Great Children’s Books That Demonstrate Math Concepts in a Fun Way Kids Understand



When asked, many kids will say that math is their least favorite subject.  Traditional methods involve formulas, drills, and no explaining why we are learning something.  But math doesn’t have to be this way.  Here are some great illustrated picture books for kids that explain math concepts – how they work in pictures, and most importantly, WHY these ideas are important and useful.

A Very Improbable Story

by Edward Einhorn

A boy wakes up with a cat on his head that

won’t get off until the boy wins a game of probability

using objects around his house




One Grain of Rice

by Demi

The power of compounding interest is said to be the Eighth Wonder

of the World  and is illustrated for kids by the story of a young girl who

feeds her village by doubling a grain of rice every day for 30 days


Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar

by Masaichiro and Mitsumasa Anno

Factorials, or multiplying 1 x 2 x 3 x 4….etc is

demonstrated in a way kids can visualize


How Much is a Million? 

 by David M. Schwartz

A wizard shows a group of kids what

the number one million means in whimsical illustration


You Can Count on Monsters    

by Richard Even Schwartz

The numbers 1 to 100 are illustrated as monsters

in order to demonstrate what the difference is between

prime and composite numbers

 G is for Googol:  A Math Alphabet Book 

by David M. Schwartz

Each page illustrates a concept in math such as

binary code, exponents, and probability, along with

where we see it in the world


Sir Cumference series  

by Cindy Neuschwander

Sir Cumference, Lady Di of Ameter, and their son Radius are characters that simplify math concepts while telling entertaining stories set in medieval times.  Each book takes one topic such as the base 10 number system or measuring the area of a circle. 




What’s Your Angle Pythagoras  

by Julie Ellis

Pythagoras helps his father by

discovering the secret of the right triangle

and a practical use for it


Pythagorus and the Ratios  

by Julie Ellis

Pythagoras and his cousins want to win a music contest, but can’t understand why their instruments sound so bad and so different from one another.  Comparing their instruments to his, Pythagoras discovers that notes that sound melodious together have certain mathematical ratios.