Plus, these math children’s books are tons of fun to read.
Sometimes, they are even hilarious or heartwarming.
Understanding shapes is a foundational math skill as well as an important visual identification skill.
As children begin to learn, you can look for shapes in your environment. Talk about what you notice. Then, compare how objects are the same or different.
Additionally, it’s beneficial to sort shapes into groups — you can even do this with your food! The more hands-on you can be when teaching your kids about geometric objects, the better. Also, this includes ideas like making your own shapes out of toothpicks, straws, or sticks.
Finally, it helps preschoolers and kindergartners learn by singing songs and rhymes like these from Childhood 101.
Make it fun, and it will stick!
16 Fun Picture Books About Shapes for Kids
Stanley’s Shapes by Williambee
The bright, graphic illustrations capture readers’ attention immediately. Each two-page spread contains many geometric objects to find. A very cute board book for toddlers!
Frankie’s Food Truck
This board book is a fun learning adventure for children who are learning shapes. Each day of the week Frankie serves a different shape. Lift the flaps on the plates to see which foods his customers can order. It’s squares on Monday and circles on Wednesday and hearts and stars on Fridays. What a yummy introduction to shapes!
Mail Duck by Erica Sirotich
Mail Duck delivers shapes! First, triangles to Trudy. Look at all the triangles Trudy gets in the mail and all the triangle shaped things in her A-frame house. Mail Duck continues delivering shapes his other animal friends, Cecil who likes circles, Scout who likes squares, Omar who likes ovals, Rosie who likes rectangles, and Harry who likes hearts. Then get ready for a fun surprise inside the post office. Cute with detailed, interesting illustrations to pour over as you read, this is a delightful way to practice recognizing shapes, perfect for kindergarten.
Circle, Triangle, Elephant by Kenji Oikawa and Mayuko Takeuchi
Both instructive and silly, you’ll see three objects on a page. First, you’ll see geometric figures like a circle, rectangle, triangle. But it gets very silly when the author adds in a boat, an elephant, or even a lemon to the narrative.
This is a Book of Shapes by Kenneth Kraegel
The book starts simply by introducing three basic shapes. Then, it moves into silliness by introducing an emu pushing a pancake wagon down a hill. It continues in this same way, introducing shapes then randomly interjecting something silly (a porpoise reading a book of knock-knock jokes to three silly sea turtles.) From circles to ovals to rhinos wearing jet packs, this book is a delightful, silly adventure that might actually help kids learn shapes!
Picture This Shapes by Judith Nouvion
See the dots on the ladybug wings or the triangle of the green moth. Next, look at the diamond made by a devil ray. Although it’s a short board book, it’s a beautiful natural tribute to what you can discover in nature.
Tangled by Anne Miranda, illustrated by Eric Comstock
A geometric book about shapes, friendships, and problem-solving that is so cute I can hardly stand it. One by one the shapes get trapped inside a jungle gym and can’t get out. What shape will get them out? It’s playful, adorable, and hallelujah has rhymes that work! (Preschool kids will adore this book.)
I Lost My Sock! A Matching Mystery by P.J. Roberts, illustrated by Elio
Help Fox and Ox find Fox’s missing sock. First, Fox tries to describe his sock exactly — it’s blue, it has dots, big dots. Then, Ox gets carried away looking for the sock. Help the friends sort and match in this fun, light-hearted story about patterns, shapes, comparing & contrasting, and object identification. And you’ll never guess where Fox finds his sock!
Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Greenfield Thong illustrated by John Parra
I absolutely love this book of shapes; it stands out from the crowd and celebrates Latin culture. “Stars for parties, stars for light, lining streets with colors bright. There are so many shapes wherever you go. How many more shapes do you know?“
Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes by Hena Khan, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
Lavish, richly colored illustrations immediately drew me into this beautiful book about shapes in the Muslim culture. “Hexagon is a tile, / bold and bright, / painted with an ayah / I love to recite.” Learn about the geometric figures like circles, squares, and octagons from the daily life and architecture.
Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh
My kids especially loved the Mouse books including this story about the mice running away from the cat. They decide to hide amidst a bunch of shapes then need to use the geometric figures to trick the sneaky cat. How will they do that?
A Trapezoid Is Not a Dinosaur by Suzanne Morris
If you love funny books that are punny and that make learning fun, you’ll love this picture book. These shapes are putting on a play. They mistake the trapezoid for a dinosaur (easy mistake) and won’t let him participate. Because obviously there is no part for a dinosaur in the play about outer space. The shapes elaborate on their qualities (sides, angles, etc.) so kids will also learn the properties of each shape but it’s in such a meaningful, playful say that it doesn’t feel like a lesson. A perfect kindergarten or 1st grade read aloud.
Kitty & Cat Bent Out of Shape by Mirka Hokkanen
Where is Cat? It’s time for her bath. Search through the house and you’ll see the playful dog getting into trouble and the sneaky cat hiding in each room in different shapes like triangles and circles. Will Cat avoid the bath? Playful and fun!
Colors versus Shapes by Mike Boldt
The Colors show the Shapes how talented they are by mixing yellow and blue to make green. Then the Shapes show the Colors how two triangles make a square. They argue until . . . an octagon and the color red collide. Whoa! Maybe they’re better together? Silly fun about the power of cooperation!
Circle, Square, Moose by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
Moose is up to his usual antics because Zebra, the narrator, can’t get Moose to get out of the book!! But Zebra will find a solution and they will always be good friends no matter what. It’s HILARIOUS and one of our favorite shape books. (Added to my BIG LIST OF FUNNY PICTURE BOOKS FOR KIDS.)
City Shapes by Diana Murray, illustrated by Bryan Collier
A little girl finds different shapes around the city including a square, rectangle, triangle, circle, oval, diamond, and star. Use this book to inspire your own environmental shape hunt. Gorgeous watercolor and collage illustrations.
Walter’s Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood
Walter weave his web into shapes in an attempt to make a sturdy, wind-proof web. Can you predict which shapes will withstand the wind’s strength?
The Picnic Problem by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by Magali Mansilla
Max and Suzy go to the park to solve a math-related treasure hunt of clues. For example, “Which kite has the longest tail? Ignore the strings, so you don’t fail.” First, Max and Suzy compare tails of the differently shaped kites. The circle kite ends up being the winner and having their next clue. Ultimately, there’s a ton of fun math problems that kids can solve along with the main characters.
Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Quirky humor! Triangle leaves his house to go play a sneaky trick on Square. Square chases Triangle back to Triangle’s house where Square gets stuck in the triangular doorway. But, don’t worry. You’ll see that Square’s a quick thinker…
Circle Rolls by Barbar Kanninen, illustrated by Serge Bloch
When circle rolls, he pops on triangle’s point, exploding into tiny bits. This sets off a chain reaction of shapes colliding until Octagon stops them all. Once they learn to work together, they can put the bits of circle back together. Fortunately, Circle rolls again! Ultimately, I love the (no pun intended) circular ending.
Love, Triangle by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Bob Shea
Circle and Square are different but really the best of friends. Until Triangle arrives. Circle and Square’s friendship is suddenly filled with jealousy and hurt feelings. They get so mad that they pull Triangle into a line. Now, what can they do? Clearly, they’ll need to put Triangle back together. Tongue in cheek humor throughout gives this familiar message a fun punny math twist.