30+ Math Picture Books Your Second Grader Will Love 

Full booklist from Second Grade Math with Confidence, with over 30 math picture books your second grader will love.  

Why Math Picture Books?

When my kids were younger, I taught math enrichment classes at their weekly homeschool program. Since the students used different math programs at home, I wasn’t responsible for teaching any specific skills or concepts.  My job was to do what I love best: make math come alive in a fun, engaging, and hands-on way. 

It was a ton of fun….but it could also be exhausting, especially my group of 19 first- and second-graders. This wiggly crew definitely kept me on my toes. 

But for at least one nanosecond each week, all eyes were on me, all mouths were quiet, and no one was poking their neighbor. 

When did this magical moment occur? When I pulled out the weekly math picture book.

Suddenly, everyone was engaged. From the child who didn’t know how to write the number 10 to the child breezing through three-digit subtraction, every student wanted to know what happened to the little boy trying to make sure his sister didn’t get more than him, or the dog-walker with more dogs than he could handle. Every hand would wave wildly with a connection to the book: Are gorillas’ hands really that big? I have guinea pigs, too! I saw an excavator just like that once! 

Math Picture Books in Second Grade Math with Confidence

That’s why it was so important to me to include math picture books in the Math with Confidence program:  so that you and your child can also experience that kind of wonder and fun during your math lessons.  Each week of Second Grade Math with Confidence includes 4 core lessons and 1 optional enrichment lesson. These enrichment lessons include both a real-life math application activity and a picture book suggestion. I’ve included all the books in this article  (along with links to Amazon) so you can see them all in one place.


This booklist is not meant to to stress you out! (Or bust your budget, either.) You do not have to read every single math picture book to give your child a great math education. But if you can find a few of them at your library or buy a few of them to add to your family’s collection, I bet you’ll discover a whole new way to enjoy math with your child.   

A Few Tips on Enjoying  Math Picture Books with Your Kids

  • When you read a math picture book for the first time, just enjoy the story together. Then, come back and discuss the math concepts either after you finish reading or during your second reading. Nothing ruins the fun of listening to a story like constant interruptions from mom!  
  • Add these math picture books to your shelf and reread them periodically. You may be amazed at what your child notices after she’s had a few more months to grow in her math skills.  
  • Enjoy these books with children of multiple ages, and don’t worry if some of the content goes right over some of your children’s heads. Many of these books work for kids from toddlers through early elementary age, and there’s no hard-and-fast rules about which ages these picture books are best for. 
  • Second Grade Math with Confidence includes these picture books in the optional enrichment lesson on the fifth day of each week. If you opt to skip these lessons, just add the picture books to your read-aloud pile and enjoy them during your usual read-aloud time.
  • If your library doesn’t have many of these books, see if your library participates in a regional lending group. (Here in Michigan, we can request books from any library in the state!) Or, see if your library offers access to an electronic resource like Hoopla, Libby or Overdrive. Digital picture books aren’t quite the same as printed ones, but they’re better than nothing. 
  • Many of these books are also available as read-aloud videos on Youtube.

I hope this list gives you a starting place for enjoying math picture books with your child. Happy Math! 

Disclosure: The links to the math picture books in this article are affiliate links. If you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a small percentage of that purchase as a commission, without any increased cost to you. 

Picture Books about Numbers to 20 (Including Addition and Subtraction)

Each Orange Had 8 Slices

By Paul Giganti Jr. and illustrated by Donald Crews. 

If You Were a Plus Sign

By Trisha Sue Speed Shaskan and illustrated by Franscesca Carabelli.  

If You Were a Minus Sign

By Trisha Sue Speed Shaskan and illustrated by Francesca Carabelli. 

What’s the Difference? An Endangered Animal Subtraction Story

By Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Joan Waites.  

Subtraction Action

By Loreen Leedy. 

Night Noises

By Mem Fox and illustrated by Terry Denton. 

A Fair Bear Share

By Stuart J. Murphy and illustrated by John Speirs.  

Picture Books about Numbers to 100 and Beyond

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?

By Margaret McNamara and illustrated by G. Brian Karas.

Dozens of Doughnuts

By Carrie Finison and illustrated by Brianne Farley.

Shark Swimathon

By Stuart J. Murphy and illustrated by Lynne Cravath.

Christmas Farm

By Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Barry Root.

How Much is a Million?

By David M. Schwartz and illustrated by Steven Kellogg.

Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens: A Math Adventure

By Cindy Neuschwander and illustrated by Wayne Geehan.

Infinity and Me

By Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska.

Picture Books about Money, Time, and Measurements

Lemonade in Winter

By Emily Jenkins and illustrated by G. Brian Karas.

It’s About Time, Max!

By Kitty Richards and illustrated by Giola Flammenghi.

Pigs on a Blanket

By Amy Axelrod and illustrated by Sharon McGinley-Nally.

Biggest, Strongest, Fastest

By Steve Jenkins.

Actual Size.

By Steve Jenkins.

Polly’s Pen Pal.

By Stuart J. Murphy and Illustrated by Remy Slimard.  

Picture Books about Geometry, Graphs, Fractions, and Maps

The Great Graph Contest

By Loreen Leedy.

Lemonade for Sale

By Stuart J. Murphy and illustrated by Tricia Tusa.

Perfect Square

By Michael Hall.

If You Were a Fraction

By Trisha Speed Shaskan and illustrated by Francesca Carabelli.

Mapping Penny’s World

By Loreen Leedy.

Picture Books About Mathematicians and Problem-Solving

Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakeable Mathematician Sophie Germain

By Cheryl Bardoe and illustrated by Barbara McClintock.

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

By Joseph D’Agnese and illustrated by John O’Brien.

3 thoughts on “30+ Math Picture Books Your Second Grader Will Love ”

  1. Hello! We love using the books you recommend as part of the curriculum! This year we’ll be traveling so I have to keep it minimal. Do you have a short list of 5ish ones you’d recommend? Thank you!!

    • Some of my favorites are How Much is a Million?, Actual Size, Math-terpieces, One Grain of Rice, and Blockhead. You can find many of the books available on Youtube as read-alouds, too.

      Happy Math!


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