21 Most Beautifully Illustrated Math Books for Kids

Ali Kayaspor
Jan 28 · 15 min read
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Mathematics is abstract, and a great number of kids grow up to be uncomfortable with math. After a few years, kids start hating it. However, math is fun when there is a story behind it. Illustrative books about math are the perfect cross-curricular tool to introduce a child to a complicated concept and mathematical thinking in a way that they will understand. Illustrative math books are an excellent purchase to make learning easier for kids. We should always remember this; a child answers questions by thinking about them rather than using paper and pencil.

I have compiled a list of excellent math books to spark a child’s curiosity, no matter what his or her interests might be. I believe the introduction to math should be with these books. These books are an entertaining vehicle to introduce math to children. They certainly deserve to have their place in a collection. When you read them, you will probably find yourself falling in love with math yourself!

The math in these books is simple and well explained. You will find fantastic true stories of genius people who are deeply involved in mathematics and science. They are excellent classroom resources. I recommend these books for your children and yourself as well. Keep in mind that,

“ A child’s interests often puzzle others and can sometimes continue into adulthood and become one’s career or a special gift to the world.”

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars

I love to see that my daughter loves reading. To keep her motivated and learning, I spent a lot of time to provide her with interesting books all the time. From the book: “The whole world is filled with big, enormous, gigantic, humongous, incredible numbers.” This book is a wonderful source to make the concepts of tremendous things smaller for kids. It gets the attention of children and forces them to use their imagination when they read something about extremely large numbers.

The illustrations of space and stars are so beautiful and fun. It is a beautiful holiday gift for a young student.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

Swirl by Swirl (board book): Spirals in Nature

Swirl by Swirl is one of the best nature & science books for children. It shows an entirely different aspect of mathematics and its connection with nature.

It is an excellent read-aloud during storytime and for picnics. After reading it, encourage your students to find mathematics at home or outside. Kids will go outside and find tons of different spirals in nature. They will see swirls and spirals everywhere. This book tells us that math is all around us and that kiddos don’t need to be afraid of it!

I love this book. You would be impressed when you see the unique illustrations, as they are full of rich detail and make the book enjoyable. Yes, this book is for toddlers, but I am pretty sure that even an adult will learn a lot from this book. We need more books like this one to inspire our children and make them love mathematics.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos

I keep this book on my table next to my computer, so I can read it whenever I want to. Like all the other books, we finished this book in a very short time, but I want to read it again and again, to see new details of the illustrations each time. While I was reading, my daughter was very interested in what was coming next.

This book indicates that math isn’t about the number of problems you do, but rather the quality of our work and how it impacts other people. By reading this book, a child can understand the importance of mathematics and notice that everyone needs to understand mathematics. There’s just enough math to teach someone without getting overwhelmed. The endnotes of this book are also a hidden treasure.

You can buy the book on Amazon.

What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?

I participated in a Teaching Education program last year, and one of the instructors read What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras, to our class, and I immediately loved it! This book is written for middle school scholars; however, I bought “What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?” for my high school students because they didn’t fully comprehend all of the math the first time I taught the Pythagorean theorem. Only some students grasped the idea. However, all of my students enjoyed the life of Pythagoras and the Pythagorean theorem when they read the book. Now, they all know and understand the math behind a² + b² = c².

This book should be a classic for all students. The author’s language helps children how the Pythagorean theorem works and how it would be useful in real life. Again, it is a beautiful way to teach the Pythagorean Theorem! I recommended this book for anyone who struggles with geometry.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

I wish I could buy this book as a gift to all of the children in my life. When I read it to my daughter, she was hooked! She sat quietly and listened to the entire book, which does not happen very often. We devoured this book in less than 15 minutes. Now she asks me to read this book almost every night! I enjoy reading it with my child, and it has become a favorite in our household! The book, based on a real person and true events, is a dream. It is about the life of a great person, Albert Einstein, his ideas, and his theories, and it encourages curiosity. This book enforces the idea; read, learn, and imagine! Even as an adult, I enjoyed every word of it. It is well written and educational. I wish the authors would publish more books like this. These days, it is very hard to find a children’s book that’s not based on farm animals!

