Supporting Numeracy, Operations, and Measurement

Books with math-based stories and language to set the stage for future math learning

Young children develop foundational math skills through exploration and daily activities. The books in this series are designed to support children’s growing understanding of counting, combining, and comparing sets of objects.
Book cover image for I Know Numbers

Be a Friend

I Know Numbers!

Written and illustrated by Taro Gomi, this book shows how people notice and use numbers throughout their everyday lives. It also explores the different meanings that numbers can hold.
One Family Book Cover

One Family

Written by George Shannon and illustrated by Blanca Gomez, this story follows the lives of a busy family and offers many opportunities to count and find out “how many.”
Caps for Sale Title Page

Caps for Sale

Written and illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina, this classic tale of a peddler and his colorful caps gives open-ended opportunities to try adding and splitting up different amounts.
Lunas Yum Yum Dim Sum Book Cover

Luna’s Yum Yum Dim Sum

Written by Natasha Yim and illustrated by Violet Kim, this story shows how three siblings figure out a way to evenly share their delicious Chinese dim sum lunch.
Just How Long Can a Long String Be? Book Cover

Just How Long Can a Long String Be?!

Written and illustrated by Keith Baker, this story is about a bird and an ant that follow a thread of string across the pages of this book. Along the way, they discover the string’s many uses and sizes.
Too-Small Tyson Book cover

Too-Small Tyson

Written by JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrated by Anastasia Magloire Williams, this story follows Tyson, the youngest and smallest of his brothers, as he uses measurement and creativity to solve a big problem.
Book cover for Ten Black Dots

Ten Black Dots

Written and illustrated by Donald Crews, this book invites you to count along as dots appear and are arranged in new and creative ways.

Ten Black Dots

Written and illustrated by Donald Crews, this book invites you to count along as dots appear and are arranged in new and creative ways.
Interior image from Anno's Counting Book

Anno's Counting Book

Written and illustrated by Mitsumasa Anno, this book shows colorful illustrations of a growing town with many people and activities to see and count as the year goes by.
Inch by Inch Book Cover

Inch by Inch

Written and illustrated by Leo Lionni, this book follows an inch worm who measures birds all the way from their tails to their beaks.
So Big and So Small Book Page

So Big and So Small

Written by John Coy and illustrated by Steph Lew, this story is about noticing how your size may feel different when standing next to something as small as a seashell or as large as a mountain.

Exploring Early Math with Infants Through Books

Sharing books with infants helps set the stage for later math learning. We’ve highlighted six books especially for infants that explore mathematical concepts. These stories support fun and engaging interactions about math in our world.
An infant sits on the floor with an educator, and their mouth is open


Key Takeaways

Showcase numbers

The printed numbers on book pages, along with the quantities children can count during reading, support different numeracy skills.

Promote counting

Illustrations provide chances to count objects in groups. Putting sets together and taking parts away supports future operations learning.

Encourage comparison

Giving a value to an object’s attributes is the foundation of measurement. Notice and compare relative lengths and sizes within illustrations.