## Picture books with mathematical content

This resource provides a list of picture books that contain mathematical content.

## About this resource

Using picture books with mathematical content can be an effective way to engage students and explore problems within entertaining contexts. This list provides a number of picture books that contain mathematical content.

# Picture books with mathematical content

Why use picture books in a maths class? Using picture books with mathematical content can be an effective way to engage students and explore problems within entertaining contexts.

The visual elements of a quality picture book can illustrate a concept in ways that may be hard to do with other resources. For example, the pictures of a hundred ants marching in different arrays as they try to pick up some speed to reach the picnic in *One Hundred Hungry Ants *by Elinor J. Princzes can be difficult to organise on the mat!

The use of a narrative supports problem solving as students have a reason within the story to solve and figure out. A picture book can be used as an introduction to a concept, as a launch pad to further explore an idea, or as a prompt for discussion and debate.

It is important to select books that are of high quality from both a literary and a mathematical perspective. Evaluate the mathematics within the book prior to sharing it with your students, and decide on some directions you are interested in following with questions or response activities.

Questions to help guide your selection of books to use within maths classes:

- Does the book present content that is mathematically sound and appropriate for the level of your students?
- Does the book provide opportunities to introduce or reinforce mathematical symbols and vocabulary?
- Is the book effective for supporting students to think and reason mathematically?
- Will the book help build students' appreciation of both mathematics and literature?

Download a spreadsheet of all picture books listed in this section as well as others that may now be out of print.

See **Materials that come with this resource** to download:

Picture books with mathematical content spreadsheet

*(.xlsx)*

## Level 1 number

### Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, by Eric Litwin

Visit Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Harper, ISBN: 9780062110589

Description | Pete the cat loses this buttons… or does he? Includes a very catchy song keeping track as the buttons pop off. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Subtraction to 5. |

Minnie's diner: A multiplying menu, by Dayle Ann Dodds

Visit Minnie's Diner: A Multiplying Menu to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Candlewick (2004), ISBN: 9780763633134

Description | Through the repeated refrain of “Make it a double!” a family of brothers reveals the power of multiplication as they order from the menu at Minnie’s Diner. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Doubles. |

Equal Shmequal, by Virginia Kroll

Publisher: Charlesbridge, ISBN: 1570918929

Visit Equal Shmequal to see the activity based on this book.

Description | A mouse explores what it means to be equal using the concept of balance. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Meanings of equals. |

## Level 1 geometry

### A Lion in the Night, by Pamela Allen

Visit A Lion in the Night to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton, ISBN: 9780140509397

Description | A lion steals a baby from the castle and takes her on a wild ride through the night. The members of the court have to follow the lion's path. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Directions and pathways. |

## Level 1 measurement

### Ernest, by Catherine Rayner

Visit Ernest to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: MacMillan ISBN: 9780230712553

Description | Ernest the Moose is TOOO big to fit in this regular size book and after many attempts to squish in, he and his friend come up with a solution: increase the area of the book. Now he fits perfectly. |

Mathematics | Area and size. |

Guess How Much I Love You?, by Sam McBratney

Visit Guess How Much I Love You? to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Walker Books, ISBN: 9781406342864

Description | Little Nut Brown Hare discovers it is difficult to measure love using his experiences with length and height. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Length and non-standard units. |

## Level 1 statistics

### Probably Pistachio, by Stuart J. Murphy

Visit Probably Pistachio to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: HarperCollins, ISBN: 0064467341

Description | Over the course of a day, Jack discovers the meanings of certain, likely, and possible. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Probability, vocabulary. |

## Level 2 number

### 365 Penguins, by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet

Visit 365 Penguins to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Abrams, ISBN: 9780810944602

Description | On day one, a penguin turns up, and day by day the numbers grow. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Time, factors, grouping. |

The Biggest Number in the Universe, by Julie Leibrich

Visit The Biggest Number in the Universe to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Scholastic New Zealand, ISBN: 1869436024

