The Best Picture Books for Second Grade Math

Did you know that reading picture books can help your child excel in math?! You can use books to introduce a new concept in a comfortable way or to review something they've learned already. Picture books can help deepen your child's understanding of important math concepts and help connect them to the real world. Reading also makes math more fun and accessible for some kids. Here's a list of books that are perfect for math concepts that are usually covered in second grade. All of these books are suggested in H4RL's second grade math curriculum. If you're looking for excellent math resources, visit our elementary curriculum page to learn more. I'm a licensed teacher and I designed our math curriculum to help you love teaching your kids math and ensure they have a solid foundation of mathematical understanding. It's fun and effective! Check it out, and then go enjoy one of these books with your child!The Grapes of Math by Greg TangBold pictures present math as visual puzzles with real world objects. Readers are asked to look at the quantities in a way that makes it easier to find the total rather than counting by ones. Examining how the objects are arranged, one discovers that grouping them in different ways makes it easy to count by fives or tens or to make a quick multiplication problem. This is a great one to look at and discuss together, giving time for your child to think before you talk. Even Steven and Odd Todd by Kathryn KristaldiSometimes it isn't easy to get along with people who approach things differently than we do. Steven enjoys keeping everything nice, neat, and even. In his life, things are in pairs or sets of four, six, etc. When his cousin Todd comes to visit, though, Steven is very uncomfortable with the odd numbers that arise everywhere. This book manages to make the mathematical concepts of odd and even into a cute story about differences in people.Each Orange Had Eight Slices by Paul GigantiMath in the real world on every page! Repeated addition and multiplication are illustrated with bright colors. Each example has two math steps to it. For example, there are four trees, that each have three nests, which each contain two eggs. I think it's brilliant how much math they've packed very simply into just a few pages.Arctic Fives Arrive by Elinor PinzcesA cute way to practice counting by fives. In this rhyming story, five of each type of animal arrive and pile onto an iceberg. It gets rather crowded! The text guides the reader through skip counting up, and then the animals enjoy a view of the northern lights. We count back down by fives as the animals leave at the end.Shark Swimathon by Stuart J. Murphy The shark swim team wants to go to camp, but in order to get to go they must swim 75 laps. Throughout the book, their coach subtracts the number of laps they swim each day from the amount of laps remaining, until they reach zero - and their goal! Read the directions here to play a similar game.The Good Neighbors Store an Award by Mark RamsayThis book is designed to teach addition with regrouping. It's written about mice, so their cheesy reward even looks like base ten blocks! The good neighbors work together to figure out how to store all of the cheese they have been awarded.The Good Neighbors' Cheese Feast by Dan HarperOh, no! Some of the neighbors don't have enough cheese to make their recipes for the cheese feast. Subtraction with regrouping comes to the rescue as they figure out how to prepare all of the dishes for their celebration.If the Shoe Fits by Jennifer DusslingThis cute story about mice turning a shoe into a clubhouse introduces some simple measurement concepts. First, the two mice try to measure with their feet, but their feet are different sizes so their measurements are not the same. Then, they try a cheese stick (they are mice, after all). That works fine, until someone takes a bite of the cheese stick. Finally, they use paperclips, and they're able to determine that the shoe will fit in their playroom. How Big is a Foot by Rolf MyllerThe king decides to have a bed made for the queen in this story. Unfortunately, when he uses his foot to measure the queen and the builder uses his own foot to measure the materials, it doesn't end up being a good fit. It's easy to see the need for standard units of measurement in this book. Since it's about a king and queen, you may want to enjoy listening to it read with an English accent by Cindy Cartwright. She does a wonderful job.Keep Your Distance by Gail HermanThe sisters in this story aren't getting along very well, but don't worry, at the end they realize that they wouldn't want to be separated! Along the way, they talk about measurements in inches, feet, yards, and miles. Readers will gain an appreciation for the sizes of these measurements and see a list of conversions at the end of the book.Inch Worm and a Half by Elinor PinzcesAn adorable inch worm happily measures things around her, until she runs into a problem. What if something can't exactly be measured in full inches? Some