Our reading choices regularly neglect mathematics.
There are tons of books that we happily read to babies. Nostalgia runs deep for cute plots, fuzzy characters, and a bit of laughter.
In our standardized book choices, children receive critical lap-time that develops vocabulary, phonemic and phonological awareness, and all other facets of beginning literacy.
At the same time, we have a plethora of games that continue to build these same skills. Nursery rhymes, hand games, I Spy, etc. all work together to build the requirements and awareness for children to begin reading and writing.
We are building fundamental, incredibly important, building blocks. That is good. That is commendable and absolutely needed.
However, I am here to point out that there is only a bit of math, at times, there is not a focused look on mathematical practice. There is less intention when it comes to the foundations of mathematics.
In my experience, in normal non-school settings as well as school-settings, the same attention to the building blocks of mathematics is absent–maybe minimally present, at best.
We do not speak math. We do not practice math. We do not notice math. Certainly not with the same veracity as we do letters and sounds.
So, this list of favorite books is focused on mathematical practice and discussion. If we can get kids excited and interested about mathematics, as babies, imagine how many more mathematicians–meaning engineers, architects, coders–we can support and create for the world!
Favorite math books for babies:
- ABCs of Mathematics by Chris Ferrie
- Introductory Calculus for Infants by Omi Inouye
Favorite math books for young children:
- The Shape of Things by Dayle Ann Dodds
- The Greedy Triangle by Syd Hoff
- Books by Tana Hoban (there are quite a few)
- Chicka Chicka 1 2 3 by Bill Martin Jr. & Lois Ehlert
- Books by Stuart J. Murphy (there are many!)
- Teeth, Tails, & Tentacles by Christopher Wormell