Recommended Books

Recommended Books

Grapes of Math, by Greg Tang 
"The Grapes of Math teaches four important lessons in problem solving. The first is to be open-minded. Children will learn to look beyond the obvious in search of smarter solutions. Second, they are encouraged to think strategically by finding convenient sums that make adding easier. Third, kids are taught to save time by using a variety of skills when solving problems, such as subtracting to add. Finally, children learn to organize information by identifying patterns and symmetries." -Greg Tang . The Grapes of Math is a fantastic book for students of all ages!
 Available at the Durland Alternatives Library!


Math Fables, by Greg Tang
Recommended ages: 3-6 years
Focuses on: Basic addition and number decomposition
Overview: This wonderful book offers "lessons that count" by laying the foundation for place value and building computational skills. Readers will discover different ways to break numbers apart, "encouraging flexible and creative thinking by requiring kids to think about the same number in different ways." -Greg Tang.
Also look for the continuation, Math Fables Too!

Available at the Durland Alternatives Library!



Math for All Seasons, by Greg Tang
Math for All Seasons is the second of Greg Tang's captivating books, following up from The Grapes of Math with a similar goal but for younger students. Math for All Seasons is a wonderful book for using clever tactics in grouping, adding, and multiplying with fun seasonal themes in rhyming riddles. Like The Grapes of Math, this book focuses on developing four valuable mathematical skills of students: being open minded, thinking strategically, incorporating time-saving methods such as using subtraction in addition, and to simply problems by recognizing symmetries and patterns.


The Best of Times, by Greg Tang
Recommended Grades: 2nd+
Focuses on: Developing an intuitive understanding of multiplication.
Overview: Rather than memorizing the times tables, The Best of Times teaches students the strategies of multiplying large numbers by breaking numbers down to smaller groups. "Multiply by four? Just double twice. Multiply by five? First multiply by ten, then take half...." This is an excellent book both for students who are just starting to learn multiplication and for older students who have learned multiplication but need to strengthen their intuitive understanding of how to multiply and divide numbers fluently.
Available at the Durland Alternatives Library!


Math-terpieces, by Greg Tang
Recommended Grades: K-2nd. 
Focuses on: Creative ways to add and group small numbers.
Overview: This beautiful book combines mathematics with a little bit of art history as famous paintings are used to inspire creative problem solving. By looking at the works of Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, and more, students are given "fascinating ways to practice adding" while students are challenged to "solve math problems in entirely new ways." This book is quite the math-terpiece for all to enjoy!
Available at the Durland Alternatives Library!


Math Potatoes, by Greg Tang
Recommended Grades: 1st-6th
Focuses on: Sensible grouping and multiplication.
Overview: "When I looked around, [I saw that] so many kids were doing math the hard way. They were counting when they could be adding, they were adding when they could be multiplying, and they were memorizing when they could be understanding.... My goal in writing Math Potatoes is to help kids ages 7-12 learn a few common sense strategies that make arithmetic faster and easier. The idea is to challenge kids to combine numbers is smart ways, not just obvious ways." -GregTang

Available at the Durland Alternatives Library!


Math Appeal, by Greg Tang
Recommended Grades: 2nd-5th
Focuses on: Strengthening reasoning for fluent mental math.
Overview: Similar to Math Potatoes, Math Appeal focuses on sensible groupings and multiplication for fluent and successful mental math, but with a new challenge: incorporating subtraction into the equation. For example, if you have six rows and six columns of starfish, but 2 rows are missing 2 starfish and 2 rows and missing one starfish, how many starfish do you see? = (6x6) - (2x1+2x2). Math Appeal helps students build both build more complex equations and strengthen their problem solving skills.

Available at the Durland Alternatives Library!


Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, by Cindy Neuschwander

This clever story tells a tale of a young boy who must save his father-turned-into-dragon by solving the medicine's riddle.  The boy explores the proportions of a circle in various settings around him - from baking pies to building wheels - to discover what the relationship is between the circle's middle and its distance around!