shorter little friends join in the measuring fun, using half, third, and quarter inch lengths. What a fun way to introduce simple fractions of a whole in the context of measurement! Twelve Snails to One Lizard by Susan HightowerThis is a funny one! The beaver and the frog try to measure with different animals as their units, until they finally realize that it's a lot easier to use a yardstick. Inches, feet, and yards are introduced. How Tall? Wacky Ways to Compare Height by Mark WeaklandRhyming text makes this book a lot of fun. Compare the height of various objects by lining smaller objects up as units until they equal the larger object. Children will relate as the book uses familiar things such as giraffes, dolls, and penguins.How Tall, How Short, How Far Away by David AdlerHow did they measure in Ancient Egypt? What about in Rome? Find out and try it yourself in this book. Readers will also learn about the two systems of measurement used in the United States today, the metric system and the customary system. Choosing appropriate units for measurements of various sizes is explored as well.Eating Fractions by Bruce McMillanThis book introduces fractions in a very simple way. There are few words, and the photos are from a couple decades ago! It's still great for demonstrating halves, thirds, and fourths of a whole. The fractions are shown as numbers, words, drawings, and as parts adding up to a whole.The Lion's Share by Matthew McElligottWith the feel of a folk tale, this story is both a lesson in fractions and sharing. Each animals takes half of the lion's cake as it is passed around the table, so the first animal gets half, the second gets a fourth, and so on. This helps to illustrate that one half can mean different amounts depending on the size of the whole from which it is cut. At the end of the book, each fraction is shown as a part of the whole cake.Jump, Kangaroo, Jump! by Stuart J. MurphyFractions aren't always parts of one whole object. They can also be one big group divided into smaller, equal groups. That's what happens in this book as the animals are divided into teams for various competitions. Readers see one half, one fourth, and other fractions in a different way in this cute story. Suggested math activities to go along with the book can be found on the author's page here. Whole-y Cow! Fractions are Fun by Taryn SoudersWhat fraction of the spots on the cow are red? This book presents sets and asks the reader to identify what fractions meet certain criteria. It's important that kids understand that fractions are a part of the whole set, so while in this case our numerator would be the number of red spots, our denominator would be the total number of spots, not just the number of blue spots. There are plenty of opportunities to practice naming fractional amounts in this book.Game Time by Stuart J. MurphyCentered around a soccer game, this story incorporates units of time. The game is one week away, then one day away, then an hour away. During the game, time is counted in minutes. Throughout the book, the illustrations represent these times on calendars and clocks. The author has listed a few related activities on his site.Just a Second by Steve JenkinsThis book is packed full of nature facts while helping kids understand more about just how long units of time really are. Readers will learn how many times different types of birds beat their wings in a second, how far various animals can travel in one second, what happens in one minute or one hour, a day, week, month, or year. A brief history of these units is also shared. The book even explores what can happen in less than a second. It's a fascinating look at time!I.Q, It's Time by Mary Ann FraserA little mouse lives in the classroom, but really wants to be a student, not a pet. As the school day progresses, times to the quarter hour are mentioned and shown on clocks. The mouse constructs his own clock that shows the hours and minutes around the edges. Children will enjoy this cute story and will learn a lot by constructing their own clock just like I.Q.'s!The Great Graph Contest by Loreen LeedyThis book explores various types of graphs and the questions they can be used to answer. Colorful, busy illustrations place them right into the action of the story.Looking for math curriculum that you and your child will love? Feel confident that your child has a solid understanding of math concepts with H4RL's resources!At H4RL, you'll find educational resources to add wonder and delight to your homeschooling journey. Jill, a homeschool mom and licensed teacher, has created Enhanced Read-alouds that provide mini unit studies based on high-quality children's books. Related activities for reading, writing, math, science, art, and more are woven into learning journeys that your family will love. Jill has also created a full math curriculum (kindergarten, first, and second grades are available as of June, 2023) that shows you how to teach your child all essential math concepts in fun, hands-on ways. Learn more on our elementary curriculum page!

