It is so important for kids to have a strong understanding of place value because it is tied to so many math skills. One of the ways you can help children understand place value is through picture books. Here are some great children’s books about place value.
You can click on any of the covers below to learn more about each book.
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Place Value by David A. Adler
You had better not monkey around when it comes to place value. The monkeys in this book can tell you why! As they bake the biggest banana cupcake ever, they need to get the amounts in the recipe correct. There’s a big difference between 216 eggs and 621 eggs. Place value is the key to keeping the numbers straight.
Earth Day – Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy
Earth Day is on the way, and Ryan, Luke, and Carly have a plan. If they manage to collect and recycle 5,000 aluminum cans, they can make enough money to buy some beautiful flowers for nearby Gilroy Park. Can they do it? Counting the cans gives Ryan, Luke, and Carly — along with readers — a lesson in place value. And facts about recycling throughout the story will help readers understand how important it is to take care of the earth. This is a Level 3 book in the Math Start series.
Zero the Hero by Joan Holub
Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. That’s what all the other numbers think of Zero. He doesn’t add anything in addition. He’s of no use in division. And don’t even ask what he does in multiplication. (Hint: Poof!) But Zero knows he’s worth a lot, and when the other numbers get into trouble, he swoops in to prove that his talents are innumerable.
The King’s Commissioners by Aileen Friedman
The King has lots of Royal Commissioners who take care of all the problems in the kingdom. There’s a Commissioner for Flat Tires, a Commissioner for Chicken Pox, and even a Commissioner for Spilt Milk! In fact, the king has appointed so many Commissioners, he’s lost count of them. But when the King asks his Royal Advisors to count the commissioners, he grows confused and angry. He does not understand their methods of counting. Luckily, the clever Princess is able to convince her father there is more than one way to count.
How Much is a Million? by David M. Schwartz
Ever wonder just what a million of something means? How about a billion? Or a trillion? Marvelosissimo the mathematical magician can teach you!
Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens by Cindy Neuschwander
Sir Cumference and Lady Di planned a surprise birthday party for King Arthur, but they didn’t expect so many guests to show up. How many lunches will they need? And with more guests arriving by the minute, what about dinner? Sir Cumference and Lady Di count guests by tens, hundreds, and even thousands to help young readers learn place-value.
Penguin Place Value by Kathleen Stone
Help this happy little family of penguins discover how many fish they’ve caught using your place value skills!
A Fair Bear Share by Stuart J. Murphy
Blue Ribbon Blueberry Pie. If the bear cubs gather enough nuts, seeds and blueberries, Mama Bear has agreed to make her special, lip-smacking-good pie. Each time they fill their baskets, the cubs count berries, seeds and nuts by putting them in groups of tens and ones to see if they have enough for pie. This is a Level 2 book in the Math Start series.
A Million Dots by Andrew Clements
It’s a long way to a million, right? Of course it is. But do you really know what a million looks like? If you’d like to see — actually see, right now, with your own eyes — what a million looks like, just open this book. Be prepared to learn some interesting things along the way. Like how many shoe boxes it would take to make a stack to Mount Everest. And be prepared to do some number wondering of your own. But, most of all, be prepared to be amazed. Because a million is a LOT of dots.
Big Numbers by Edward Packard
From a single pea on a plate to a quadrillion peas that cover an entire town, the numbers just get bigger and bigger, in a concept book about the unlimited possibilities of counting.
On Beyond a Million by David M. Schwartz
Professor X and his dog, Y, teach kids how to count exponentially by powers of 10 (1, 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, etc.), beginning at 1 and working all the way up to a googol (a 1 followed by 100 zeros) and beyond. Children fascinated by large numbers will be amazed how quickly they can count to really BIG numbers, and they’ll also find answers to questions like “What comes after a trillion?” or “What’s the biggest number in the world?”
Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong
Mr. Haktak digs up a curious brass pot in his garden and decides to carry his coin purse in it. When Mrs. Haktak’s hairpin slips into the pot, she reaches in and pulls out two coin purses and two hairpins–this is a magic pot!
One Grain of Rice by Demi
A rajah who believes himself to be wise and fair uses his hungry people’s rice for himself year after year, until a village girl named Rani devises a clever plan using the surprising power of doubling to win a billion grains of rice from the rajah.
Math Fables: Lessons That Count by Greg Tang
Greg Tang uses fables to teach concepts that are relevant to the very youngest math learners — sharing, teamwork, etc. — Greg encourages kids to see the basics of addition and subtraction in entirely new ways. Fresh, fun, and most of all, inspiring, MATH FABLES is perfect for launching young readers on the road to math success!
The Power of 10 by Judy Newhoff
Shooting hoops or mastering base 10 numeration? Hmm, for 10 year old Doogie, his heart is firmly planted on the basketball court. Even in class, he is daydreaming about his career in the NBA. Unfortunately, he has a rude awakening when he attempts to purchase a leather basketball and finds his understanding of place value is woefully lacking. Fortunately for Doogie, he is in for a mind bending intervention from an intergalactic super hero, Tenacious Ten, who quickly illustrates the wonders of the base 10 system and the miracle power of zeroes and the decimal point.
Out For the Count by Kathryn Cave
On a night that he can’t sleep, Tom begins to count sheep who promptly go to sleep on his bedroom floor, except for one that leads him on a variety of numerical adventures.
You can find some games and activities for place value here. Do you have any children’s books about place value that you love? I’d love to check them out!
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