Available at the Durland Alternatives Library! 

Check out these other Sir Cumference books!:
Sir Cumference and the...
First Round TableGreat Knight of Angleland, Isle of Immeter, and Sword in Cone

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table

Sir Cumference and the Great Night of Angleland

Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter

Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone

Freddy Fibonacci's Awful Allowance, by Suzy Koontz

This wonderful story is written by the founder of Math & Movement, and tells a fantastic mathematical tale of how a young girl wishes to change her allowance to follow the Fibonacci Sequence. Freddy Fibonacci's Awful Allowance vividly illustrates one of the most beautiful sequence in mathematics, starting so small but growing so fast with nothing more than simple addition.

Available at the Durland Alternatives Library!



Fun with Roman Numerals, by David A. Adler
For students who are beginning to learn about Roman Numerals, this is a great book that is clear, colorful, and comprehensive. The book is wonderfully illustrated to show how each Roman Numeral comes together to collectively create numbers that we are more familiar with in our number system. Examples using Super Bowls and money also help readers to further understand the amazing simplicity behind this seemingly odd way to writing numbers.

Available at the Durland Alternatives Library!


One Hundred Ways to Get to 100, by Jerry Pallotta
This clever book is well illustrated and offers example after example of different ways to arrive at a solution of 100, not just how to count to 100. Readers can explore adding groups of items to reach 100 and see how multiplication illustrates these grouping methods. Subtraction and division are also illustrated. This book is a fantastic way for young mathematicians to explore and discover how problem solving is actually quite creative and open-ended.

Available at the Durland Alternatives Library!


Spaghetti & Meatballs for All!, by Marylin Burns
This great book tells a fun and simple story of a family reunion's plans gone awry when area and perimeter are forgotten. Readers get to follow a tale of family members pushing tables together one by one to bring a party together, but with every table pushed together, the perimeter - and thus the seating spaces available - starts to diminish. This story is a great illustration how shapes with the same total area may not have the same perimeter, making it an excellent choice for students just beginning to learn about geometry.


A Remainder of One, by Elinor J. Pinczes
This book tells the story of a group of bugs marching in lines to impress their queen seems to always leave out one last bug, Soldier Joe. The bugs try dividing themselves evenly differently each day, but they always leave Joe as the remaining one with no place in line. After several attempts to divide up the total number of bugs evenly, they at last discover the best way to divide their total evenly with no remainders at all. A Remainder of One is a great story for students learning adding, beginning multiplication and division, and patterns too!


Inchworm and A Half, by Elinor J. Pinczes
This is a wonderful story for students who are just beginning to learn about fractions. Readers follow along as an inchworm spends her days measures plants and fruits until one day she realizes she can no longer fit evenly into a certain distance. She makes new friends with a half-inch worm and a quarter-inch worm, and the trio discovers the fun of measuring distances in wholes, halves, and quarters.


Great Estimations, by Bruce Goldstone
Recommended Grades: 2nd-5th
Focuses on: Reasoning when estimating, intuitively multiplying and dividing with large numbers
Overview: Estimating is a crucial skill in mathematics, but the concept tends to give many students trouble because it contradicts years of what we've learned mathematics to be: instead of giving an exact single answer, the answers are more open-ended and there can be more than one answer based on the reasoning skills involved when estimating.  This book is a great opportunity for students to practice their reasoning skills by comparing small collections to larger collections of everyday items, such as cherries, jelly beans, Cheerios, and buttons, to gain a stronger intuitive sense for successful estimations in the world around us.

Available at the Durland Alternatives Library!


Anno's Magic Seeds, by Mitsumasa Anno.
A very simple story yields challenging math calculations as you read along Anno's tale of growing a single plant into two seeds every year. The story challenges the reader to keep track of Anno's riches in seeds, as well as explore how small changes in a mathematical equation can yield large results.





More ideas?
Do you know of another clever or beautiful mathematical book for students?
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