Friday, September 9, 2016

Book Celebration

To celebrate the release of the newest great and greatest new children's math book... by which I mean Which One Doesn't Belong? by the #MTBoS' own Christopher Danielson, of course... I thought I'd recap some of my favorite math picture books. This list also has MTBoS support, as I solicited suggestions from the MTBoS for a colleague.

The request was for a parent with a mathematically curious child (really, could be anyone then, am I right?) of 4 or 5 years.


  • Moebius Noodles, Maria Droujkova's great book about big math ideas to explore. There were articles about calculus in kindergarten when it first came out.
  • Great new book: Which One Doesn¹t Belong. OK, I'll say more. I love this book because it's clever and pretty, but also because it can teach you how to read mathematically rich literature.
  • Math Curse, Lane and Scieska: just the best math book ever written. Nearly anything can be a problem, you know.
  • Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar, or anything by Mitsumasa Anno. Just charming books, and lovely besides.
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs For All, Marilyn Burns: my favorite of the explicitly mathematical genre. Tang and Murphy have their place but Burns is the queen of the genre. (Greedy Triangle, Smarty Pants, $1 Word...) 
  • Princess of the genre, Elinor Pinczes: One Hundred Hungry Ants, A Remainder of One, ...
  • Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford
  • Tessallation!  by Emily Grosvenor
  • Grandfather Tang’s Story, by Ann Tompert
  • The Dot and the Line, by Norton Juster


What to do:

Possibly for older, but like Madeline L'Engle, I think people underestimate kids:

  • The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norman Juster
  • The Man Who Counted, by Malba Tahan
  • Flatland, by Edwin Abbott 
  • The Number Devil, by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
  • The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat, by Theoni Pappas
  • The Cat in Numberland, by Ivar Ekeland and John O'Brien
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle (First I heard of a tesseract.) There's an audiobook where L'Engle reads it herself. Highly recommended.
And please add your own suggestions!


  • Cindy Whitehead saw that I missed the Sir Cumference books, by Cindy Neuschwander, and suggested the Go Figure books, by Johnny Ball.