puzzles I could give to little kids.
Most of these puzzles by Boris Kordemsky require a bit more math knowledge:
And finally some by Peter Winkler that are not for the weak at heart. Fun problems for real math enthusiasts.