The Best Picture Books for First Grade Math

Did you know that reading picture books can help your child excel in math?! You can use books to introduce a new concept in a comfortable way or to review something they've learned already. Picture books can help deepen your child's understanding of important math concepts and help connect them to the real world. Reading also makes math more fun and accessible for some kids. Here's a list of books that are perfect for math concepts that are usually covered in first grade. All of these books are suggested in H4RL's first grade math curriculum. If you're looking for excellent math resources, visit our elementary curriculum page to learn more. I'm a licensed teacher and I designed our math curriculum to help you love teaching your kids math and ensure they have a solid foundation of mathematical understanding! It's fun and effective. Check it out, and then go enjoy one of these books with your child!Penguin Place Value by Kathleen StoneFish that the penguins catch is stored in boxes of ten and on platters of ones. Using manipulatives with this story such as paper fish and small boxes or base ten blocks can help kinesthetic learners connect with the concept of place value. Practice writing the numbers for various amounts of fish.Subtraction Action by Loreen LeedyThe animals in this book introduce the concept of subtraction, related math terms, and real life situations in which subtraction is used.A Fair Bear Share by Stuart J. MurphyIn this adorable story about a family of bears, two-digit numbers are displayed as tens and ones. Ten ones are regrouped as a ten, and the numbers are added together. There is a lot of math to be explored here! Some suggested activities from the author can be found here.How Long? Wacky Ways to Compare Length by Jessica GundersonGreat illustrations make this book a lot of fun. It demonstrates lining objects up end-to-end along another, larger object, in order to see how many of the smaller object are needed to equal one of the larger object. This is a fantastic introduction to nonstandard measurement (not using units such as inches or centimeters, but instead using fingers, pretzel sticks, etc.). On a simpler level, it will get kids thinking about the concepts of longer and shorter, comparing lengths and thinking proportionately (how many of these do I need to make one or more of those?). Super Sand Castle Saturday by Stuart J. Murphy Tallest, longest, and deepest - it's a contest at the beach! This book uses both nonstandard (shovels) and standard (inches) measurements to compare sand castles. It addresses the error of using units of different sizes; if you're shovel is longer than mine, then we can't really compare our castles by measuring with the two different shovels. While objects vary in size, though, inches are always the same, so we can use a ruler to measure and compare various objects. A great real-world, practical look at measurement. The author has included a few related activity suggestions on his site.The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric CarleThe story of this ladybug unfolds on the hour as each hour of the day goes by. In the book, the times are shown on an analog clock. You can make the connection between this and a digital clock by writing each time as the hour and minutes with a colon between them as well.Telling Time with Big Mama Cat by Dan HarperIn this charming book, a cat tells us about her day. I like that on each page, the time is shown on a clock in the home, as part of the illustration, rather than just a clock face drawn on the page. Most of the times are on the hour, but some are at the half hour or even at 5- or 15-minute increments. As mentioned with the previous book, writing the times as they would be seen on a digital clock would be a good extension.A Second is a Hiccup by Hazel Hutchins and Kady MacDonald DentonThe sweet, rhyming text in this book gives real life, relatable examples of things that take a second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, and a year. This is an excellent way to help children become more familiar with these abstract concepts.The Doorbell Rang by Pat HutchinsThe cookies are ready, and two kids divide them equally. Then the doorbell rings, and they redistribute them among four children. Then the doorbell rings again! Have some cookies ready and divide them between the same number of plates as there are children at the table in the book as you read the story. Everyone is disappointed when the doorbell rings and each child already has only one cookie. What should they do? Luckily, it's grandma with more cookies! Looking for a math curriculum that you and your child will love? H4RL's math lessons use a variety of fun activities to build a solid foundation of mathematical understanding. In addition to math, you'll find resources for poetry, reading, calendar time, and more. Enhanced read-alouds provide ideas for making excellent picture books even more fun and educational. You can access it all with a membership, and if you order printed math books you get a discount every month. Visit our elementary curriculum page to learn more!