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Children's Literature

Children love to read and to have someone read to them. Many of the books that are linked with mathematics embody concepts that children need to learn. By integrating children’s literature directly into the mathematics lesson, a teacher can help children to become excited about and to gain a deeper understanding of the mathematics they are learning.

The books are listed here by content strand, as well as multicultural or miscellaneous. The instructional activities section (in Chapter 4) provides a number of examples of how and where to integrate some of these books into mathematics instruction.

Coordinate Geometry

Anno, Mitsumasma. Anno’s Math Games. New York, NY: Philomel, 1989.
[grades K-3]

---. Anno’s Math Games III. New York, NY: Philomel, 1991.
[grades K-3; also measurement]

Ayres, Pam. Guess Where? Cambridge, Ma.: Candlewick Press, 1994.
[grades Pre-K-2]

Glass, Julie. The Fly on the Ceiling: A Math Myth. New York: Random House, 1998.
[grades K-2]

Murphy, Stuart. Bug Dance. New York: Harper Trophy, 2002.
[grades pre-K-1; directions; also visualization and spatial reasoning]

Penner, Lucille Recht. X Marks the Spot. New York: Kane Press, 2002.
[grades K-2]

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Measurement

Adams, Pam. Ten Beads Tall. Wiltshire, U.K.: Child’s Play (International) Ltd., 1990.
[grades pre-K-1]

Adler, David A. How Tall, How Short, How Faraway. New York: Holiday House, 1999.
[grades K-2]

Anastasio, Dina. It’s about Time. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1993.
[grades K-3]

Anno, Mitsumasma. Anno’s Math Games III. New York: Philomel, 1991.
[grades K-3; also coordinate geometry]

Axelrod, Amy. Pigs Go to Market: Fun with Math and Shopping. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1997.
[grades K-3; weights and measures]

Burns, Marilyn. The I Hate Mathematics Book. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1975.
[grades 4-6; also two- and three-dimensional geometry]

---. Spaghetti and Meatballs for All. New York: Scholastic, 1997.
[grades K-3; area and perimeter]

Cave, Kathryn. Just in Time. London: Frances Lincoln, 1989.
[grades K-3; time]

Cohen, Don. Calculus by and for Young People. Champaign, Il.: The Mathman, 1989.
[grades 2 and up]

Friedman, Aileen. A Cloak for the Dreamer. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1994.
[grades K-2; angle measurement; also two- and three-dimensional geometry]

Froman, Robert. Angles Are as Easy as Pie. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1975.
[grades K-2]

Grifalconi, Ann. The Village of Round and Square Houses. Boston: Little Brown, 1986.
[grades K-3; also two- and three-dimensional geometry]3

Hamm, Diane Johnston. How Many Feet in Bed? New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1991.
[grades pre-K-1]

Hightower, Susan. Twelve Snails to One Lizard: A Tale of Mischief and Measurement. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.
[grades K-2]

Hoban, Tana. Is It Larger? New York: Greenwillow Books, 1985.
[grades pre-K-1]

Hutchins, Pat. Clocks and More Clocks. New York: Macmillan, 1970.
[grades K-3]

Lasky, Kathryn. The Librarian Who Measured the Earth. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1994.
[grades K-2]

Leedy, Loreen. Measuring Penny. New York: Henry Holt, 1997.
[grades K-2; standard and non-standard measures]

Lionni, Leo. Inch by Inch. New York: Mulberry Books, 1960.
[grades K-2]

Mathis, Sharon Bell. The Hundred Penny Box. New York: Viking Press, 1986.
[grades K-2]

Murphy, Stuart J. Bigger, Better, Best. New York: Harper Collins Juvenile Books, 2002.
[grades K-3]

---. Game Time! New York: Harper Trophy, 2000.
[grades K-2; time]

---. Racing Around. New York: Harper Trophy, 2002.
[grades K-2; perimeter]

---. Room for Ripley. New York: Harper Trophy, 2000.
[grades K-2; capacity]

---. Super Sand Castle Saturday. New York: Harper Trophy, 1999.
[grades K-2]

Myller, Rolf. How Big Is a Foot? New York: Atheneum Books for Children, 1972.
[grades K-2]

Nagda, Anne Whitehead, and Cindy Bickel. Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger. New York: Henry Holt, 2000.
[grades 2-5]

Nesbit, Edith. Melisande. Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1989.
[grades K-2]