Description | A girl borrows a very large number from her neighbour to take to school with her, but it does not work out as she plans. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Different types of numbers. |

One Is a Snail, Ten Is a Crab: A Counting Feet Book, by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre

Visit One Is a Snail, Ten Is a Crab: A Counting Feet Book to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Walker (2004), ISBN: 1844281647

Description | When you are counting by feet, then 1 is a snail, 2 is a person, and 4 is a dog! This book uses the number of feet on various animals as the unit by which numbers can be expressed. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Part whole and multiplicative thinking, number combinations. |

One Hundred Hungry Ants, by Elinor J. Pinczes

Visit One Hundred Hungry Ants to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN: 9780395971239

Description | A group of ants explores arrays for 100 as they try to find the fastest way to get to the picnic. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Multiplication, arrays. |

A Remainder of One, by Elinor J. Pinczes

Visit A Remainder of One to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN: 9780618250776

Description | A group of 25 marching bugs assemble themselves in various arrays, trying to get to even rows and not have a remainder. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Division, arrays. |

Mr Chicken Goes to Paris, by Leigh Hobbs

Visit Mr Chicken Goes to Paris to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Allen and Unwin, ISBN: 9781741757699

Description | This hilarious story about Mr. Chicken going to Paris is full of incidental maths conversations. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Arrays, grouping. |

The Great Divide: A Mathematical Marathon, by Dayle Ann Dodds

Visit The Great Divide: A Mathematical Marathon to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Candlewick, ISBN: 9780763615925

Description | 80 competitors begin a marathon. The number remaining is systematically halved until 5 remain. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Halving. |

How Much Is a Million?, by David Schwartz

Publisher: HarperCollins, ISBN: 9780688040499

Description | The relative size of large numbers is explored with pictures and interesting facts. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Numbers 1 million to 1 trillion. |

The Warlord's Beads, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1565548639

Description | A story that describes the creation of an abacus as a way to manage a systematic count. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Counting, number systems, multiples. |

Spaghetti and Meatballs for All, by Marilyn Burns

Publisher: Scholastic, ISBN: 9780545044455

Description | Mr and Mrs Comfort need to arrange the tables and chairs to ensure all their guests have a seat. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Division, multiplication, equal shares. |

## Level 2 algebra

### One Is a Snail, Ten Is a Crab: A Counting Feet Book, by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre

Visit One Is a Snail, Ten Is a Crab: A Counting Feet Book to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Walker (2004), ISBN: 1844281647

Description | When you are counting by feet, then 1 is a snail, 2 is a person, and 4 is a dog! This book uses the number of feet on various animals as the unit by which numbers can be expressed. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Number patterns. |

Wild Fibonacci - Nature's secret revealed, by Joy Hulme

See Wild Fibonacci: Nature's Secret Revealed to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Tricycle Press, ISBN: 9781582463247

Description | This is an introduction to the Fibonacci number sequence and its presence in the animal world, such as the curve of beaks and claws. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Number patterns. |

## Level 2 geometry

### The Greedy Triangle, by Marilyn Burns

Visit The Greedy Triangle to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks, ISBN: 9780545042208

Description | A story about a triangle that wants to change its number of sides. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Features of shapes. |

My Map Book, by Sara Fanelli

Visit My Map Book to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Walker Books, ISBN: 9780060264550

Description | A look at mapping from a variety of perspectives, including the neighbourhood, a family map, and a bedroom. |

Mathematics | Maps. |

## Level 2 measurement

### Counting on Frank, by Rod Clement

Visit Counting on Frank to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), ISBN: 039570393X

Description | A boy asks and answers questions such as, "How long a line will my ballpoint pen draw?" and "How many humpback whales would fit in my house?" |

Mathematics | Measurement, enlargement. |

Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin

Visit Diary of a Worm to see the activity based on this book

Publisher: Harper Collins, ISBN: 006000150X

Description | A juvenile worm keeps a journal over several weeks documenting the events of his life. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Time, date, months. |

