Incorporating math-related children’s literature in math teaching at home and in the classroom can pique children’s interest in mathematics and help them better understand math notions.
According to one experimental study, not only did the use of geometry-related children’s literature significantly ameliorate children’s achievements in geometry, but it also led to considerable amelioration of their attitude towards the subject.
Bearing this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best 24 geometry books for kids that you may find useful in your math lessons as a teacher or parent.
Best Geometry Books for Kids
If your child or student is just getting started with basic geometric shapes, this book by David Adler & Nancy Tobin will help you introduce them to the realm of geometry through fun, hands-on activities.
From cheese slices to pretzel sticks and bread, children will love the wide range of food manipulatives while discovering scalene, equilateral, and isosceles triangles, and much more.
For example, here’s how the book introduces triangles:
“Put a slice of American cheese on a plate. With the tip of a toothpick, poke three small holes in the cheese. The holes should not be in a line. With the edge of the toothpick, cut the cheese by connecting the hole with three straight lines.
You have made a flat, three-sided figure – a triangle!”
2. Circle Dogs
Despite the fact that this delightful book by Kevin Henkes wasn’t originally intended for teaching shapes, Circle Dogs contains so many shapes on each and every page, it would be a pity not to use it for this purpose.
The narrative revolves around the everyday lives of two circle dachshunds that live in a big square house with a big square yard and dig circle holes. Explore squares, triangles, and circles with these two cute pups who like to curl up in circles to sleep!
The variety of bold and eye-catching illustrations, coupled with the simple and easy-to-understand language makes this book a perfect read for preschool and kindergarten kids.
If you’re trying to teach pre-kindergarteners or kindergarteners shape recognition, then Circus Shapes by Stuart J. Murphy is a good resource to get started with. Thanks to the linear illustrations with simple text, children will easily learn to identify the shapes on each page.
In this book, basic geometric shapes, including triangles, circles, squares, rectangles, and circles are introduced in a circus with the help of circus animals. Circus performers make shapes with their bodies and children get to guess these shapes!
Children thus learn that by going to the circus they get to see different shapes and are inspired to look for shapes in ordinary life as well. After finishing this book with your students, you may consider asking them to go on a ‘shape hunt’ in the classroom.
4. Ship Shapes
No sailing experience is required – all you need is a sense of adventure for this shape-laden ocean journey! This story by Stella Blackstone revolves around two main characters, a boy and a girl, and their dog, who invite children to identify basic shapes during their treasure hunt.
Children will definitely enjoy the exotic scenes of pirate ships or sea monsters and will appreciate the straightforward instructions for shape identification.
While the storyline may come across as somewhat simplistic, the phenomenal illustrations – which are hand-sewn and created out of fabric – definitely make up for it. A solid resource that parents can use with preschool children.
In this concept book by Roseanne Thong, students are invited to undertake a journey with an unnamed Chinese girl and explore the basic geometric shapes in her neighborhood and home and then search for the specific shapes on the page.
As an added bonus – young learners will get to discover a bit of the rich Chinese culture and traditions as the girl explores the shapes through many objects that are of Asian origin, ranging from square dim sums and circle cups of rice to Chinese lace in the form of rectangles.
At the end of the book, there’s a glossary to explain some of the Chinese words or symbols included in the book.
In this adorable book by Karen Nagel, children learn about basic shapes thanks to the book’s three main characters – Triangle, Circle, and Square. The attributes of the shapes are discussed in a rhyming pattern, making it an enjoyable read for kids.
The shiny shapes and the bright colors in the illustrations are especially appealing for young learners and bring the book to life.
The book is good for introducing two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. It should be noted, however, that it’s more suited for parents rather than teachers, as it’s more of a one-on-one resource to share with a child since there is a lot to be seen on the pages.
Icky Bug Shapes by Jerry Pallotta offers a clever and fun introduction to geometric shapes with the help of none other but icky bugs! The book reviews simple shapes that you can find in nature, which makes it ideal for young learners in kindergarten and pre-kindergarten.
Students search for shapes that are created by bugs, such as the various shapes that leafcutter ants make. Not only is the book educational about shapes but children will also get to learn a thing or two about bugs!
In Shapes, Shapes, Shapes, author Tana Hoban takes a straightforward approach to encourage children to hunt for circles, stars, hearts, squares, and rectangles on each page, by using real-world photographs of buildings, people who are working, objects, and much more.
The book allows children to connect their math knowledge to practical activities of everyday life, and it’s a good start for preschool and kindergarten children who are just starting to learn about geography.
