Estimating, comparing, Averaging

Books on comparing relative sizes and amounts, estimating, averaging

► A family favorite of ours. Y = for the youngest kids  * Newly added

Suggest a reader for this list

A Million Dots by Andrew Clements

A Million Fish...More or Less by Patricia McKissack

Actual Size (Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award) by Steve Jenkins; also Hottest, Coldest, Highest, Deepest and Biggest, Strongest, Fastest

Averages (A Young Math Book) by Jane Jonas Srivastava 

Bigger and Smaller (Young Math) by Robert Froman

Counting on Frank by Rod Clement, unusual illustrations, relative sizes/amounts

Estimation (A Young Math Book)  Linn, Charles/Madden, Don.  Activities, simple intro

Great Estimations and Greater Estimations by Bruce Goldstone

Hello Math Readers / Marilyn Burns Activities Included: Slower Than a Snail (Level 2)(Level 2) by A. Schreiber / What's Up With That Cup? (Level 2) ► by Sheila Keenan / The Fattest, Tallest, Biggest Snowman Ever (Level 3) by Bettina Ling

How Big Is A Million? by Anna Milborne

How Much, How Many, How Far, How Heavy, How Long, How Tall Is 1000? by Helen Nolan

How Tall, How Short, How Faraway by David Adler

If You Hopped Like A Frog by David M. Schwartz, relative comparisons

Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? ►  Robert Wells, Excellent intro to comparative sizes and *why* we have large numbers

Jim and the Beanstalk  Briggs, RaymondSize / perspective. Humor, plays on classic story

Math Curse ► Scieszka, Jon/Smith, Lane Number series. Abstract, in your face humor, classic, wide appeal to all ages

MathStart by Stuart MurphySame Old Horse (MathStart 2) Making Predictions; Betcha! Estimating (Level 3) Just Enough Carrots (MathStart 1) ► Comparing amounts, less, more; The Best Bug Parade (MathStart 1) Comparing sizes

Much Bigger Than Martin by Steven Kellogg, Soft math, visual story

Multi-Concept Resources: See list below.

Murderous Maths (don’t forget the ‘s’) by Kjartan Poskitt, Guaranteed to contain no nasty exercises and no boring sums! These are meaty books and adults that enjoy comics could enjoy them too. The Mean and Vulgar Bits: Fractions and Averages works for this theme. For older kids, text with illustrating comic-style vignettes

So Big! My First Measuring Book Y Falkner, Keith - My 4 to 6 y/olds love this, built in height& length measuring device; there's a time version that is also good but not as engaging

Take a Guess: A Look at Estimation

Animal Records - Amazing Book of Mammal Records The Largest, the Smallest, the Fastest by Samuel G. Woods

The Big Red Squirrel and the Little Rhinoceros Y Damjan, Mischa/de Beer, Hans. Size and perspective

The Dragon's Scales Y  Cute story about the difference between weight and mass

Pastry School in Paris: An Adventure in Capacity by Cindy Neuschwander

The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster ► – a classic chapter book with math and language ideas woven in, fantasy

Sir Cumference and the Roundabout Battle * by Cindy Neuschwander - really great story introduction to the concept of rounding!

Tallest, Shortest, Longest, Greenest, Brownest Animal in the Jungle! A S► Y Falkner, Keith

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Taback, Simms.  Volume, size, prediction, chain of relationships. Caldecott Honor, for the youngest readers. Related book that is VERY fun: I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson

Twice Upon a Time ► Y by Irwin Shapiro, really nice story line, older book, twice as much is not always twice as good :o). Proportions.

What's Faster Than a Speeding Cheetah? by Robert E. Wells, living science book as well.

What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew? by Robert E. Wells, living science book as well

Who Sank the Boat? Y by Pamela Allen

For adults wanting to better understand estimation, when and why: 

Math: Facing an American Phobia by Marilyn Burns - she does a great job showing when estimating and mental math should be used, vs. when pencil and paper math make sense, and when exact calculations are needed.  Reviewed here

Arithmetic for Human Beings: An Anti-Textbook for People Who Loathe Arithmetic by Robert Froman, reviewed here:


Multi-Concept Resources: These resources cover many math concepts, including comparing and estimating:

The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Catand Further Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas ► – numerous math concepts explored in each chapter

Cyberchase ► PBS show, hugely popular and valuable 30 minutes - ages 4 to 10 ish? Some fun but heavy duty math. The website has many good math activities as well.

Galaxy Getaway (Math for Martians) ► by Ferris, Julie; Tassie, Jane – This is a multi-concept book that uses a story-line to present a series of puzzles using a variety of math skills

Historical Connections in Mathematics Volumes 1, 2 and 3 by Wilbert and Luetta Reimer - Activity books that go along with the Mathematicians Are People, Too series, published by AIMS Education

I Hate Mathematics! (Brown Paper School Books) ► Burns, Marilyn/Weston, Martha General math/math history. Classic

I Love Math Series, Timelife ► - There are 13 of these lively multi-concept books, each with themes ranging from sports and nature to space and the mall. They are out of print, but still available. See the "I Love Math" page for the list of books with brief descriptions. These may be the most read math readers in our home library over the past decade.

Math for Smarty Pants, a Brown Paper School book ► by Marilyn Burns – this one is for approximately 4rd grade on up. TONS of different math ideas in this.

Math Smart Junior: Grade School Math Made Easy  (Princeton Smart Juniors Grades 6 to 8) ► Lerner, Marcia Princeton Review, 1995 dumb name but great story math book for upper elem, my son read this repeatedly, for older kids (concepts start at addition and move to early algebra)

Math Wizardry for Kids by Margaret Kenda and Phyllis S. Williams- activities, stories, games