40+ of the Best Children’s Books About Measurement
These books about measurement are wonderful for introducing children to mathematical concepts and helping bring gentle understanding to confusing topics.
Measurement is way more than simply learning how to use a ruler! In fact, there are several very important categories of mathematical concepts that count as types of measurement – length, weight, area, volume, time, sorting by attributes, and graphing data.
This post covers the most typical forms of measurement – length, area, volume, capacity, and weight. Watch for other posts soon that will cover picture books for measurements of time and data.
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Books About Measurement for Kids
You’ll notice that some of the books focus more on nonstandard measurements, while others reinforce the idea of standard measurements. Let me explain the difference just in case you don’t know what that means. A standard measurement is one that uses a tool like a tape measure, scale, or clock. It’s called a standard measurement because the tools are used and accepted as accurate by pretty much everybody.
Nonstandard measurement, on the contrary, uses tools that no one accepts as the “standard” and yet things can still be measured with them. For example, when you ask a child to place Cheerios alongside the length of a book and you say, “This book is 23 Cheerios long,” your child has used a nonstandard tool (the Cheerios) to measure the book. That measurement is a correct measure according to the tool, but it’s not the tool that most people would use to measure the length of anything. It’s nonstandard.
Nonstandard tools are extremely helpful for children to use when they are just beginning to learn about measurement concepts. Using things like Cheerios helps to build understanding that each new Cheerio means the length is growing. Basic understanding like this helps all those seemingly strange lines and numbers on a standard measuring tool make more sense in the end!
Picture Books About Length
When considering the measurement topic of length, it also includes width and height. The standard measurements in the U.S. tend to be in the units of inches, feet, yards, and miles, while the rest of the world typically uses the metric units of millimeters, centimeters, meters, and kilometers. These books are helpful for all types of length measurements, including nonstandard ones.
Be sure to check out my free lesson idea that goes along with How Big is a Foot?
 Beanstalk: The Measure of a Giant by Ann McCallum
 How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller
 How Long? by Jessica Gunderson
 How Long or How Wide? by Brian P. Cleary
 How Tall? by Mark Andrew Weakland
 How Tall, How Short, How Far Away? by Brian A. Adler
 Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
 Jim and the Beanstalk by Raymond Briggs
 Keep Your Distance by Gail Herman
 ME and the Measure of Things by Joan Sweeney
 Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy
 Millions to Measure by David M Schwartz
 Polly’s Pen Pal by Stuart J. Murphy
 Super Sand Castle Saturday by Stuart J. Murphy
 The Best Bug Parade by Stuart J. Murphy
Picture Books About Area
Area is the measurement of how much space the surface of a flat area takes up. The measurement units are the same as those for measuring length using the basic formula l·w=area (l=length, w=width). This concept is definitely one that can use a lot of practice in nonstandard measurement before moving on to finding actual measurements.
 Ernest by Catherine Rayner
 Perimeter, Area, and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions by David A. Adler
 Sam’s Sneaker Squares by Nat Gabriel
 Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander
 Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander
 Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter by Cindy Neuschwander
 The Warlord’s Kites by Virginia Pilegard
Picture Books About Volume and Capacity
Volume is the measurement of how much space a 3D object takes up. Volume is measured using the same units as length with the basic formula l·w·h=volume (l=length, w=width, h=height).
Here is a simple idea to help your children “see” and understand volume.
Similarly, capacity is the measurement of how much of something a container can hold. In the U.S., capacity is usually measured in the units of an ounce, cup, pint, quart, and gallon. In metric units, the measurements are based on the liter – milliliter, centiliter, liter, deciliter, kiloliter, etc.
Don’t miss creating this fun model to help your children understand capacity.
 A Beach for Albert by Eleanor May
 A House for Birdie by Stuart J. Murphy
 Capacity by Henry Pluckrose
 The Emperor’s Army by Virginia Pilegard
 Mr. Archimedes’ Bath by Pamela Allen
 Pastry School in Paris by Cindy Neuschwander
 Perimeter, Area, and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions by David A. Adler
 Room for Ripley by Stuart J. Murphy
 Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
Picture Books About Weight
Weight is the measurement of how heavy something is. The standard measurement in the U.S. tends to be in the units of ounces, pounds, and tons, while the metric units are milligram, gram, and kilogram. Most of these books tend to use the U.S. measurement units.
 Equal Shmequal by Virginia Kroll
 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Weights and Measures by Jerry Pallotta
 How to Weigh an Elephant by Bob Barner
 Just a Little Bit by Lynn Munsinger
 Mighty Maddie by Stuart J. Murphy
 Tell Me How Much It Weighs by Shirley Willis
 The 100Pound Problem by Jennifer Dussling
 The Dragon’s Scales by Sarah Albee
 Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen
Picture Books About Angle Measurements
Angles officially fit into the math category of geometry, but there is quite a lot of measuring that happens when angles are involved! These few books will be helpful introductions of that.
 Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland by Cindy Neuschwander
 Triangles by David A. Adler
 What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? by Julie Ellis
Watch for more posts about measurement soon! There will be one on the topic of time and money and another on the topic of sorting and graphing.
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