In this vibrant book, Marilyn Burns introduces shapes and polygons to young readers with a triangle as the central character. The story is simple but unique: the triangle is bored, so he decides to visit a magical shapeshifter to change his shape!
He initially asks the shapeshifter to add an angle or two to his shape, and then starts to think that the more angles he has, the better! So he turns into a quadrilateral, and then a pentagon, etc, and he keeps trying out different shapes until… He discovers that he is happiest when he’s himself – a triangle!
This is an excellent book for geometry at a beginner’s level, aimed at early math learners, but also an important resource for teaching children the importance of being and loving yourself for who you are from a tender age.
In this children’s book by Joanne Anderson Reisberg, young students will be entertained by the resourcefulness of a boy called Zachary, who keeps forgetting his Friday assignments and has to quickly improvise his homework!
Every Friday, his class is supposed to have a ‘show and tell’ activity about a different math concept, which involves bringing an item from home to discuss a math theme. Zachary forgets his item again and starts searching his pockets in panic for some item to share with the class.
Luckily, this little boy is quick on his feet and can turn even scraps of paper into an impressive presentation! Zach’s quick thinking, as well as detailed explanations about math topics such as width, length, perimeter, and area, will appeal to both students and teachers.
What kind of triangles are out there? What are congruent triangles? And what are similar triangles? This adorable book by David Adler will teach your students everything about triangles in an interactive way that engages young learners.
Moreover, kids will definitely find the central characters appealing: two kids and a friendly robot who are building another robot by relying on their knowledge of triangles! As they’re basically building the root out of triangles, they present easy-to-understand information about triangles and angles along the way.
As the book is rich in triangle-related vocabulary (obtuse, isosceles, vertex, etc.), it’s recommended for use only after children have familiarized themselves with basic geometric shapes, making it ideal for second and third graders.
If you were a polygon, what could you do? What could you be?
Marcie Aboff tackles questions about polygons in this cute book for children, providing creative examples and straightforward text about where polygons can be found in real life; kites, stop signs, or stars – they’re everywhere!
Despite the fact that the book lacks a storyline, the bright artwork and clarity in writing will be sure to engage your students. At the end of the book, there’s a quiz that you can use with students to review key concepts.
13. Seeing Symmetry
Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy helps children see that symmetry is all around us! All you need to do is start looking!
The beautiful artwork showing symmetry in nature, animals, man-made objects, art, architecture, design, letters and words, and even in our own face, in addition to the clear and straightforward text, will appeal to students.
In brief – if you’re looking for the best geometry book for kids to tackle a concept such as symmetry – look no further, this is the book for you.
Embark on an intergalactic adventure with Captain Invincible, or Sam, and his space dog Comet, who are trying to get out of space and get home safely. On their way back to Earth, they come across diverse perils, including aliens, asteroids, and poisonous gas.
In order to overcome these obstacles, they must push the correct shape! Thus, young learners will travel through space and familiarize themselves with a plethora of three-dimensional shapes, such as cubes, pyramids, cones, rectangular prisms, and more.
However, since some of the shapes are a bit advanced, it’s advisable to use this book only after you’ve introduced the basic shapes to students. A smart way to use this fiction/fantasy book by Stuart J. Murphy is to incorporate it at the beginning of a unit on 3-D shapes.
Students are guaranteed to enjoy learning about 3-D shapes with this book, as when it comes to three-dimensional shapes, this is arguably the best geometry book for kids out there.
Chickens on the Move by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso is a fun book to help children understand the concept of perimeter and area. The plot is straightforward: The grandfather of Tim, Anne, and Gordon surprises them by getting chicken in their home. However, now the trick is to figure out where to place the chicken’s home.
Children have to keep changing the size of the fence for the chicken coop as it’s too small for the chickens. As they do this, they begin to realize that by altering the fence, the shape changes as well, but the perimeter remains unchanged.
Have children set out on an adventure with Matt, Bibi, and their family to look for a hidden burial chamber of a pharaoh in Egypt and learn some basic geometry as you go! Cindy Neuschwander mixes mystery and excitement in her book, as the children get trapped in a pyramid without their parents.
To find a way out, they have to rely on their geometry knowledge and solve the riddles on the walls containing geometric hieroglyphics! Matt and Bibi will help your students review math concepts such as shape identification, perimeter, area, and angles in this adventurous journey.
Not only is the plot highly entertaining, but math concepts are also effortlessly woven into the story, making this book a must-have for any classroom from grade one to four.
