Wednesday, March 11, 2020

ReFoReMo Day 8: Author Rajani La Rocca Celebrates Math



People who love books don’t need to be afraid of math. Each of these books approaches mathematical concepts from a different perspective, but all of them convey a sense of fun, wonder, and celebration.

Twinderella, A Fractioned Fairy Tale by Corey Rosen Schwartz, Illustrated by Deborah Marcero

This rollicking, rhyming story imagines that Cinderella had a twin sister named Tinderella, and they split their housework in half. But when they meet the prince, the fun somehow doubles!



A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman, Illustrated by Isabel Greenberg


This book takes enormous numbers and connects them to our universe, our planet, and life on earth—including the child reader. It considers awe-inspiring concepts while still keeping them relatable.



100 Bugs: A Counting Book by Kate Narita, Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman.


This beautiful book not only details all the different ways to add to ten (1+9, 2+8 and so on), it also teaches us facts about a variety of fascinating insects and plants.


I’m Trying to Love Math by Bethany Barton

This funny book features an invisible first-person narrator who claims not to like math and a cute  purple alien who shows the narrator how math is everywhere—including in cooking, music, and nature.



Count On Me by Miguel Tanco

Some kids (and adults) just love math. This lovely story follows a little girl who is passionate about math and sees the whole world through that lens.




Rajani is giving away SEVEN GOLDEN RINGS! and a manuscript critique to two lucky winners! To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must be registered by March 2, comment on each post, consistently read mentor texts, and enter the Rafflecopter drawing at the conclusion of ReFoReMo.



Rajani LaRocca writes picture books and novels for children. She has loved both books and math for as long as she can remember. Her debut picture book, Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math will publish with Lee & Low Books in July 2020. Learn more about her at www.RajaniLaRocca.com.









136 comments:

  1. Rajani, thanks for adding these math books to my list of mentor texts. Nothing subtracted from the entertainment value they provide!

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  2. I love when books make learning fun!

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  3. Great math books, Rajani. I've got one ms with lots of fun caterpillar math as one layer of the story.
    Congrats on your debut PB!

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  4. What a creative and fun way to learn math. Thanks for this post, Rajani, and for introducing us to these terrific books.

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  5. I didn't know these books and I found them fascinating. Thank you Rajani for bringing them to our attention. They are great fun!

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  6. I'm especially intrigued by the two books that show children how math is everywhere. I'll be looking for those, and also looking forward to reading your picture book when it comes out!!

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  7. Thanks for showing what a wide range of math picture books are out there. There are so many counting and shape books that's it's easy to forget that picture books can tackle other math concepts. 100 Bugs! is a fabulous example of how to combine concepts-counting to 10, adding to 10, counting by 10s to 100. Plus the bug back matter! So much packed into such a brief text. I could really see using this one in my kindergarten classroom.

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  8. These books are a superb way of introducing math concepts. Thanks for sharing them, Rajani. Your new PB looks wonderful.

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  9. Thank you for sharing books that celebrate math! I look forward to reading them!

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  10. I'm happy there's a push to publish more math picture books. Years back I would try to check-out all the alphabet books, color books, etc. Not many math books beyond numbers 1-10. Thanks for sharing.
    -Ashley Congdon

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  11. As a math lover myself, I am very pleased to be introduced to these books. Distilling concepts into something tangible provides wonderful learning opportunities for even very young munchkins. Thank you!!

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  12. Who knew math could be so fun and interesting! Rajani, I think you did your job well.

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  13. Thanks for introducing us to some books about math. I've always liked math but don't remember reading too many books like this as a child. I'm glad this generation has more to choose from.

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  14. Countless wonderful examples! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Great post Rajani! Thank you for the great mentor texts about math. I hated math as a kid and am glad to see books that show math concepts and point out that math is all around us.

    I read Twinderella when it first came out and just had to buy it as I love fairy tales whether they are little known stories or fractured and twisted ones ... or ones that deal with math. I am waiting for my copies of Count On Me and I’m Trying To Love Math to come in and have a feeling that they will join quite a few others (from ReFoReMo) on my bookshelves.

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  16. Thank you for this helpful post! These are wonderful mentor texts.

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  17. Thanks, Rajani, for sharing these titles that make mathematics fun and captivating for kids.

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  18. YOU know I'd love to win Seven Golden Rings, Rajani. Ty for adding to my TBR pile, too. I've read some of these but not all of them.