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Triangle

While I was looking for a math book for my daughter, the cover of this book caught my eye. After reading the book, I enjoyed it. The illustrations were hilarious, and I felt that my daughter would adore it. I was correct, and she loved it. She wants me to read it to her many times a day! She is very interested in the high contrast black and white illustrations. Triangle is a hilarious book that both adults and children will appreciate. It’s also enjoyable to read aloud. Just the pictures alone are enough to make someone love it. However, the simplicity of both words and the illustrations work together to create a powerful narrative. I also highly suggest that Kindergarten teachers purchase this book. This book, Triangle, would be a fantastic way to teach basic geometry.

You can purchase Triangle on Amazon.

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

This book is a must-have for mathematicians, designers, biologists, homeschooling parents, astronauts, and everyone else because Fibonacci numbers are connected to almost everything. It is a well-written biography suitable for both children and adults. As a math major in college, I used to read a lot of biographies of great mathematicians. Honestly, I bought this book for myself. This book has beautiful illustrations, and it is about “Medieval Europe’s greatest mathematician, Fibonacci.” The story starts with Fibonacci’s childhood and explains that his peers and the adults in his life didn’t understand him because he was always counting things and looking for patterns in nature around the City of Pisa. There are hidden sequences, spirals, and symbols to find throughout the book. To honor Fibonacci, the illustrations are made up of spirals, which is clever! I relished the book when I read it. It encouraged me to see our world from a different perspective. I will never eat another orange again without counting the sections. I hope to see more books like Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci for kids and adults.

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Infinity and Me

This book is truly a treasure to a parent. My daughter was asking so many questions about infinity, and this book was the best way to introduce the concept to her. She thinks about infinity differently now, and we had a lot of discussions about it at our dinner table. The illustrations are lovely. The art is beautiful, the dialogue is engaging, and the concept is powerful.

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Pyramid

I asked one of my colleagues to recommend a math book, and he told me that the Pyramid was his favorite book. It is a pretty interesting book. It is about how the Egyptians made the pyramids. There are tons of scientific explanations of the artful things. It is a perfect book about line drawings. My daughter now knows how to make perfect lines. If you see a child who loves to dream, this book is a must-have for him or her. It is also a well-written, educational book showing how these fascinating structures are designed and built. It is also a beautiful book to explain to children how such a massive undertaking was accomplished. This book is also a great conversation piece for your coffee table discussion.

You can buy the book on Amazon.

The Rabbit Problem

What a fun book! My family and I go back to read it over and over again! This book is another book that I want to gift to every child I know. It is about rabbits and the Fibonacci sequence. At the beginning of the book, the author says: “This is not a math book. It’s a children’s book.” However, if children read this book, they can predict how much food one will need for the next seven days while knowing that the amount of food consumed each day will vary. As it is stated in the introduction of the book, this is NOT a math book. It is a children’s book. It was recommended to me by a math professor who was explaining the Fibonacci Series to a group of mathematics professors, students, and teachers.

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table (A Math Adventure)

I bought this book to stimulate my daughter’s interest in geometry. Sir Cumference probably is the most mathematically educational story I have ever read. This book covers much more than circles. The author has found a beautiful way to introduce concepts in geometry to children through a funny medieval story. I don’t think that you will be disappointed with this purchase.

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Wild Fibonacci: Nature’s Secret Code Revealed

One of the best examples of the connection between mathematics and nature are Fibonacci numbers. Unfortunately, most teachers don’t teach this topic, but it’s a fun way to make younger kids love mathematics. It should be in every elementary school library.

This book is a fun introduction to the Fibonacci numbers! However, a young mind may not understand the connection between the Fibonacci sequence to nature without outside help because understanding the Fibonacci sequence and spiral is a tricky concept. The concept makes your child stop and think.

The book is beautifully and realistically illustrated. There are equations in the sidebar of each page. After your child has finished this book, they will want to search out and learn more about Fibonacci numbers!

It is highly recommended!

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Wild Fibonacci: Nature’s Secret Code Revealed written by Joy N. Hulme and illustrated by Carol Schwartz.

Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain

I am a math teacher, and empowering stories of successful women is a subject my students are highly interested in. Nothing Stopped Sophie is a great math book that introduces us to the hidden contributions of women in math and science. I recommend this book to inspire young minds to move forward and be confident in math because this book will certainly encourage them.

When you finish this fabulously illustrated and enjoyable book, you learn so many things about Sophie Germain’s challenging life. This woman enjoys math and breaks gender barriers in a male-dominated arena. The message of this book is perfect for our young women; “don’t let people tell you that you can’t be good at something.” Also, some interesting endnotes show you the details you missed in the first reading.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague

The Story of Raye Montague is another inspirational and lovely book that empowers young girls to follow their dreams. Although this book doesn’t teach math, it teaches equality, how to overcome life’s challenges, and follow your dreams, using the field of math as an example.

The illustrations are utterly beautiful and realistic and complemented the text perfectly. At the end of the book, a letter from Raye Montague to the reader is waiting for you, which is a lovely surprise.

I highly recommend this fascinating read for little girls the age of 6–10 age range. Every teacher should add this book to their classroom library.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

One of my friends, who is a computer engineer, bought this book as a gift for my daughter. After that time, we read it many more times so far. Every time we turned the page, we loved it more. The author is putting a light on a smart woman where others thought she’d fail.

It is a beautiful book about a smart woman whom we need to know more about. It is well written for children, and I think that the story and illustrations worked together exceptionally well in the book.

Since there is a surge in computers and coding these days for kids, this book can be used to encourage them.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure

These days, there are a lot of students who don’t know how to manipulate fractions mathematically, and that makes them struggle when they take Algebra courses. I am planning to write a letter to the minister of education to make this book a must for elementary and middle school because this book teaches them how to do operations on fractions in a fun and entertaining way.

The illustrations are very colorful, and creative names keep your students engaged during class time. I will continue to use it every year in my classroom, for sure! I highly recommend this book to all teachers and schools.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

Ada Byron Lovelace & the Thinking Machine

This book is another fascinating source for female students to follow their dreams. Also, this book can be used to show the good sides of technology. My children admired Ada Lovelace’s passion and talent for math. It was an inspiring book for them.

The drawings are highly beautiful, and all of them made me awed. It is an engaging read-aloud to elementary students. It is highly recommended, especially for girls!

You can buy this book on Amazon.

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

There is just so much to like about this book. For instance, this book enhances children’s curiosity for more information. The stories are honest and fully engaging. Some of my students now believe that challenges help them rather than hinder them.

As a teacher and a father, I am very impressed by this book. Each of the stories is nicely illustrated. This book is a winner and one of my favorites of the year so far. I will also purchase to give it as gifts for my good friends.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

First, I watched the movie Hidden Figures and loved it. Now, I like the book more than the movie because the narrative of the book was terrific. I am glad to own this book because it is a great story of empowerment.

The illustrations in this book are fabulous. It tells the story of how NASA came to be and how an African American’s life was like with a lot of details. Besides, science is beautifully explained for younger kids.

If you are looking for a beautiful gift for a young child, this book is perfect. I have added it to my classroom library already.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure

A young child who is curious about math will love this book. I think that’s why the owner of the museum put this book on the shelf at the Museum of Mathematics in New York.

The Number Devil is a beneficial educational resource to teach numbers interactively and engagingly. The author did an excellent job and showed the fun in mathematics.

I highly recommend this book to parents if your kiddos have an interest in maths.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure written by Hans Magnus Enzensberger and illustrated by Rotraut Susanne Berner.

Math Curse

I believe that if a child reads Math Curse, mathematics will be that child’s favorite subject. Besides, the kiddos will find the answer to the question of “where am I going to use this?” after they finish the book. It’s because this book shows math in our everyday lives.

Also, this book should be added to the middle school curriculum so that a math teacher could get some extra help. The illustrations are lovely, and the main character is a hilarious kid.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

However, Mathematics

Life is good for only two things, discovering mathematics…

Ali Kayaspor

Written by

Math Teacher. Mathematics. Soccer player. That’s why it is Maradona not Madonna. I had a mustache like a comrade when I was 2. — alikayaspor@gmail.com —

However, Mathematics

Life is good for only two things, discovering mathematics and teaching mathematics.

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