Nolan, Helen, and Tracy Walker. How Much, How Many, How Far, How Heavy, How Long, How Tall Is 1000? Toronto: Kids Can Press, Ltd., 1995.
[grades K-2]

Pluckrose, Henry. Big & Little. New York: Franklin Watts, 1987.
[grades K-2]

---. Capacity. New York: Franklin Watts, 1988.
[grades K-2]

---. Length. New York: Franklin Watts, 1988.
[grades K-2]

---. Weight. New York: Franklin Watts, 1988.
[grades K-2]

Rex, Michael. The Fattest, Tallest, Biggest Snowman Ever (Hello Math Reader-Level 3). New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1997.
[grades K-3]

Schwartz, David. G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book. Berkeley, Ca.: Tricycle, 1998.
[grades 3-6; also two- and three-dimensional geometry]

Scieszka, Jon, and Lane Smith. Math Curse. New York: Viking, 1995.
[grades 1 and up]

Silverstein, Shel. Where the Sidewalk Ends. New York: HarperCollins, 1981.
[grades 3-6; also two- and three-dimensional geometry]

Sundby, Scott. Cut Down to Size at High Noon. Watertown, Mass.: Charlesbridge Publishing, 2000.
[grades 3-6]

Tomko, Diana. The Ten-Second Race. Huntington Beach, Ca.: Creative Teaching Press, 1998.
[grades K-3; time]

Zimelman, Nathan. Sold! A Mathematics Adventure. Watertown, Mass.: Charlesbridge Publishing, 2000.
[grades 3-6]

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Transformational Geometry

Brown, Jeff. Stanley, Flat Again! New York: Harper Collins, 2003.
[grades 2-4; also two- and three-dimensional geometry]

Ernst, Lisa Campbell. Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1983.
[grades pre-K-3]

Escher, M. C., and Michael Solomon Sachs. The Pop-Up Book of M. C. Escher. Petaluma, Ca.: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1991.
[grades 5 and up; tessellations]

Flournoy, Valerie. The Patchwork Quilt. New York: Dial Books, 1985.
[grades K-2]

Hoban, Tana. Shadows and Reflections. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1990.
[grades K-3; also two- and three-dimensional geometry]

Hopkinson, Deborah. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. New York: Knopf, 1998.
[grades K-3; also multicultural]

Jonas, Ann. The Quilt. New York: Puffin, 1994.
[grades K-3; also multicultural]

---. Reflections. New York: Greenwillow, 1987.
[grades K-3]

---. Round Trip. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1983
[grades K-2; transformations]

Murphy, Pat. By Nature’s Design. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1993.
[grades 5 and up; symmetry; also visualization and spatial reasoning]

Murphy, Stuart. Let’s Fly a Kite. New York: Harper Trophy, 2000.
[grades K-2; symmetry]

Pappas, Theoni. The Adventure of Penrose the Mathematical Cat. San Carlos, CA: Wide World Pub Tetra, 1997.
[grades 2-7; transformations; also two- and three-dimensional geometry]

Paul, Ann Whitford. Eight Hands Round: A Patchwork Alphabet. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.
[grades K-2]

Pluckrose, Henry. Pattern. New York: Franklin Watts, 1988.
[grades K-2; symmetry; also visualization and spatial reasoning]

Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1988.
[grades K-3; also multicultural]

Sandved, Kjell B. The Butterfly Alphabet. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1999.
[grades K-2; symmetry; also two- and three-dimensional geometry]

Sitomer, Mindel, and Harry Sitomer. What Is Symmetry? New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1970.
[grades pre-K-1; symmetry; also visualization and spatial reasoning]

Smucker, Barbara. Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 1996.
[grades 1-3]

Tompert, Ann. Grandfather Tang’s Story: A Tale Told with Tangrams. New York: Crown Publishers, 1990.
[grades 1-4; two- and three-dimensional geometry; also visualization and spatial reasoning]

Walter, Marion. Look at Annette. New York: M. Evans and Co., 1977.
[grades K-3; symmetry and transformations; also visualization and spatial reasoning]

---. The Mirror Puzzle Book. Suffolk: Tarquin Publications, 1988.
[grades 3-6; symmetry and reflection; also visualization and spatial reasoning]

Willing, Karen and Julie B. Dock. Quilting Now and Then. Ashland, Ore.: Now and Then Pubs, 1994.
[grades K-3]

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Two- and Three-Dimensional Geometry

Abbott, Edwin. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1991.4
[grades 5 and up]

Abel, Simone. Shapely Sheep. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook, 1999.
[grades pre-K-1; shapes]