## Level 2 statistics

### Lemonade for Sale, by Stuart J. Murphy

Visit Lemonade for Sale to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: HarperCollins, ISBN: 9780064467155

Description | The kids club track the success of their lemonade stall by graphing their sales for a week. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Bar graphs. |

## Level 3 number

### On Beyond a Million, by David M. Schwartz

Visit On Beyond a Million to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Dragonfly Books, ISBN: 0440411777

Description | This is a counting book based on the powers of ten. The place value house names are revealed as the powers climb. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Place value, large whole numbers. |

How Much Is a Million?, by David Schwartz

Visit How Much Is a Million? to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: HarperCollins ISBN: 9780688040499

Description | The relative size of large numbers is explored with pictures and interesting facts. |

Mathematics | Numbers 1 million to 1 trillion. |

Math Curse, by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Visit Maths Curse to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Viking Juvenile, ISBN: 9780670861941

Description | A child sees the maths problems in everything in their daily life. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Problems linked to multiple aspects of mathematics. |

The Warlord's Beads, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1565548639

Visit The Warlord's Beads to see the activity based on this book.

Description | A story that describes the creation of an abacus as a way to manage a systematic count. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Counting, number systems, multiples. |

Spaghetti and Meatballs for all, by Marilyn Burns

Publisher: Scholastic, ISBN: 9780545044455

Description | Mr and Mr. Comfort need to arrange the tables and chairs to ensure all their guests have a seat. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Division, multiplication, equal shares. |

The Great Divide: A Mathematical Marathon, by Dayle Ann Dodds

Visit The Great Divide: A Mathematical Marathon to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Candlewick, ISBN: 9780763615925

Description | 80 competitors begin a marathon. The number remaining is systematically halved until 5 remain. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Halving. |

## Level 3 algebra

### Fifty-five feathers, by Ben Brown

Visit Fifty-Five Feathers to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Reed, ISBN: 9781869486839

Description | Pukeko goes searching for donations from the other native birds to make a cloak for her friend Gecko. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Sums of number sequences. |

The Rabbit Problem, by Emily Gravett

Visit The Rabbit Problem to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Macmillan, ISBN: 9781442412552

Description | The Fibonacci sequence is explored by a family of rabbits over the course of one year. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Number patterns. |

## Level 3 geometry

### The Warlord's Puzzle, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Visit The Warlord’s Puzzle to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1565544951

Description | The geometric puzzle, the tangram, is explored in the context of a challenge issued by an ancient Chinese warlord to put a tile broken into 7 pieces back together again. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Shape. |

A Cloak for the Dreamer, by Aileen Friedman

Visit A Cloak for the Dreamer to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Scholastic Press, ISBN: 9780590489874

Description | The tailor's three sons explore shapes that fit together as they make cloaks for the Archduke. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Tesselation. |

Re-Zoom, by Istvan Banyai

Publisher: Puffin, ISBN: 9780140556940

Description | A wordless book that explores magnification and enlargement |
---|---|

Mathematics | Transformation. |

The Emperor's Army, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1589806905

Description | The discovery of the Terra-cotta Army provides the main character with the opportunity to uncover the mystery of its creation and explore the concept of volume. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Volume, space. |

The Warlord's Kites, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1589801806

Description | The characters use their understanding of how to calculate area as a way to create kites and frighten away an invading army. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Area, 2-D shape. |

## Level 3 measurement

### Belonging, by Jeannie Baker

Visit Belonging to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Walker Books, ISBN: 9781406305487

Description | A wordless book that depicts the first 24 years of a person’s life, documenting the changes that occur within her room, her life, and outside in her community. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Time, years, decades. |

Counting on Frank, by Rod Clement

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), ISBN: 039570393X

Description | A boy asks and answers questions such as "How long a line will my ballpoint pen draw?" and "How many humpback whales would fit in my house?" |
---|---|

