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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Math in Books for Young Learners

Every teacher should be reading aloud a minimum of five times during a day's studies.  Concerned about being able to carve out time to read aloud - try infusing the read aloud into content area curriculum.  This post's focus is on books with mathematical concepts.
Great books to read aloud can be infused into every corner of the curriculum.  Here's a few of my favorites and links to some additional resources.

Math Books for Young Readers (K-6)

This bibliography features a selected list of books that feature a mathematical concept. Some of the titles are appropriate for use as an introductory text, while others are better suited to reinforce or review mathematical concepts. Some titles are best used when learners have prior experiences upon which the reader can attach the new learning.  For example:  Before reading Calvert’s title learners would benefit from having heard and being quite familiar with several versions of the traditional Rumpelstiltskin folk story.   Some of the books on this list are available on YouTube in recorded versions. Some are uploaded there by the publisher or authorized producers – however, many are uploaded without formal permission and thus are not entirely legal for use and sharing.

  •      Adler, David A. (2017) Place Value.  Illustrated by Edward Miller. New York: Holiday House. (Place Value)
  •      Axelrod, Amy. (1997) Pigs Will Be Pigs: Fun with Math and Money. Illustrated by Sharon McGinley-Nally. New York: Aladdin. (Money)
  •      Baker, Keith. (2004) Quack and Count.  Illustrated by Keith Baker. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (Counting)
  •      Burns, Marilyn. (1997, 2008) Spaghetti and Meatballs For All! Illustrated by Debbie Tilley.  New York: Scholastic. (Equations for 32)
  •      Calvert, Pam. (2006) Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin (A Math Adventure). Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Multiplication)
  •     Crews, Donald. (1995) Ten Black Dots. Illustrated by Donald Crews. Illustrated by Donald Crews. New York: Greenwillow. (Counting 1-10)
  •      Demi. (1997) One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale. New York: Scholastic. (Multiplication)
  •     Einhorn, Edward. (2014) Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventures. Math adventures series) Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Fractions: Simplifying)
  •      Gehl, Laura. (2014) One Big Pair of Underwear. Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.  New York: Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books. (Counting; by 1’s; by 2’s)
  •     Giganti, Paul, Jr. (1999) Each Orange Had 8 Slices.  Illustrated by Donald Crews. New York: Greenwillow. (Counting)
  •     Hong, Lily Toy.  (1993; 2017 pb )  Two of Everything: A Chinese Folktale. Illustrated by Lily Toy Hong. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Co. (multiplication)
  •     Hutchins, Pat (1986) The Doorbell Rang.  Illustrated by Pat Hutchins. New York: Greenwillow Books. (Division)
  •     Kroll, Virginia. (2005) Equal Shmequal. Illustrated by Philomena O’Neill. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Equal: Math, art, the law, and team sports)
  •      Long, Lynette. (1996) Domino Addition. Illustrated by Lynette Long. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Addition)
  •      McKellar, Danica. (2017) Goodnight, Numbers. Illustrated Alicia Padron. New York: Crown Books. (Counting)
  •     Merriam, Eve. (1996) 12 Ways to Get to 11. Illustrated by Eve Merriam. New York: Aladdin. (Counting)
  •     Murphy, Stuart J. (2005) More or Less.  Illustrated by David T. Wenzel. (MathStart Series). New York: HarperCollins. (Estimation – more and less)
  •      Murphy, Stuart. (1996) Give Me Half. Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. New York: HarperCollins. (Division; fractions)
  •     Myller, Rolf (1962; 1990) How Big Is a Foot.  Illustrated by Rolf Miller. New York: Scholastic. (Measurement)
  •     Neuschwander, Cindy. (1997) Sir Cumference and the First Round Table.  Illustrated by Wayne Geehan. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Geometry)
  •     Pinczes, Elinor J. (1999) One Hundred Hungry Ants.  Illustrated by Bonnie MacKain. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (Counting by 2’s, 4’s, and 10’s)
  •     Schwartz, David M. (1994) If You Made a Million. Illustrated by Steven Kellogg. New York: HarperCollins.
  •      Scieszka, Jon. (1995) Math Curse. Illustrated by Lane Smith. New York: Viking. (General Math)
  •      Sparagna, Angeline. (2003) A Place for Zero.  Illustrated by Phyllis Hornung. (Math adventures series) Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Zero)
  •      Sturges, Philemon. (1997) Ten Flashing Fireflies.  NorthSouth Books. (Counting 1-10; 10-1)
  •      Tang, Greg. (2004) The Grapes of Math. Illustrated by Harry Briggs. New York: Scholastic.  (Math Riddles)
  •     Walsh, Ellen Stoll. (1995) Mouse Count. Illustrated by Ellen Stoll Walsh. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (Counting 1-10; 10-1)

For more titles that feature mathematical concepts:

EEG Publishing/  (2007) Picture Books for Math.  Retrieved from

Three Sisters: Betsy, Cindy, & Virginia. (2018) The Best Children’s Books.  Retrieved from

© 2018 McBookwords.  Permission to reproduce for private/professional use or in conjunction with workshops, seminars at professional /non-profit conferences, or for use as part of classroom activities for graduate or undergraduate students.

