Math Book Magic Revisited: Books that Invite Children to Join the Mathematical Story

Over the next year, in addition to sharing new magical math books,  I'd also like to revisit some of our older posts in an effort to clarify this definition by compiling and sharing a list of magical math book ingredients. There were books we read where the authors were clearly interested in what we, the readers, thought. In fact they prompted us to join in. These books had the first magical ingredient: invitation.  These books extended authentic invitations for us to join the conversation, to share, create, and explore mathematical ideas, to co-construct a mathematical story.

Using Beetles and Dance to Broaden Ideas about Math

Socks are like Pants, Cats are like Dogs was written by Gordon Hamilton and Malke Rosenfeld and published in 2016 by Delta Stream Media, an imprint of Natural Math. What I find refreshing about this book is the amount of noticing it affords. Children are invited to notice connections, similarity and differences throughout all the activities.

Homework Help with an Amazing Visual Math Book

Amazing Visual Math is a pop-up book that encourages children to interact with mathematical concepts through folding, unfolding, flipping, and tab-pulling. The book is a mathematical reference book that explores different concepts from the first years of school (K-2). The sixteen colorful pages are full of different mathematical representations children can manipulate. There are mathematical facts and questions on each spread.

More Origami Please!

Joey loves things that fold: maps, beds, accordions. His interest in foldables increases after watching his classmate's mother turn an ordinary piece of paper into a beautiful origami crane. Joey sets out to learn origami. However, not everyone appreciates the amount of practice it takes to become an origami master. Especially since Joey has taken to folding his homework, his mother's money,  and his sister's sheet music. Luckily, Joey finds a way to fold to his heart's content and becomes the origami master he set out to be.

This is Not a Math Book, It is a Magical Math Book

Weltman has masterfully curated a collection of activities that open doors to profound and curious mathematical questions. Some of these questions are written into the text ("Did you know you can fit an infinite number of circles into a finite space?" Wait. WHAT?!), however most questions Weltman magically tucks away inside unmade art waiting to be created and discovered by the reader.

Magic Emerges from a Cookie Fiasco

I didn't realize until researching this book that Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggie series is done, finished, finito. What?! Say it ain't so. Sorry, it is so.  However, you can still get your Elephant and Piggie fix by reading Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat. In this book within a book, Mo Willem's iconic duo make a cameo as they introduce and reflect upon Dan Santat's story The Cookie Fiasco. The Cookie Fiasco provides opportunities to explore both division and fractions.

Math Cookbook Magic

The six recipes in this cookbook involve fractions, tessellations, circles, π, fibonacci numbers, geometric shapes, and probability. My children counted and sorted when making the Probability Trail mix. They measured and divided when calculating the ratio of the circumference to the diameter in Variable Pizza Pi and they added and counted while making their Fibonacci snack sticks. Finally, equivalent fractions were investigated a bit with Fraction chips.

K is for Kindergartner & Königsberg

G is for Googol offers simply-stated explanations and amusing trivia for each of the 26 letter of the alphabet. Plus a few bonus pages for repeated letters (e.g., G is for Googol and Googolplex). Also, if you have a kindergartner that is doing Letter of the week read this post and join in the fun!

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