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Best maths books for kids

Best maths activity books for kids
Crack codes, learn maths tricks, unlock the secrets of nature (hint: they're mathematical!), marvel at number facts and learn to build a spaceship – just a few of the maths-master skills imparted by these books, our pick of the best maths titles for kids.

Best Maths Book Ever

(£9.99, DK)

Play times tables tug-of-war, Shape stepper or Slithery sums and learn through rolling dice, moving counters and lifting flaps. This interactive book of maths challenges covers key mathematical concepts for kids aged 5-8 in game form.

Think of a Number by Johnny Ball

(£8.99, DK)

A classic maths book from veteran children's TV presenter and mathematician Johnny Ball, this is a number-filled read that adults will enjoy as much as children! Crack secret codes, unravel mazes and find out about the simple number puzzles that stumped the world's brainiest mathematicians for centuries. Maths, boring? Not any more!

See inside maths

(£9.99, Usborne)

Uncover maths secrets with this colourful lift-the-flap book, aimed at KS2 mathematicians. From numbers, shapes and measuring to fractions, algebra, calculus and pi, abstract mathematical concepts are introduced with visual explanations to help make them meaningful.

The Murderous Maths series by Kjartan Poskitt


Maths "with the laughs added in", the Murderous Maths books will introduce your child to Professor Fiendish, his rotten sidekick Chainsaw Charlie and their foul formulas, terrible take-aways and mind-mashing maths puzzles. A Horrible-Histories approach to numbers that kids love!

You do the Maths: Launch a Rocket into Space

(£5.99, QED Publishing)

If your child thinks maths has nothing to do with their everyday life, it's time to get them to solve a crime, launch a rocket, design a skyscraper or fly a jet fighter with the help of some numbers and calculations. The comic-strip You Do The Maths books offer real-life and exciting maths challenges, with a glossary to explain new concepts.

Pop-up Numbers by Courtney McCarthy

(£12.95, Thames & Hudson)

Maths pop-ups, pull-outs and puzzles for the KS1 set! Kids aged four and over will love this selection of numerical teasers and a few calculation questions are included in the lovely paper-engineering package.

This is NOT a Maths Book and This is Not Another Maths Book by Anna Weltman

(£3.99 / £9.99, Ivy Press)

See maths in a whole new light with an art and maths workbook, packed with drawing challenges of a mathematical nature. Maths facts will be revealed as you work with simple geometric patterns and fractal and anamorphic art – there's huge beauty in maths, and maths in beauty.

Marvellous Maths by Jonathan Litton

(£14.99, Templar Publishing)

Clear text, colourful illustrations and fascinating facts combine in this maths book with a difference. Topics range from from the invention of zero to the geometry of a donut and there are lots of hands-on investigations to help put the learning into practice.

Einstein, The Girl Who Hated Maths by John Agard

(£6.99, Hodder Children's Books)

A collection of kids' maths poems from one of Britain's best-known poets, John Agard, filled with delight and silliness and covering decimal points, odd numbers, magic numbers and the counting device used by the Inca, the Quipo.

Train your brain to be a maths genius

(£9.99, DK)

Time to get your brain ready to conquer maths! Activities, challenges and tips and tricks about everything from number systems and primes to logic puzzles and paradoxes and great mathematicians make this a must-read for all number enthusiasts.

Maths on the Go!

(£9.99, Square Peg)

Maths problem-solving gets a fun makeover with 101 easy ideas to help with calculations, fractions, ratio and proportion, time and mesurement and geometry. No expensive kit is required to start engaging with maths!

50 amazing things kids need to know about mathematics by Anne Rooney

(£9.99, Sky Pony Press)

Not sure why anyone would ever want to study maths? Well, how about to learn how to bend a building, how to make a ghost, how to solve a crime, how to crack codes, how to contact aliens and even how to get rich... The non-curriculum way to fall in love with maths!

Mathmagicians by Johnny Ball

(£8.99, DK)

There's more to maths than rows of sums and times tables – maths is a fundamental way to find out how our world works. Perfect proportions, the Fibonacci sequence and the magic of Pi... all will be revealed with the help of mathematical magic (plus a few incredible tricks to amaze friends with!).

The Magic of Maths (Murderous Maths) by Kjartan Poskitt

(£6.99, Scholastic)

Outwit a calculator, perform amazing card tricks and have a go at reading minds... all marvellous maths tricks taught by Murderous Maths author Kjartan Poskitt. Fun illustrations and an irreverent style make these maths tales surprisingly unputdownable.

Easy as Pi by Liz Strachan

(£10.99, Robinson)

Clever tricks, weird and wonderful facts and lots of terrible maths jokes – find the fun in numbers with maths teacher Liz Strachan's guide to mathematical concepts from the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence to Pascal's triangle and prime pairs. Bite-sized, simple to understand and really entertaining.

Hooray for Hexagons

(£7.99, Buster Books)

Mathematical colouring in introduced with fascinating information about patterns, curves, fractals and spirals (with some impossible objects, tessellating shpea and magical mandalas added in!). A wonderfully hands-on way to learn more about geometry and shapes.

What's the Point of Maths?

(£10.59, DK)

Understand how maths has been used throughout human history, grasp the numbers with simple explanations, solve mathematical brainteasers and challenges and discover the secrets of everyday maths with this fascinating, informative guide to numbers. The perfect way to explain how practical and useful maths is in all aspects of our lives, no matter how reluctant the mathematician!

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