8 Mathematics Picture Books for Your Curious Children

Ali Kayaspor
Apr 30 · 7 min read

Mathematics is so abstract. And a great number of kids are not comfortable with math. After a few years, they start hating it. However, math is fun when there is a story behind it. Especially, illustrative books about math are the perfect cross-curricular tool to introduce a child to complicated concepts and mathematical thinking. We should always remember this; a child answers questions by thinking about them rather than using paper and pencil.

I have made a list of excellent math books to spark a child’s curiosity, no matter what his or her interests might be. These books are an entertaining vehicle to introduce young people to math. The math in these books is simple and well explained. I recommend these books for your children and for 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 special gift to the world.”

Triangle

While I was looking for a math book for my son, the cover of this book caught my eye. After reading the book, I really enjoyed it. The illustrations were hilarious and felt that my son would just adore it. And he loved it. He wants me to read it many times in a day! He is very interested in the high contrast black and white illustrations. This is really a hilarious book that both adults and children will appreciate. It’s really fun 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 wonderful way to teach basic geometry.

You can buy from Amazon.

Triangle written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen.

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 son, he was hooked to it! He sat quietly and listened to the entire book which does not happen very often. We devoured this book in 15 minutes. Now, he asks me to read this book almost every night! I really enjoy reading it with my son. This book has become a favorite in our house! The book, based on a real person and true events have a dream. It is about the life of a great person, Albert Einstein, his ideas and his theories, it definitely encourages curiosity. This book enforces this idea; read, learn and imagine! Even as an adult I enjoyed every word of it. It is well written and is 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 online.

On a Beam of Light written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky.

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

This book is a must-have for mathematicians, designers, biologists, homeschooling parents, and astronauts 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 the great mathematicians. And 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. In order to honor Fibonacci, the illustrations are made up of spirals. Clever! I relished the book when I read about smart brain’ stories. And 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 of such books for kids and us.

You can buy the book online from this link.

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci written by Joseph D’Agnese and illustrated by John O’ Brien.

Infinity and Me

This book is a treasure to a parent. My son was asking so many questions about infinity. And this book was the best way to introduce the concept of infinity to my son. My son thinks about infinity in a different way now and we had a lot of discussions about it at our dinner table. The illustrations are wonderful. The art is beautiful, the dialogue is engaging and the concept is powerful.

You can buy the book online from this link.

Infinity and Me were written by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska.

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 read. Like all the other children’s books, we finished this book in a very short time but I want to read it again and again to see the details of illustrations. 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 there’s just enough math to teach something but without getting overwhelmed. The endnotes are also perfect.

You can buy the book online from this link.

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos written by Deborah Heiligman and illustrated by LeUyen Pham.

Pyramid

This is a pretty interesting book. It is about how the Egyptians made the Pyramids. There tons of scientific explanations of artful things. It is a perfect book about line drawings. And my son 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. This is a well written educational book showing how fascinating structures are designed and built. It is also a wonderful book to explain 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 online from this link.

Pyramid written by David Macaulay.

The Rabbit Problem

What a fun book! We go back to read it over and over again! This is another book that I want to gift every child I know. It is about rabbits and 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 7 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 by a math professor who was explaining the Fibonacci Series to a group of mathematics professors, students, and teachers.

You can buy the book online from this link.

The Rabbit Problem written and illustrated by Emily Gravett.

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

I bought this book to stimulate my son’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 on geometry to the children through a funny medieval story. I don’t think that you will be disappointed with this purchase.

You can buy the book online from this link.

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table (A Math Adventure) written by Cindy Neuschwander and illustrated by Wayne Geehan.

However, Mathematics

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