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  19. Thanks for the great titles! Math themed picture books are always so much fun to read.

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  20. I'm interested to see how math can be made interesting.

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  21. Wonderful titles, thank you for the great post.

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  22. I love how math has been woven into these stories so well, and how it's more than just math in each book!

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  23. Too bad we couldn't have had a post on Pi Day! When my kids were younger-and they love math-we always had pies on Pi Day. Corey Rosen Schwartz' Twinderella didn't disappoint and I love the added flora and fauna in 100 Bugs. Nice post! Thanks! I have my own math mss so I'll take another look at it with fresh eyes.

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  24. I regret these books weren't out before I left the classroom. I am certain my 1st graders would have counted them among their favorites.

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  25. Cannot * count * all the ways that I <3 this post Rajani!

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  26. I'm working on a story that uses math. This post on how to utilize and simplify math principles in picture books is super helpful. Thank you!

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  27. Thanks for putting your math interest to good use on this post, Rajani! Great books to study.

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  28. Wow! I found the list of math picture books so interesting. Thanks.

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  29. These titles have been added to this doc: https://www.facebook.com/notes/reforemo/countingnumbers-mentor-texts/2078412162403127/

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  30. Thanks for sharing a variety of math-related picture books. I'm looking forward to reading Seven Golden Rings.

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  31. Great list of books that make math fun. Thank you, Rajani!

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  32. Thank you for the great post, Rajani! I'm a math lover so this is right up my alley! :)

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  33. Thank you for these books Rajani. Math was always so dry as a kid just pencil to paper and no application to the real world I love the books that are showing her mouth is in cooking and so many other things. I discovered this when I went to work at a fabric store and was working in fractions all the time. Great for kids to see math in there every day life.

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  34. Thanks for these books about math. I look forward to reading them. I liked math as a child because it was easy for me, but it got much tougher in high school. 🙂 It’s a good idea to make math fun for kids and give them more confidence about math.

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  35. Math really is everywhere, including in these fun picture books! Thanks for sharing this list.

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  36. I always think I can‘to do math because of dyslexia. Any picture books for the math impaired?

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  37. I've been trying to love math my whole life - and failing! So clearly these are books I need in my life :-) Thanks for fun and uplifting post!

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  38. Thanks for a great post! And congratulations on your books - I can't wait to read your debut PB!

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  39. Great list. Excited to start reading!! Congrats.

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  40. I'm a fan of all things math, so these books are right up my alley. I'm trying to figure out how to turn my math brain on to a story at the moment. Still thinking.......

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  41. This is great, math seems to be so hard for some, especially our disabled students. Thank you!

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  42. Thank you! These books look so inspiring. I love Maths and books so will definitely be getting them. Congratulations on your book too.

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  43. Hi, Rajani! How appropriate that your post is all about math with the upcoming release of your own SEVEN GOLDEN RINGS. Congrats, and looking forward to a local launch! I love how your mentor texts show completely different approaches to making math fun. Of course, I'm already a huge fan of Kate's book, 100 BUGS!, but I also especially enjoyed A HUNDRED TRILLION BILLION STARS--such a fascinating way to connect kids (and all of us) to numbers almost beyond our imagination.

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  44. Thank you for this. I think I needed these books as a young teen and elementary school teacher.

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  45. Great list! I loved sharing these type of math books with my fourth graders when I taught. Can't wait to read your upcoming book, Rajani!

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  46. For me, math makes more sense than writing. The rules aren't as subjective. Still, I've never tried writing about math.

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  47. I love books with math. Can't wait for your book to release!
    Another favorite of mine, though it's an Early Reader is Dan Santat's The Cookie Fiasco.

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  48. As a teacher, I found it difficult to find picture books which dealt with math, so I am glad these excellent books are available now. Kids will love them. Each has a charm of its own while presenting math concepts clearly. Thanks for sharing these titles.

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  49. Rajani,
    Thank you for sharing this list. Congratulations on your book!

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  50. I love math as well and when I taught, I used books like these to spark interest in my students. Great post!

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  51. Great choice of books, Rajani! I love how these wonderful books teach math!

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  52. Thank you for sharing this post!

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  53. Thanks for the math fun, and congratulations on your book- it looks beautiful!

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  54. Thank you so much for this group of books. I hadn't seen the last two and I am really enjoying reading them. What a great way to make math fun!

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  55. So cool to see this math-centric post but the wonderful Rajani LaRocca! Nice job Rajani!