17. Racing Around
Racing Around by Stuart J. Murphy offers a fun way to learn about perimeter to students in the first, second, and third grades. The story is simple – a young boy, Mike, wants to participate in a 15-km bike race, but his older siblings claim he’s too young for such a long race.
However, he has his heart set on the race and convinces his father to sign the permission so that he can race. Every day, his siblings calculate the perimeter of how far Mike can go so that they see if he can do the race. By doing so, they seamlessly integrate the concept of perimeter into the plot.
It is also a nice resource to teach children about resilience and not giving up early on, even if something seems impossible.
18. Hamster Champs
Stuart J. Murphy strikes again with another great children’s book – Hamster Champs. The narrative is fun and engaging, and it centers around a hamster crew that tries to outsmart Hector the cat by building a ramp.
However, if the hamsters don’t manage to pull off this new trick, Hector might eat them! Angles and protractors are effortlessly introduced a
s the hamsters attempt to build the ramp in this playful book, making it perfect for students who are just getting started in geometry.
This is an excellent book for elementary teachers to introduce math concepts like perimeter and area in everyday situations, such as organizing a dinner. Mr. and Ms. Comfort are preparing a family reunion for 32 people and trying to plan the sitting arrangements.
Ms. Comfort arranges the tables and chairs, but Mr. Comfort and the guests keep shifting the arrangements, leaving Ms. Comfort frustrated. In the end, it turns out that Ms. Comfort and her initial proposal for sitting arrangements was the best!
As a teacher, it could be fun to try to recreate the scenario from the book in your classroom, although you may find the constant re-arrangements a bit frustrating!
In this charming book by Julie Ellis, children learn about a young boy Pythagoras in ancient Greece who discovers a theorem that helps him solve problems related to right triangles, making it a perfect read for any class that’s learning the Pythagorean theorem.
Although the story is a fictional account of how Pythagoras came up with his theorem, the book still provides a solid example of how and why people may use this special number pattern outside math books.
Thanks to this book, students can easily see that the Pythagorean theorem is not just an equation that needs to be memorized, but something that we also use in real life.
Cindy Neuschwander draws from legends on King Arthur to create an entertaining fairytale, packed with fantasy and geometry knowledge. The playful illustrations, coupled with fun wordplay (Sir Cumference, Lady Di of Ameter, etc.), are guaranteed to appeal to children!
In Sir Cumference and the First Round Table, the king was worried about a possible invasion by the neighboring enemy, so he called his bravest knights to sit together and devise a solution. However, the table at which the knights gather is inadequate and a new table needs to be created.
Sir Cumference, his wife the Lady Di of Ameter, their son Radius, and the carpenter Geo of Metry team up to create this perfect table for peace discussions. Guided by their geometry knowledge, children explore concepts such as radius, diameter, the area of a rectangle or square, perimeter, shape recognition, etc.
What child doesn’t love a story about dinosaurs? Michelle Markel is the author of this compelling story that will have your students crunching math problems as quickly and as easily as Tyrannosaurus Math!
Tyrannosaurus Math, or T-Math, does math all the time – he’s counting his fingers and toes, he counts how much meat he has eaten, or compares the number of dragonflies that he and his brother have eaten.
Even though the book isn’t focused only on geometry, but covers a broad range of math concepts, there are geometric shapes interwoven in the text. All in all, having math concepts explained by a dinosaur, coupled with bright and colorful illustrations, makes this book a staple of elementary math classes.
Author Grace Maccarone does an interesting twist on the traditional story called Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf in order to create a book that will help young learners get started with some early math.
This is an imaginative story about three pigs that obtain magic shapes and use them for different purposes. The book is particularly useful as it shows children just how many things can be created by using only seven shapes.
You can use this as a nice introduction to tangrams and geometric shapes. An idea for a follow-up activity after reading the book could be creating tangrams in your classroom.
This fictional narrative about the father of modern geometry, Rene Descartes, offers a fun and innovative way for children to learn how one of the greatest minds in history created the Cartesian coordinate system.
Kids in the second grade will appreciate the humorous story format (Descartes trying to figure out if a fly can land on the same spot twice), as well as the interdisciplinary aspects, cutting across math, reading, and history. Although, in this case, the take on history is largely fictional.
This article outlines the best 24 geometry books for kids that will hopefully add an entertaining and charming element to your math lessons. You can use these books to teach geometry in group activities or one-on-one lessons with your child or students.
If you’re interested in more math resources for kids, check out our blog or head over to our site at MathTeachCoach. You’ll find plenty of useful and entertaining resources that will make teaching math a breeze.
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