Kid-oriented Math Reads

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.

Math Circles for Elementary School Students

Family Math

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!

Mousematics: Learning Math the Fun Way (ages 6-7)

Mousematics: Learning Math the Fun Way (ages 5-6)

Mousematics: Learning Math the Fun Way (age 4)

Mousematics: Christmas Coloring Book (ages 4-6)

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!

Art of Problem Solving Beast Academy (grade 3)

Art of Problem Solving Beast Academy (grade 4)

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

The Number Devil

The Man Who Counted

The Phantom Tollbooth

Puzzle 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.

My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles

Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers

Most of these puzzles by Boris Kordemsky require a bit more math knowledge:

The Moscow Puzzles

And finally some by Peter Winkler that are not for the weak at heart.  Fun problems for real math enthusiasts.

Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur’s Collection

Mathematical Mind-Benders

24 Responses to Kid-oriented Math Reads

  1. bovetsky says:

    Probably, Measurement by Paul Lockhart can give you some ideas for lessons about geometry and, well, measurements for little kids. As for the challenging problems, Are you smart enough to work at Google by William Poundstone has some original ones, as well as a lot of variations of classical puzzles.


  2. Simon Gregg says:

    You Can Count on Monsters by Richard Evan Schwartz is a great picture book on factors and prime numbers. See my post (scroll down).


  3. I think in section of Math Picture Book you should add “The Number Devil” which have been written by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. This book is great for kids or adult. I have been reading it twice.


  4. aofradkin says:

    Reposted from Facebook:

    Rasamat Debora: Go figure! By Johnny Ball and Cookie count by Sabuda( beautifully made :)- for little ones


  5. Julia Shmilovich says:

    Buying mousematics for Age 4 now. Can’t wait to try it out.


  6. Debora says:

    The Stanford mathematics problem book by George Polya
    My best mathematical and logic puzzles by Martin Gardner
    My son’s( 8 y.o) favorite – Alice in Puzzleland by Raymond Smullyan


  7. Debora says:

    All books by Mitsumasa Anno are highly recommended . Suitable for kids 2 y.o. +. Princeton library has a lot of them. Beautiful pictures, almost no words, great presentation of math concepts. Math and art in one:)
    Check also Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith ( picture book )


  8. aofradkin says:

    Another Facebook repost:

    Kathy Lin: Hannah likes Penrose the Mathematical Cat (which I’ve only read a bit), and we recently got a MOEMS problem book that looks pretty good–challenging problems that don’t require much math background.


  9. Simon Gregg says:

    He did a series of “Anno’s Maths Games” which are hard to get. But more than that I like Anno’s Hat Tricks (logic), Anno’s Mysterious Counting Jar, Anno’s Magic Seeds, and Anno’s Magical ABC: An Anamorphic Alphabet. (I like all his books actually, but not all are mathematical.)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. aofradkin says:

    Yet more from FB:

    Alison Miller: In the chapter book section: Math for Smarty Pants and the I Hate Mathematics Book by Marilyn Burns.

    Seconding Gardner, Anno, and Smullyan. The Aha! books (which have been republished in one volume:…/dp/0883855518) are excellent entry-level Gardner.

    It’s exciting to see how much more is available now than when I was a kid!


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