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Books that celebrate math

I’ve been reading Brunelleschi’s Dome (Ross King), the story of the construction of the great Duomo in Florence, Italy. The engineering puzzles that were solved during its construction are absolutely amazing, and its story form makes it a beach read. Honest!

When you’re looking for books that include mathematics—and they’re a great way to spark interest in math and reinforce that math is all around us—make sure they have the same entertaining and insightful qualities.

  • With preschoolers, selection is easy. From Five Little Monkeys to illustrated books that teem with opportunities to count cars, kitties, or disappearing pancakes, simply help your child explore what they see with numbers.
  • Check out the Sir Cumference books by Cindy Neuschwander. Each one tackles a math concept with a great story
  • The Number Devil by Hans Enzensberger tells the story of a boy who hates math—until he’s led through a series of mathematical dreams.
  • Chasing Vermeer and The Wright 3 (Blue Balliett) make wonderful use of pentominoes and other math tools as children work to solve mysteries.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster is all about logic—and the great 50th anniversary edition is available this year!
  • How long might it take to remove The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (Suess), anyway?
  • And of course Math Curse by Lane Smith.

Check these out at your library. Ask about more titles. Search the web for “Fun Math Books.” Make math fascinating and fun!

By Jane Kise, Ed.D. – Educational Advisor and Consultant, 
Jane  writes an insightful post every Tuesday for Kidtelligent. Jane is an educational consultant, specializing in teambuilding, coaching, and school staff development. She is also the coauthor of more than 20 books. Jane’s website  is