If you wish to download a pdf of this bibliography you may do so here

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Celebrating books - and T'was the Night Before Christmas

A few images to inspire for the holidays -

Series of ornaments --

Christmas Remembered
by Tomie dePaola (G.P. Putnam, 2006)

Search for The Night Before Christmas or
T'was the Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Books and Gifts #3

Gingerbread Mug Mats, and Books

A favorite for the holiday season includes any of a number of books featuring Gingerbread Cookies and Gingerbread itself.  Bake up a batch of gingerbread and share with these books.
    Brett, Jan. Gingerbread Baby. Putnam, 1999.
    Brett, Jan. Gingerbread Friends.  Putnam, 2008
    Galdone, Paul. The Gingerbread Boy.. Clarion, 1979
    Aylesworth, Jim. The Gingerbread Man. Illustrated by Barbara McClintock. Scholastic Press, 1998; Cartwheel Books (Storyplay) edition.

Find a pair of holiday cups - add a packet for gourmet latte or hot chocolate.  Include a jar of homemade jam or jelly.  Add a gingerbread boy cookie or a simple cloth ornament. A mug mat or two.

For a great gingerbread recipe go to Green Frog Gifts - Gingerbread: Just in Time for the Holidays --


Monday, November 06, 2017

Books and Gifts #2

Baby Loves Science 

YES they do.
If you have a toddler in your life these books are a must.  They are in board book format and absolutely engaging.  The four year old that hangs around my house LOVES these books - and makes up his own quizzes about the objects depicted in the books - just so he can look some more.
Don't settle for imitations - they are out there, but these are the real thing.  Look for those authored by Ruth Spiro from Charlesbridge. 
In 2018 four more titles in this series will be released and I can not wait.  Meet Ruth through an interview online at Writer's Rumpus -- and if you catch the new titles, send along a comment so we can add them here.  Meanwhile, for this holiday please include these books on your holiday list - in fact, even adults might learn some basic facts about these topics.  Writer's Rumpus - Authors and Illustrators Wild About Kidlit: Meet Ruth Spiro, #kidlit author of Baby Loves Science series, plus giveaway.  Online at

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Books and Gifts - #1

Books and Gifts - #1

This year create literacy gifts by including a book with every gift you give -

This book is by Peter H. Reynolds and is a book celebrating creativity.  More information about the book can be found on the website of Reynolds' book store -  Blue Bunny Books.

Include as a family gift with a poster and mugs filled with hot cocoa mix or coffee packets.  These items are available from the Blue Bunny Books site as well. 

Create a table topper or an apron using polka dot fabric.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sharing the Birthday Pie

Peach & blueberry pie ready for my friend who shared my birthdate and is a pie guy. He also compiles our winning stats for our monthly 5 Crowns card games. So much fun.

The pie is an adaptation of one my mother always made with rings of cherries, apples, and raisin as filling.  This one is a combination of peach filling and blueberry filling.
After making the bottom pie crust I filled the edges with the peach filling (ringing the edges but keeping it from spilling over into the center) - only a small layer.  Then I  filled the center with the blueberry filling.  Finally I filled up the peach layer on the edges.

The top was made with cut out pie crust shapes - small circles around the edge and card symbols in the center.  Note in the 5 Crowns game that we play the suits are hearts, diamond, clubs, spades, and stars - hence the stars her in this assemblage of shapes.
Ideas for creating other pie crust toppings can be found here: 
How To Make a Decorative Pie Crust - Topless Baker.  Youtube at
Six Easy Decorative Pie Crusts: Howdini Baking.  Youtube at
3 Amazing Pie Crusts Designs! (Braided, Leaves, and Floral Crusts). Youtube at

Using these ideas - get creative and make your own designs.  Check out the basics: How to Pretty Up Your Pie with Pastry Cutouts.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Whose Birthday is September 13? #3

Whose Birthday is September 13? #3

Ten Things we know:
  1. Her series of books about Little Bear was illustrated by Maurice Sendak. 
  2. Born on September 13 in 1920, she died on 12 July 2012.
  3. She was born in Fredericia, Denmark.
  4. Moved to the United States at the age of four.
  5. She was widowed at the age of 43.
  6. She was a first-grade teacher in New York City and later moved to New Hampshire.
  7. She remarried (1970) and after the death of her second husband, Pulitzer-winning journalist Homer Bigart (1991) she moved to North Carolina.
  8. She wrote her books in longhand.
  9. Her last book was Little Bear and the Marco Polo.
  10. She died of complications of a heart attack, at the age of 91.

    Author #3 is Else Holmelund Minarik.  Her first husband who she married at age 20 was Walter Minarik. Before she wasa a first-grade teacher she was a journalist writing for the Daily Sentinel - a newspaper of rome, New York (curing World War II).