Mathematics | Measurement, enlargement. |

The Emperor's Army, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1589806905

Description | The discovery of the Terra-cotta Army provides the main character with the opportunity to uncover the mystery of its creation and explore the concept of volume. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Volume, space. |

The Warlord's Kites, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1589801806

Description | The characters use their understanding of how to calculate area as a way to create kites and frighten away an invading army. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Area, 2-D shape. |

## Level 3 statistics

### Uno’s Garden, by Graeme Base

Visit Uno's Garden to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Penguin Viking, ISBN: 0670041912

Description | Uno arrives in the forest and is surrounded by a diversity of animals and plants. As the human population grows in one pattern, it affects other populations in other patterns. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Populations. |

### A Very Improbable Story, by Edward Einhorn

Visit A Very Improbable Story to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Charlesbridge, ISBN: 9781570918728

Description | A humourous exploration of probability that happens when Ethan wakes up to find a cat on his head. Set up several investigations of odds and develop statistical vocabulary. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Probability and chance. |

## Level 4 number

### The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure, by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Visit The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Granta Books, ISBN: 9781862078284

Description | Follow 12-year-old Robert as he battles with his attitude towards maths each night in his dreams as he is visited by the Number Devil. An illustrated novel that presents complex (and simple) mathematical concepts in engaging ways. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Number, algebra, sequence, prime, squares, decimals. |

Big Numbers, by Mary and John Gribbin

Visit Big Numbers to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Wizard Books, ISBN: 1840464313

Description | An illustrated series of short non-fiction articles on topics involving very large and very small numbers. It all depends on what you’re measuring. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Measurement, large numbers, decimals, million, time size, distance. |

Math Curse, by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Visit Maths Curse to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Viking Juvenile, ISBN: 9780670861941

Description | A child sees the maths problems in everything in their daily life. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Problems linked to multiple aspects of mathematics. |

## Level 4 algebra

### The Rabbit Problem, by Emily Gravett

Visit The Rabbit Problem to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Macmillan, ISBN: 9781442412552

Description | The Fibonacci sequence is explored by a family of rabbits over the course of one year. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Number patterns. |

## Level 4 geometry

### Re-Zoom, by Istvan Banyai

Visit Re-Zoom to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Puffin ISBN: 9780140556940

Description | A wordless book that explores magnification and enlargement |
---|---|

Mathematics | Transformation. |

A Cloak for the Dreamer, by Aileen Friedman

Visit A Cloak for the Dreamer to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Scholastic Press, ISBN: 9780590489874

Description | The tailor's three sons explore shapes that fit together as they make cloaks for the Archduke. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Tesselation. |

The Emperor's Army, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1589806905

Description | The discovery of the Terra-cotta Army provides the main character with the opportunity to uncover the mystery of its creation and explore the concept of volume. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Volume, space. |

The Warlord's Kites, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1589801806

Description | The characters use their understanding of how to calculate area as a way to create kites and frighten away an invading army. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Area, 2-D shape. |

## Level 4 measurement

### The Emperor's Army, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Visit The Emperor's Army to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1589806905

Description | |
---|---|

Mathematics | Volume, space. |

The Warlord's Kites, by Virginia Walton Pilegard

Visit The Warlord's Kites to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Pelican, ISBN: 1589801806

Description | |
---|---|

Mathematics | Area, 2-D shape. |

## Level 4 statistics

If the World Was a Village: A Book About the World’s People, by David J. Smith

Visit If the World Was a Village: A Book About the World’s People to see the activity based on this book.

Publisher: Kids Can, ISBN: 1550747797

Description | This book asks the reader to shrink that population to 100 people, a village, keeping the proportions intact, and imagine what the village looks like. |
---|---|

Mathematics | Populations, percentages. |

**The quality of the images on this page may vary depending on the device you are using.**