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  56. Great examples! I've read most of these but I've not heard of Count On Me, so I look forward to checking out that one.

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  57. Thanks Rajani for the great books showing many different ways that math is in all aspects of our lives.

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  58. Can’t wait to read the I’m Trying to Love Math. Her I’m Trying to Love Spiders

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  59. Thanks, Rajani, for sharing this great list of math mentor texts. We need more of these pbs that make math fun and approachable! [Posted by LouAnn Silva]

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  60. I wish I'd had these math positive picture books when I was growing up. Thanks, Rajani!

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  61. Thank you, Rajani, for these excellent titles on math! I've read a couple of them and need to find the others.

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  62. Thank you for your suggested picture books, I love how they relate to math and include it in a new way.

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  63. Thank you your insight and for sharing these examples!

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  64. I'm always looking for ways to incorporate math with picture books. Thanks for these suggestions!

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  65. Thank you for this list, Rajani! I definitely could've used these books as a child. Space has always fascinated me, so A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars really spoke to me. I also loved I'm Trying to Love Math--it's hilarious!

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  66. What an informative post! I would never have thought of grouping math-related PBS!

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  67. I love this post, since I myself am trying to love math and find these picture books very helpful. ;) I'll share these titles with the math teachers at the school where I work as well.

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  68. I'm trying to love math, like my son, so these books are great to share. Thanks!

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  69. I have always loved math - and having fun books to share allows the reader/listener to have some fun with numbers. thanks!

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  70. Adding these to my list for inspiration and mentor texts--I am a math geek and have written a few educational books on math topics and would love to be able to come up with ideas for math picture books too. Your prize is awesome--thank you for the chance!

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  71. Well, this is definitely not a topic I would've considered before--BUT now I really am intrigued! Thanks for your post:)

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  72. What a great idea to present math as something fun from an early age. Thanks

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  73. Thank you, Rajani, for these books on math topics. I will be sure to get my hands on them.

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  74. Fun books about numbers! Thanks for sharing! It's great to have good examples.

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  75. I really enjoyed reading & seeing the creative ways that math was incorporated into these stories. it wasn't boring at all, LOL! My daughter is a numbers-lover, so I especially loved seeing female protagonists that loved math as much as her. Thx for the selection!

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  76. Ha! Not even adorable an crafty written picture books could make me like math! (hehe) but I did enjoy these stories! What cute and clever (and smart) ways to incorporate math into special tales with great story archs!

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  77. Math boring? Never! Thanks for this selection of books!

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  78. I always loved math - no problem there - but the idea of a Hundred Billion Trillion of anything is baffling and indeed an awe-inspiring concept. Thank you for shining a light on this group of books.

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  79. Another math lover here, so this book list was fabulous!

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  80. Great examples- thank you!

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  81. Thanks for sharing books about numbers. They're not my thing - but many love them!

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  82. Rajani: THANK YOU for this TRULY IMPORTANT post! I look forward to studying your book examples--especially, "I'm Trying to Like Math." Somehow, I think that book was written with me in mind! I wish I had these books when I was a kid struggling with math. Perhaps if I had, I would have viewed math differently, and not feared it. GREAT example to me of finding ways to take a concept/thing I might dread or fear, and find ways to write about it that could help others like me. THANK YOU for the INSPIRATION!!!

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  83. I never loved math when I got older, but the three books I read really reached out to the reader how interesting, fun and great Math can be. My son loved the book “I’m Trying to Love Math.”

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  84. I love seeing math incorporated into picture books. Thank you! Great selections.

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  85. Looking forward to reading these with my kids. Thanks!

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  86. I have my mentor books ready to dive in, thanks Rajani!

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  87. I'm so excited, not only to use the ideas from today in my work, but also to share these books with my kids. I absolutely adored "Count on Me" and "100 Billion Trillion Stars"! They're so different in how they show the math around us, but they're both equally wonderful!

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  88. Math books are some of the best ways to get my "I'm a math kid, not a words kid" into books! Thanks for this excellent collection!

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  89. Love Math? These examples offer young readers a window to explore and decide. "Count on Me" examples of mathematical terms throughout the story as well as the definitions and drawings were delightful.

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  90. your book sounds very interesting. Can I finally love math? I'm eager to see.

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  91. This was an interesting post as I haven't read many math-themed picture books before - thank you!

