A magical math book is a book that inspires wonder, excitement, and/or delight for both reader and listener.
Fellow blogger, author, and educator Denise Gaskins knows all about the many magical paths for sharing math. I've learned so much from her on Twitter and her blog. Denise began a monthly traveling blog post series, The Playful Math Education Blog Carnival (formerly “Math Teachers at Play”), as a way to share math "tips, tidbits, games, activities, and more." Check out the #146 Playful Math Carnival hosted by Iva Sallay for a treasure trove of magical math and #147 Playful Math Carnival hosted by Denise Gaskin for 12 archived posts to celebrate the 12th anniversary of The Playful Math Education Blog Carnival. I am thrilled to be hosting Carnival #148.
The Charlesbridge Storytelling Math series brings the magic once again. This time with their four board book collection by author/illustrator Grace Lin spanning four seasons. Up To My Knees explores the measurement of sunflowers planted in spring, Circle, Sphere explores the bubble shapes popping in the summer sun, What Will Fit? involves collecting and comparing fall harvest items and The Last Marshmallow explores how to share on a cold winter day.
Published in 2020, Lia & Luís: Who Has More? by Ana Crespo and Giovana Medeiros offers a fresh story for an all-too-common situation: Sibling rivalry!
Written by Sara Levine and illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns, The Animals Would Not Sleep! tells the story of Marco's bedtime woes. Marco must pick up his stuffed animals before bed. However, the stuffed animals are not happy with how Marco has sorted them into their baskets. Marco explores different sorts in the hopes everyone can peacefully go to bed.
Published in 2014 by Pearson Education, Big Ideas of Early Mathematics: What Teachers of Young Children Need to Know was written by The Early Math Collaborative, a division of the Erikson Institute in Chicago, IL. Launched in 2007, The Early Math Collaborative works to "increase the quality of early math education through professional development, research, and providing resources related to foundational mathematics – what it is, how it develops in children, and how best to teach it."
For those still out searching for gifts, here some magical math books featured on our blog this year and toy/game pairings.
This sweet story follows Sam's journey to becoming the shape that suits him best. Is it a circle? A square? Or some shape in between? Nichols's bright, cheerful illustrations are the perfect complement to Jackson's heart-warming story. Published in September 2019 by Page Street Kids, My Shape is Sam is a perfect fit for ages 3-6.
Published in July 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Dozens of Doughnuts pairs perfectly with doughnuts and munchkins (both the edible and no non-edible kind).
In the past 3 years, I've shared many math books with my children. We've found magic in 48 of these books. I've learned much from these amazing authors and illustrators and watching my children interact with their books. In addition to writing this blog, I've been writing picture book manuscripts and dreaming of publishing magical math books of my own. And in this post, I share my writing for the first time on this blog.
The Original Area Mazes: 100 Addictive Puzzles to Solve with Simple Math―and Clever Logic! features area mazes puzzles created by Ryoichi Murakami and Japanese puzzle master Naoki Inaba. These puzzles have a sudoko puzzle feel. However, in addition to using logical thinking, the solver of Area Maze puzzles uses two mathematical ideas over and over. The first idea is the area of a rectangle is length times width. The second idea involves the relationship between factors and multiples (although it's not necessary to use this mathematical language in order to solve of course).