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7 Math Storybooks Every Child Should Read, No. 3: Math Fables

Math Fables, by Greg Tang

Does your child love to hear the story of Little Red Riding Hood? What about the Princess and the Pea? As summer heats up and children want to stay up later, reading fables could be a great addition to their bedtime routine. But these aren’t just any fables. Here’s the latest in our summer math reading series, to help your little ones settle down after an active day, help them exercise their mental muscles, and keep math fresh in their minds.

Read Math Fables for lessons that apply every day

Math Fables by Greg Tang is one of his many books that incorporate math, and this one is appropriate for children in kindergarten and first grade. The book is full of different fables, each with its own moral. But they all take place in the real world, showing your child that math is present everywhere and every day. The rhyming poems and vibrant illustrations will definitely keep kids’ attention.

And, while their attention is caught, your child will be learning about counting and grouping numbers. Although it starts small with the number two, the stories build up to more complicated groupings that help prepare children for place value concepts. The stories are especially good at showing that a number is not just an amount; it is also composed of other smaller numbers.

You can read the stories a little at a time, splitting them up over a whole week before bedtime. Or you could read the whole book and use it as a jumping off point for some fun math activities. Use the activities from the back of the book or invent your own. Try going for a walk outside, and have your child count whatever they find, from birds to squirrels to people walking dogs. And if your child gets really interested in one particular animal or plant, try creating a story around it. Your child can even write a poem and draw an  illustration when you get home.

The next step after reading Math Fables

Did you and your child love Math Fables and wish it was longer? Greg Tang has written many other children’s books that emphasize math, and all of them are great stories. Go try Math Fables Too as a continuation or jump to slightly different story types with Math Appeal or Math for all Seasons.

Or maybe you want something a bit more advanced? Grapes of Math is for slightly older children, from second to third grade. This story has quick puzzles on each page with witty rhymes to help your child learn about different groupings to get quicker answers when adding or subtracting. This helps develop problem-solving skills instead of stressing memorization. And there are plenty of activities you can explore after reading. You can try out different methods of counting the objects on each page – count each one separately, or find different groupings from the one that is suggested in the book. This emphasizes the way that grouping by an easily multiplied number is a more efficient way of counting. You can also get creative and create new puzzles and hints for each other!

So read Greg Tang’s book Math Fables together, and you might find a whole series of books to enjoy with your child!

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