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  92. I'm a little behind on my reading, but I've got my "math stack" ready and waiting for me. Thank you so much for the great list of math-related books. Have a manuscript to polish and I'm hoping to get some helpful tips from this list.

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  93. Rajani - these are all great examples of using math. I am looking forward to Count on Me. I have not read that one yet.

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  94. Rajani! These amazing book titles make math learning fun!

    Thank you.
    Suzy Leopold

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  95. What fun examples of how to include math into picture books. I particularly enjoyed Twinderella.

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  96. What fun examples of how to include math into picture books. I particularly enjoyed Twinderella.

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  97. Rajani, thank you so much for introducing these fun books exploring math. My three year old grandson is fascinated with millions, billions and trillions right now. I know what book to get next! And as a former third grade teacher, these kinds of books that make math fun and accessible are so important!

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  98. These books show how much fun math can be! Congratulations on your new book.

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  99. I was that kid who thought that I was not good at math. It wasn't until I fell in love with statistics in graduate school that I realized that math can be fun. These story selections are so important for so many people.

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  100. Hi, Rajani! Congratulations on your picture book! I need to read I’m Trying to Love Math by Bethany Barton.

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  101. Hi Rajani. Congrats on the new book. Great choices for your post. I really enjoyed Midsummer Mayhem!

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  102. Thank you for these excellent reads! So creative how people write about math!

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  103. Thank you for some new-to-me math picture books. Love these types of books!

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  104. I loved to read the math books! Thanks for the list.

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  105. I’m Trying to Love Math sounds perfect for my class this year! Adding that to the book store check list for tomorrow.

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  106. I resonate. I try to love math, too! :( Thinking these might be great for adults, not just children on that topic!

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  107. Thank you for these mentor texts. I need to "study" each of these books to see how to implement math..my math mind stinks!!!

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  108. Thank you for these ideas! Maybe they will even make me more of a math person.... :)

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  109. Thanks so much for the post and the examples. I loved math until I got to geometry in school.

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  110. Thank you for these titles. I'm writing a math story and I like to see how others treat it in picture books.

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  111. Great examples and I particularly love I:M TRYING TO LOVE MATH--- I can so relate! :) Thank you.

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  113. Where were those kinds of books when my kids were young.

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  114. I didn't know these books. I like that kids can see math applied to everyday life. Thank you.

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  115. Thanks for this list! I've always been drawn to books that make math fun. In fact, I recently reviewed another fun math book called, The Blunders: A Counting Catastrophe on www.writersrumpus.com.

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  116. Thank you for these great ideas.

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  117. Rajani, I admit I am one of those writers who doesn’t like math... thank you for introducing me to these picture books. Consider my therapy at a start...😊

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  118. Also HOW MUCH IS A MILLION by David M. Schwartz. Today's readers are so fortunate to have these happy introductions to the value of math in their lives. Looking forward to reading your suggested mentor texts when I can get them out of library quarantine!

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  119. Thank you for introducing me to these books. They remind me of when my daughter was in first grade, kept wishing I had all of them at the time!

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  120. I would have benefited from these books as a child. I admire authors who are able to take a potentially unpopular subject and make it enjoyable! Thank you!

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  121. I love math! And I love how these books present it in all different versions of fun and engaging ways to help children love math too. Thank you for these!

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  122. I haven't been able to get my hands on all of these, but I loved COUNT ON ME. It's perfect! Thanks, Rajani!

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  123. Just read Count On Me and A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars, beautifully crafted and completely grasped both my kid’s interest. Thanks for sharing perfect STEAM mentor texts!

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  124. Making math fun is perfect; so many kids and adults too are not fans! These books are great ways to alleviate this. A nice reminder of the power of picture books!

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  125. I love this list! 100 bugs is so clever with great layers to make it a must for teaching! I haven't read Bethany Barton's book yet but love her others and was so excited to see this new one! Thank you

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  126. I love math! When I taught, I always had math books on hand. It's nice to have an updated list now. Thank you!

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  127. These are fabulous cross-over tools, to use during our homeschooling days. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  128. As someone who majored in math in college, I love seeing these titles recommended!

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  129. 100 BUGS was an absolute favourite - love the detail, the extra species information, and the math of it too!

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  130. Thank you for sharing these! I love the idea that math can be more than worksheets.

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  131. I’M TRYING TO LOVE MATH, is a great one. I feel my kids are living that right now with homeschooling!
    Than you Rajani for your post and inspiration!

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