1. Counting Kisses
Karen Katz | Little Simon
| ||It’s never too early to hear about the 1-2-3’s, and how better than with a book about counting kisses? |
Author/illustrator Karen Katz has penned a sweet, nurturing story that pairs love and numbers in this adorable board book for babies. This also makes a nice gift for new parents.
2. One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five Fish!
Dr. Seuss | Random House
| ||No list of children’s books can be complete without at least one beloved Dr. Seuss tale. This particular book is based on the classic Seuss toddler book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish! |
In this board-book version, there are little fish beads at the top so kids can count along with manipulatives (as little countable objects are referred to by early childhood educators).
3. Chicka, Chicka 1-2-3
Bill Martin Jr., Michael Sampson, Lois Ehlert | Simon & Schuster
| ||Any child who is familiar with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, a silly but catchy sing-a-long book about the alphabet will also love its successor, Chicka Chicka 1-2-3. |
This book helps kids count up to 100, featuring the same bright cut-out style art and splashy tropical colours. It’s easily found in hardback, paperback and board-book formats.
4. The Chicken Problem
Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson | Random House
| ||We adore that the math-wizard protagonist in this fictional tale about corralling lost chickens is none other than little redhead Peg, a plucky youngster with a smarty-pants sidekick cat. |
If these characters sound familiar, that’s because this book was spun into a kids TV show, Peg + Cat, by PBS, which is currently playing on Treehouse TV.
5. Richard Scarry’s Best Counting Book Ever
Richard Scarry | Sterling
| ||Richard Scarry always does a great job of immersing kids in the busy, beautifully illustrated animal worlds of his creation. The vivid watercolours of all of Richard Scarry’s titles are always a treat for the eyes. |
Follow bunny Willy as he goes on an adventure counting and observing all the items he sees in his day (and don’t forget the Scarry-reading ritual of spotting Lowly the worm in the book, too).
6. That’s a Possibility! A Book About What Might Happen
Bruce Goldstone | Henry Holt & Co.
| ||Is something probably going to happen, or possibly, or is it impossible? Your kids will be expected to understand this fairly early on in grade school, and it can be difficult to explain. |
Indeed, the concept of probability is a hard one to understand — even for grown-ups — but this book uses real-world easy-to-understand examples (featuring dice, gumballs, for instance) to guide kids through the phenomenon.
7. You Can Count on Monsters
Richard Evan Schwartz | AK Peters/CRC Press
| ||A math professor from Brown University authored this amazing, creative book about monsters that illustrates prime numbers and factoring. |
Since its release in 2010, You Can Count on Monsters has become a cult classic among math-loving teachers, and even parents who struggle to recall these concepts.
8. The Number Devil
Hans Magnus Enzensberger | Raincoast Books
| ||How rare it is to find a fairy-tale type story that’s all about math? The Number Devil will capture the attention of your avid readers and encourage them to explore prime numbers, infinite numbers and many other mathematical concepts that spring to life in this book. |
Written originally in German, this novel has since become an international best-seller.
Helen Racanelli is a Help! We’ve Got Kids contributing writer. You can follow Helen on Twitter @helenrac.
More great books for kids: 8 Books for Raising Smart, Confident Girls.