Teaching Numbers
Best Children's Counting Books

Teaching numbers and counting is so much fun with children's books!  But how do you find that book when hundreds of counting books crowd shelves?  Some are fabulously inventive and educational while others simply rehash what we've all seen in numbers books for years. To stand out from the crowd, great numbers and counting books should do more than just present increasing numbers of items matched to increasing numerals.

Great books in this genre should engage readers, spark imagination, and teach other age-appropriate concepts. All the books here do just that. If you're teaching numbers and counting, check out these fun books!  They're great for launching into math lessons, individual browsing, or a read alouds.

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Best Books on Counting & Numbers
with links to buy on Amazon

Click, Clack,
Splish, Splash

(duck and friends are on a
mission, with each step
increasing numbers)
Preschool - Kindergarten

One Is a Snail,
Ten Is a Crab

(counting and adding the
number of feet that
different animals have)
Kindergarten - 2nd grade

Olivia Counts
(an adorable, spunky little
pig makes teaching
numbers 1-10 such fun!
Part of the Olivia series.)

Preschool - 1st grade

Chicka Chicka 123
(101 numbers climb up a
tree, one at a time until 20,
and then by 10s)
Preschool - 1st grade

City by Numbers
(numerals 1-21 depicted
in common city scenes)

all ages will love it!

Food for Thought
(funny & cute food sculptures
teach shapes, colors, letters,
numbers and opposites)

Preschool - 2nd grade

How Do Dinosaurs
Count to Ten?

(cute book shows dinosaurs
learning how to count)

Preschool - 1st grade

Potato Joe
(energetic potatoes burst from
the ground, then back down,
to "One Potato, Two Potato")
Preschool - 1st grade

Five Creatures
(a girl sorts and counts
her family members based
n various characteristics)
1st grade - 5th grade

My Little Sister Ate
One Hare

(a girl eats delightfully gross
items as part of a magic act)
1st grade - 4th grade

Missing Math
A Number Mystery
(shows what life would be

like without numbers)

Kindergarten - 2nd grade

Just a Minute
A Trickster Tale and
Counting Book
(a Day of the Dead story)
Preschool - 2nd grade

How Many Bugs in a Box
(a pop-up counting book of
comical bugs that burst
out with each page)
Kindergarten - 2nd grade

Teeth, Tails, & Tentacles 
An Animal Counting Book
(plus interesting animal facts)

Kindergarten - 3rd grade

The Very Hungry
Caterpillar POP-UP Book

(a pop-up take on the classic
children's book -- LOVE IT!)
Preschool - 1st grade

Ten Black Dots
(illustrations integrate a certain
number of black dots, ie: 5 dots
can be buttons or portholes)
Preschool - 1st grade

100 Hungry Ants
(100 hungry ants desperately
try to get to a picnic faster)
Kindergarten - 2nd grade

123: A Child's First
Counting Book

(a girl dreams of a magical land
full of fairy tale characters)
Preschool - 2nd grade

other books for learning numbers
not our favorites by still good choices

  • Museum 123: uses famous works of art from NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art to teach numbers and counting, by the Met  [Kindergarten - 3rd grade]
  • 123 NYC: a photographic counting book, featuring vistas, landmarks, and everyday items in New York City, by Joanne Dugan
  • One Frog Sang: an increasing frog chorus sings out one spring evening by Shirley Parenteau  
    [Kindergarten - 2nd grade]
  • My Granny Went to Market: A Round-the-World Counting Rhyme about a jet-set granny who
    buys increasing numbers of items [Preschool - 3rd grade]
  • Follow the Line series: with prompts that encourage readers to search and count for items
    by Laura Ljungkvist, an
    IKEA designer :)   [Kindergarten & Up]
  • One Leaf Rides the Wind: a young kimono-clad Japanese girl explores a garden and counts the items that she sees, by Celeste Mannis  [Preschool - 2nd grade]
  • Let's Count to 100!: kids can practice counting  to 100 on 11 different spreads packed with cute, bright objects, by Masayuki Sebe  [Preschool - 1st grade]
  • Fish Eyes: subtitled A Book You Can Count On, full of vibrantly colored fish and die cut shapes, by Lois Ehlert  [Preschool - 1st grade]

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