Axelrod, Amy. Pigs on the Ball: Fun with Math and Sports. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1998.
[grades K-3; shapes and angles]

Brown, Jeff. Flat Stanley. New York: Harper Trophy, 1996.
[grades 2-4]

---. Stanley, Flat Again! New York: Harper Collins, 2003.
[grades 2-4; transformational geometry]

Brown, Marcia. Listen to a Shape. New York: Franklin Watts, 1979.
[grades 1-4; shapes]

Browne, Anthony. The Shape Game. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2003.
[grades K-4; shapes]

Burns, Marilyn. The Greedy Triangle. New York: Scholastic, 1994.
[grades K-3; shapes]

---. The I Hate Mathematics Book. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1975.
[grades 4-6; also measurement]

---. Math for Smarty Pants. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1982.
[grades 4-6; shapes]

Carle, Eric. My Very First Book of Shapes. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1974.
[grades pre-K-2; shapes]

Dodds, Dayle A. The Shape of Things. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick, 1994.
[grade K; shapes]

Ehlert, Lois. Color Farm. New York: J. B. Lippincott, 1990.
[grades pre-K-1; shapes]

---. Color Zoo. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1989.
[grades pre-K-1; shapes]

Emberley, Ed. The Wing of a Flea: A Book about Shapes. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1988.
[grades 1-3; shapes]

Fadiman, Clifton. Fantasia Mathematics. New York: Copernicus Books, 1997.
[grades 4 and up; shapes]

Falwell, Cathryn. Shape Space. New York: Clarion Books, 1993.
[grades 2 and up; shapes]

Feldman, Judy. Shapes in Nature. Chicago: Children’s Press, 1991.
[grades K-2; shapes]

Friedman, Aileen. A Cloak for the Dreamer. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1994.
[grades K-2; shapes; also measurement]

Friskey, Margaret. Three Sides and the Round One. Chicago, IL: Children’s Press, 1973.
[grades 1-3; shapes]

Greene, Rhonda G. When a Line Bends . . . A Shape Begins. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1997.
[grades K-2; shapes]

Grifalconi, Ann. The Village of Round and Square Houses. Boston: Little Brown, 1986.
[grades K-3; shapes; also measurement]5

Grover, Max. Circles and Squares Everywhere. New York: Harcourt, 1996.
[grades K-3; shapes]

Hansen-Smith, Bradford. The Hands-on Marvelous Ball Book. New York: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1995.
[grades 4-7]

Hoban, Tana. Circles, Triangles, and Squares. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1974.
[grades K-2; shapes]

---. Round Round Round. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1983.
[grades pre-K-1; shapes]

---. Shadows and Reflections. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1990.
[grades K-3; also transformational geometry]

---. Shapes, Shapes, Shapes. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1986.
[grades K-2; shapes]

---. So Many Circles, So Many Squares. New York: Greenwillow, 1998.
[grades pre-K-2; shapes]

Hulme, Joy N. Sea Squares. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 1991.
[grades K-2; shapes]

Hunt, Janie. Round and Square. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook, 1998.
[grades pre-K-1; shapes]

Juster, Norton. The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics. New York: Random House, 1977.
[grades K-2]

McGrath, Barbara. The M&M’s Brand Counting Book. Watertown, Ma.: Charlesbridge Publishing, 1994.
[grades K-2; shapes]

Murphy, Stuart J. Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes. New York: Harper Trophy, 2001.
[grades K-4; three-dimensional shapes]

---. Circus Shapes. New York: Harper Trophy, 1998.
[grades K-2; shapes]

Neuschwander, Cindy. Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi: A Math Adventure. Watertown, Mass.: Charlesbridge Publishing, 1999.
[grades 2-7]

---. Sir Cumference and the First Round Table: A Math Adventure. Watertown, Mass.: Charlesbridge Publishing, 1997.
[grades 2-7; circles]

---. Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland: A Math Adventure. Watertown, Mass.: Charlesbridge Publishing, 2001.
[grades 4-7; angles]

---. Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone: A Math Adventure. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing, 2003.
[grades 4-7; three-dimensional geometry]

Pallotta, Jerry. Icky Bug Shapes. New York: Scholastic Books, 2004.
[grades K-3; shapes]

Pappas, Theoni. The Adventure of Penrose the Mathematical Cat. San Carlos, CA: Wide World Pub Tetra, 1997.
[grades 2-7; shapes; also transformational geometry]

Pluckrose, Henry. Sorting. New York: Franklin Watts, 1988.
[grades K-2]

