Monday, May 7, 2012

Picture Books (Math) Shapes and Basic Geometry

I have had these book tucked away for Math Monday for a few weeks. It is about time I share them!  Each selection focuses on shapes.  They move from simple to more complex.  I hope you can use these books with your youngsters at home or in school.
This small board book is perfect for little hands and young minds learning or practicing shapes.  There is a basic thread that unifies the book.   It begins with, “In the ocean…”  Each 2-page layout has a short phrase that refers back to the original introductory phrase and describes the action like “Fish swimming,” “Rays gliding,” and “Crabs snapping.”   The layouts include the labeled shape at the top left corner and a framed picture of the ocean scene that sweeps across both pages, such as seen HERE.   The cheery cartoon animals are colorful and charming.  The fun verbs—swimming, snapping, crawling—on each page are perfect for imitating.  The final layout is a review of all the shapes.  Shapes with Ocean Animals is geared for ages newborn to 4.  

Are Eggs Square? (DK Books)
This see through book is entertaining for children who are already familiar with their shapes.   Each sequence begins with a question.  For instance, the first one is:  “Do ladybugs have square spots?”  The facing see-through page shows a ladybug with square spots.  Child readers or listeners may answer the question and "predict" what the correct answer will be.  A turn of the page reveals a ladybug with naturally shaped spots.  It replies:  “No, ladybugs have round spots.”  This pattern is repeated for triangles, stars, squares, ovals, and rectangles.  The easy, predictable text is good for early readers to practice on.  A quick review of shapes is provided at the end.  This fun, interactive book is perfect for ages 3-7. 

Using food and paper, Adler moves beyond basic shape recognition to introduce more advanced math concepts and vocabulary.  First, pieces of cheese and pretzel sticks serve as materials to make triangles of different kinds—scalene, equilateral, and isosceles.   Next, those same pretzel sticks and some paper depict basic angles.  Key vocabulary terms are illustrated such as vertex, right angle, and types of angles (right, obtuse, and acute).  Then, quadrilaterals—trapezoid, parallelogram, rectangle, rhombus, and square—are defined and pictured with paper, pencil, and pretzels.   He finishes off with other polygon shapes using a piece of bread and a knife to create a pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon, hendecagon, and dodecagon.  The illustrations are captivating and interactive.  They will stimulate youngsters to come up with their own foods or household items to create shapes.  Shape Up!  is a fantastic tool for introducing or reinforcing geometric concepts for ages 9 and up.  

Visit love2learn2day for other Math Monday more linked up ideas and resources. 


  1. Thank you for sharing these geometry books. Have you seen Loreen Leedy's Seeing Symmetry? This is a fun subject to teach primary age students.

  2. @Jeff Thanks for visiting. Fortunately, I have read and reviewed Leedy's book. It is a wonderful resource. :)

  3. Very interesting - I am going to put the last book into out TBR pile.

  4. All great books! I love using math and literature together.
    Marcia :)


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