G0oUBMJsWakD6U8F6zZjeg.jpg

Antiques Roadshow

Start watching
cYWAg84-show-poster2x3-LpD4fIm.jpg

Finding Your Roots

Start watching
hYD8A32-show-poster2x3-WZIiyi9.jpg

PBS NewsHour

Start watching
ED6PSZP-show-poster2x3-Ve6hmZh.jpg

NOVA

Start watching
6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
Membership Card
Support PBS SoCal by becoming a member today.
Other Ways to Give Card
Learn about the many ways to support PBS SoCal.
Connect with Our Team Card
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

Get Cozy with These 7 Wintry Math Children's Books

Support Provided By

‘Tis the season for colder temperatures, sledding, hot cocoa (*and lemonade) and cozy reading sessions to learn math. You read right! With a few choice book selections, math comes alive and is a joy to read about together. Don’t think it’s possible? Here's a carefully curated book list of wintry-mathematical board and picture books to assist learning at home in a seriously fun way.

Two smiling children in puffy, colorful coats stand near snowy pine trees. istock
Make it seasonal! Sometimes a seasonal twist can make learning math more fun.

“Ten On The Sled” (ages birth-4) Written by Kim Norman and illustrated Liza Woodruff

Animals embark on a snowy adventure in this sing-along-friendly, silly board book by award-winning author Kim Norman. Little readers will learn how to count down from 10 to one as animals fall off an overcrowded sled.

Clockwise from left: the children's books “Ten On The Sled,” “The Last Marshmallow” and “Ten Sparkly Snowflakes” lying in the snow. The covers feature illustrations of 1o animals packed on a sled, two children sipping hot cocoa and a family of bears in their den looking at snowflakes.
Clockwise from left: book covers of “Ten On The Sled,” written by Kim Norman and illustrated Liza Woodruff; “The Last Marshmallow,” written and illustrated Grace Lin and “Ten Sparkly Snowflakes,” written by Tiger Tales and illustrated by Russell Julian | Meg Raby

“The Last Marshmallow” (ages birth-4) Written and illustrated Grace Lin

Friends Oliva and Mei have three large marshmallows to share over their two cups of hot cocoa. With diverse, modern and minimalistic illustrations, this board book highlights the foundations of simple math while championing the message of sharing.

“Ten Sparkly Snowflakes” (ages birth-4) Written by Tiger Tales and illustrated by Russell Julian

With the most precious of illustrations and some exploratory cut-outs, little readers will enjoy learning to count to 10 in this wintry woodland picture book centered around sparkly snowflakes.

“Snowman-Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations” (ages 4-8) by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Micha Archer

The children's book “Snowman-Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations,” written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Micha Archer lying in the snow. The cover features an illustration of a melting snowman.
Book cover of “Snowman-Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations” written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Micha Archer | Meg Raby

A play on language and math, this picture book teaches the reader that the seasons and all of their wonders occur due to simple equations. For example, a snowman minus the cold temperature equals a puddle of water, and a stream plus snowmelt equals a racing river. Not only is this a smart, engaging picture book on math in nature, but it’s a work of art with stunning illustrations.

“365 Penguins” (ages 5-8) Written by Jean-Luc Fromental and illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet

The children's book “365 Penguins,” written by Jean-Luc Fromental and illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet lying in the snow. The cover features an abstract black and white illustration of penguins. The largest penguin on the front has its wings raised.
Book cover of “365 Penguins,” written by Jean-Luc Fromental and illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet | Meg Raby

A delivery man delivers a single box to a family’s front door at 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Inside is Penguin number one with no explanation or information as to who the sender is, leaving a very confused family. Penguins begin to show up in boxes every day, adding to the confusion and also to the humor of what life is like taking care of such creatures. By the end of the year, there are 365 penguins accounted for. This playful picture book teaches addition and multiplication with the use of penguins and a charming storyline, while also introducing the topic of climate change. It’s utterly fantastic.

*“Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money” (ages 5-8) Written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

The children's book “Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money,” written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by G. Brian Karass lying in the snow. The cover features an illustration of two children wearing winter coats as they sell lemonade.
Book cover of “Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money,” written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. | Meg Raby

Pauline sees the snow falling from her front window and decides it’s a perfect day for a lemonade stand. To prepare, Pauline and her younger brother, John-John, sort their money from their piggy banks and head to the market to pick up all the necessary ingredients. Once the lemonade is made and the stand is set up, neighbors begin to walk by and purchase varying numbers of cups of lemonade at 50 cents a piece. As the day progresses and business slows down, Pauline and John-John decide to slash the cost to 25 cents per cup. This attracts more neighbors and requires them to adjust their money-math skills. By the end of the story they have enough money to purchase treats for one another (popsicles, no less) and the reader has had fun learning about counting quarters and dollars. A win-win all around.

“Sizing Up Winter” (ages 6-8) Written by Lizann Flatt and illustrated by Ashley Barron

The children's book “Sizing Up Winter,” written by Lizann Flatt and illustrated by Ashley Barron lying in the snow. The cover features an illustration of an otter sliding down some snow into a body of water.
Book cover of “Sizing Up Winter,” written by Lizann Flatt and illustrated by Ashley Barron | Meg Raby

In this clever picture book about winter and the importance of measurement, animals of all sorts help teach mathematical terms including capacity, mass and measuring the length of time. There’s also a wonderful glossary in the back that provides fascinating details on each animal highlighted in the story, including the snowy owl, snow fleas, polar bears and a musk oxen.

More from PBS SoCal

Support Provided By
Read More
A child plays with a tangram made out of a cereal box.

Five Out-of-the-Box Math Activities You Can Do with Cereal Boxes

Kids love chowing down on cereal, leaving many households swimming in empty cereal boxes. But there’s no need for those boxes to head to the recycling pile immediately! Try repurposing them to use in these five easy activities that also help boost math skills.
Colorful cutouts shaped like fish, each labelled with a number from one to 10, are lined up on a wooden table.

Family Math Activity: Counting with Fishes

In this hands-on craft activity, children will practice counting from one to 10 using colorful fishes.
Mother and daughter walking in the forest

Three Outdoor Activities for Kids to Practice Sorting and Creating Sets with Nature

Things from nature like pinecones, sticks, leaves, flowers, rocks, shells and acorns are just waiting to be used to develop kids' math skills. Here are three simple ways you can use them to tap into your child’s mathematical thinking outdoors.