Podendorf, Illa. Shapes: Sides, Curves and Corners. Chicago, Il: Children’s Press, 1970.
[grades K-4; shapes]

Reid, Margarette S. The Button Box. Glenview, Il.: Scott Foresman, 1990.
[grades pre-K-1]

Rogers, Paul. The Shapes Game. New York: Henry Holt, 1989.
[grades K-2; shapes]

Ross, Catherine Sheldrick. Circles: Fun Ideas for Getting A-Round in Math. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1992.
[grades 3-6; shapes]

---. Squares: Shapes in Math, Science and Nature. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1996.
[grades 4 and up; shapes]

---. Triangles: Shapes in Math, Science and Nature. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1997.
[grades 4-7; shapes]

Sandved, Kjell B. The Butterfly Alphabet. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1999.
[grades K-2; shapes; also transformational geometry]

Schwartz, David. G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book. Berkeley, Ca.: Tricycle, 1998.
[grades 3-6; also measurement]

Seuss, Dr. The Shape of Me and Other Stuff. New York: Random House, 1988.
[grades pre-K-1; shapes]

Silverstein, Shel. A Light in the Attic. New York: HarperCollins, 1981.
[grades 3-6; shapes]

---. The Missing Piece. New York: Harper and Row, 1976.
[grades K-3; circles]

---. The Missing Piece Meets the Big O. New York: HarperCollins, 1981.
[grades 3-6; circles]

---. Where the Sidewalk Ends. New York: HarperCollins, 1981.
[grades 3-6; also measurement]

Testa, Fluvio. If You Look Around You. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1983.
[grades K-3; shapes]

Tompert, Ann. Grandfather Tang’s Story: A Tale Told with Tangrams. New York: Crown Publishers, 1990.
[grades 1-4; also transformational geometry; also visualization and spatial reasoning]

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Visualization and Spatial Reasoning

Baum, Arline. Opt. An Illusionary Tale. New York: Viking, 1987.
[grades 1-4]

Berenstain, Stan, and Jan Berenstain. The Berenstain Bears: Inside, Outside, Upside Down. New York: Random House Books for Young Readers, 1997.
[grades pre-K-1]

Hoban, Tana. Spirals, Curves, Fanshapes, and Lines. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1992.
[grades K and up]

Murphy, Pat. By Nature’s Design. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1993.
[grades 5 and up; visualization; also transformational geometry]

Murphy, Stuart. Bug Dance. New York: Harper Trophy, 2002.
[grades pre-K-1; visualization; also coordinate geometry]

---. The Greatest Gymnast of All: Opposites. New York: Harper Trophy, 1998.
[grades pre-K-2]

Pluckrose, Henry. Pattern. New York: Franklin Watts, 1988.
[grades K-2; also transformational geometry]

Sitomer, Mindel, and Harry Sitomer. What Is Symmetry? New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1970.
[grades pre-K-1; also transformational geometry]

Tompert, Ann. Grandfather Tang’s Story: A Tale Told with Tangrams. New York: Crown Publishers, 1990.
[grades 1-4; also transformational geometry; also two- and three-dimensional geometry]

Van Allsburg, Chris. Two Bad Ants. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.
[grades K-3; visualization]

Walter, Marion. Look at Annette. New York: M. Evans and Co., 1977.
[grades K-3; also transformational geometry]

---. The Mirror Puzzle Book. Suffolk: Tarquin Publications, 1988.
[grades 3-6; also transformational geometry]

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Multicultural

Hopkinson, Deborah. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. New York: Knopf, 1998.
[grades K-3; also transformational geometry]

Jonas, Ann. The Quilt. New York: Puffin, 1994.
[grades K-3; also transformational geometry]

Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1988.
[grades K-3; also transformational geometry]

Shannon, George. More Stories to Solve: Fifteen Folktales from around the World. New York: Greenwillow Publishing, 1985.
[grades 3-6]

---. Stories to Solve: Folktales from around the World. New York: Greenwillow Publishing, 1985.
[grades 3-6]

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  1. For a lesson that relates this book to geometry and measurement see: Catherine L. Kuhns. “Building Mathematical Connections with Village of Round and Square Houses,” Teaching Children Mathematics 10, no. 2 (October 2003): pp. 120-24.
  2. Available online at http://downlode.org/etext/flatland/.
  3. For a lesson that relates this book to geometry and measurement, see Kuhns, “Building Mathematical Connections,” pp. 120-24.179

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