68 of the Best Math Operations Picture Books

I love using living books to help children “see” math. These math operations picture books specifically focus on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to help build understanding and connect math to the real world.

Books are powerful in helping children relate to abstract mathematical concepts! They can be used as pre-reading before introducing something new or after a concept is mastered to help connect it to math in the real world. One of the best ways to use them, though, is when you run into a problem. Living math books have a special way of gently explaining math concepts through story and pictures that can help a tough concept to finally click.

Use math operations picture books to easily help teach the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division!

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Math Operations Picture Books

This giant list is full of math operations picture books. That means you’ll find books that help with the foundational operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division that are absolutely required in order to move into higher level math.

Whether you have a kiddo struggling to understand math or not, include as many of these as you can during the critical times of learning. Every opportunity to solidify and expand learning will be helpful to your children!

Addition and Subtraction Picture Books

I love how each of these books uniquely introduces or explains addition and subtraction concepts to children. Clearly, not all of them are living books in the sense that I usually talk about living books around here, but they are worthwhile if they serve the purpose of helping children to understand math.

Some of them teach using items that you likely have in your home or could easily grab at the grocery store, like a Hershey’s chocolate bar, jelly beans, or coins. When a book uses real life objects to teach, I like to read the book straight through with my children once and then go back and reread it while we use candy bars, jelly beans, or coins to join along. Kids often learn by doing, and what better way to learn about math than with candy!

Along with addition and subtraction, you’ll find books that help with place value, doubling, the concept of more and less, and general understanding of numeration.

PLACE VALUE

A Place for Zero (Charlesbridge Math Adventures)Place ValueSir Cumference and All the King's Tens: A Math AdventureSir Cumference and the Roundabout BattleSir Cumference Gets Decima's PointThe Blast Off Kid (Math Matters ®)The King's Commissioners (A Marilyn Burns Brainy Day Book)

 

ADDITION

12 Ways to Get to 11 (Aladdin Picture Books)A Collection for Kate (Math Matters ®)Domino AdditionDouble the Ducks (MathStart 1)Hershey's Kisses Addition BookIf You Were a Plus Sign (Math Fun)Mall Mania (MathStart 2)Mission: AdditionScholastic Reader Level 1: Monster Math PicnicPigs Will Be Pigs: Fun with Math and Money (Fun with Math & Money)Ready, Set, Hop! (MathStart 3)Safari Park (MathStart 3)Sea SumsThe Grapes Of MathThe Mission of Addition (Math Is CATegorical ®)Two Ways to Count to Ten: A Liberian Folktale

 

SUBTRACTION

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last SundayCaps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler Some Monkeys and Their Monkey BusinessElevator Magic, Level 2 (MathStart Subtracting) (MathStart 2)Hershey's Kisses Subtraction BookIf You Were a Minus Sign (Math Fun)Shark Swimathon (MathStart 3)The Good Neighbors' Cheese Feast: A Cheesy Mouse Tale of Subtraction with Regrouping (The Good Neighbors Math Series)Ten Sly PiranhasThe Action of Subtraction (Math Is CATegorical ®)Twenty is Too Many

 

Multiplication and Division Picture Books

Multiplication and division don’t have to be tricky! These stories that are intriguing and easy to follow can go a long way in helping both to make sense to children. In this group are some of my very favorite living math books of all times!

Again, if you have the opportunity to read and then reread using objects mentioned in a book to work out the concepts, that’s a great idea. If I’m going to do that, I often read the book one day and grab the hands-on goodies for the reread another day. The goal with using books for math is for gentle learning so that your students can work out the concepts of the story in their own minds for a little while.

MULTIPLICATION

2 X 2 = Boo!: A Set of Spooky Multiplication Stories98, 99, 100! Ready or Not, Here I Come! (Hello Reader! Math, Level 2)One Hundred Ways to Get to 100Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream: A Mathematical StoryAnno's Mysterious Multiplying JarAnno's Magic SeedsArctic Fives ArriveBats on ParadeBunches and Bunches of BunniesEach Orange Had 8 Slices (Counting Books (Greenwillow Books))Just Add Fun! (HELLO READER MATH)Leaping Lizards (MathStart 1)Math Potatoes: Mind-stretching Brain FoodMultiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin (Charlesbridge Math Adventures)One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical FolktaleSea SquaresSpunky Monkeys on Parade (MathStart 2)Stacks of Trouble (Math Matters ®)The Emperor's ArmyThe King's Chessboard (Picture Puffin Books)Too Many Cooks (level 3) (Hello Reader, Math)Too Many Kangaroo Things to Do! (MathStart 3)Two of Everything

 

DIVISION

A Fair Bear Share (MathStart 2)Bean ThirteenDivide and Ride (MathStart 3)Everybody Wins! (Math Matters ®)One Hundred Hungry AntsOne Hungry Cat (Hello Math Reader. Level 3)Spaghetti and Meatballs For All! (Scholastic Bookshelf)512 Ants on Sullivan Street (Hello Reader, Math, Level 4, Grade 2 & 3)The Doorbell RangThe Great Divide: A Mathematical MarathonThe Lion's ShareThe Multiplying Menace Divides (Charlesbridge Math Adventures)

 

Enjoy Teaching Math

I hope these books show you that teaching math can be fun! If your kiddos are struggling with a certain concept, pull out one of these books. Often children (and adults) need to see a different perspective in order to solve tough problems. It’s such and easy way to reinforce foundational math concepts. Living math books can bring a breath of fresh air into your homeschool. Enjoy!

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post 🙂 My homeschool style is very eclectic and book/story heavy! To have books that help with math concepts put into stories is going to be a win! I can’t wait! I’m sure the library already feels we borrow a lot Lol! This will give new ideas and something to try to see if my children enjoy these! My children have loved the ‘Life of Fred’ books. Thank you again 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. You’re welcome, Donnesa! Before I had a hefty home library, our public library LOVED us for all the books we would check out weekly. I think we upped their funding numbers greatly. LOL

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