Children's Picture Books About Fractions
A Picture Book is a Good Way to Introduce Fractions!
When trying to teach children fractions, a good introduction is a picture book. There are many excellent picture books you can use. Below I have reviewed some which I have found to be helpful. I hope that you will enjoy using them also.
The Doorbell Rang, by Pat Hutchins
Victoria and Sam, the two children in the story, are excited that Ma has made a dozen cookies. Ma declares they are not as good a Grandma's, but the children are eager to divide them. They each have six on the plate, when the doorbell rings and more friends arrive dividing the cookies more. Each time the children have finished dividing the cookies, the doorbell rings again and more friends arrive. When it appears that things can't get worse, the doorbell rings and it is Grandma bringing dozens more cookies to share. Thank Goodness!
My Half Day, by Doris Fisher
A young boy wakes up in this story to find that half of his hair is shaved, and he and his friends are off to summer camp for a day of fraction fun and an out of this world soccer game. Readers are sure to be looking high and low through these wacky illustrations to find examples of fractions and other oddities. In addition, this title has lots of information at the back of the book in the Creative Minds Section which include: Fractions around us, Measuring and fractions in recipes, A special pizza party, Pizza recipe, The science of pizza dough,Pizza slices which is bigger? Sylvan Dell Publishing also has a great web site full of activities to go along with this book. A real winner!
Full House: An Invitation to Fractions, by Dayle Ann Dodds
Miss Bloom hopes to fill up her Strawberry Inn which has rooms for six. In this rhyming book, she welcomes her guests as they arrive, from fishy smelling Captain Duffy to a Duchess with her pampered pooch. Fractions are used to show how the space fills up: "Now ONE room of SIX had a guest for the night./To fill up the inn would be pure delight! 1/6." She feeds her five guests a delightful supper, but forgets to serve the strawberry cake. So during the night, they sneak down to cut the cake into six pieces, each taking a piece and leaving one for Miss Bloom. This is a creative story which shows fractions in a nonthreatening way.
Fraction Action, by Loreen Leedy
In this book of five short chapters, Miss Prime, teaches her class of animals about fractions. Concepts in the books include dividing geometric shapes into fractions, dividing sets of objects into equal parts, cutting fruit into equal shares, and dividing a dollar into fractions. Although this is not a really good book for reading to a class, it is ideal for small groups or individuals. The illustrations are divided into panels with speech bubbles for the text. There are mini math problems throughout with the answers at the end of the book.
Inchworm and A Half, by Elinor J. Pinczes
The little inchworm in this story is set to measure all the vegetables in the garden. She is doing fine, "Her measuring method is simple: each loop that she takes is one inch." Until one day she measures a bean and has some left over. Enter an inchworm half her size and they continue together, then they find they need a smaller worm for 1/3, and one that is 1/4. Happily the four worms decide that there is nothing in the garden that they can't measure. This fun rhyming book would be a good introduction to fractions and measuring.
Multiplying Menace, by Pam Culvert
The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin : a math adventure
Multiplying with whole number and fractions are the math concepts taught in this story. It's been 10 years since Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold for the queen and now he's back to collect payment. It's her son, Peter's birthday party and Rumpelstiltskin is demanding that he come and work off the debt. He threatens to increase the pest population and make the kingdom's livestock and other assets disappear by multiplying with fractions with his magical multiplying stick. It's up to Peter to save the kingdom. Can he do it?
The Wishing Club: A Story About Fractions, by Donna Jo Napoli
As the four children in this story make wishes on a star, they discover that their wishes are only partially fulfilled. While Joey who is two gets half of the cookie he wishes for, Petey who is four, gets a quarter when he wishes for a dollar, and eight year old Sally get 1/8th of the bag of marbles she wants, twin Samantha discovers a pattern. Then they all work together on the last night to combine their wish to receive the pet they have all been hoping for. A clever story with clear illustrations showing the fractions and at the end there are some followups to further explore the concept.
Pizza Counting, by Christina Dobson
What kid doesn't like pizza? In this book pizza is used to teach the math concepts of addition, counting large numbers, and fractions. Interesting facts about pizza are in smaller text. For example, did you know that Americans eat enough pizza every year to make a crust to crust path to the moon? Although this is more of a factual book rather than a story, it would still be a good tool to use to teach about fractions.