Books About Persevering and Trying Multiple Methods

math picture books math practices parenting for success Jan 04, 2024

This started out as a post about picture books that include Math Practice #1 (Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.) but it turned out that it is also a post about books that include Math Practice #5 (Use appropriate tools strategically.).  The characters in each of these books need to persevere and try many different ways to get to their goal.  When one tool doesn’t work they try again with a different tool.  All the while they are exploring which ones are appropriate for the situation at hand.  Perseverance is important for math but also for life.  These stories are a great way to talk about it with your child.  I thoroughly enjoyed these stories and I hope you will too!



Stuck by Oliver Jeffers 

This book gets a lot of giggles from kids. A boy gets his kite stuck in a tree and then tries so many different ways to get it out. While there is no math mentioned in this book, it is all about persevering when you are stuck. Such a great book to reinforce Math Practice #1 (perseverance) but also Math Practice #5 (Use appropriate tools strategically.) as the boy tries many different ways to get his kite down.



Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Rosie finds great delight in creating inventions to help others until one day she is laughed at and stops creating all together.  Rosie’s great great aunt turns the story around and reminds Rosie that often our first attempts fall short and then we learn and are even more successful the next time around.  “The only true failure can come if you quit.”


Charlotte The Scientist is Squished by Camille Andros

In this book Charlotte uses the scientific method to solve problems.  It clearly outlines the scientific method and displays each step.  This book also conveys Math Practice #1 in that Charlotte has to keep adjusting her experiments to get the results she would like.  A really fun book for early elementary students.



Charlotte The Scientist Finds a Cure by Camille Andros

The series about Charlotte the Scientist is so fun for kids because it shows a kid doing serious work.  In this book, experts come in and try to discount Charlotte’s work.  The influence of Charlotte’s grandfather shifts the narrative and Charlotte, once again, perseveres to find a solution. 



The Girl Who Thought in Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca

Oh what a story about not fitting in and having a hard time at school!  You may have heard of Temple Grandin as she speaks widely about autism and her efforts to help animals.  This lovely story brings to life her childhood. Grandin notes that as hard as school was, being a female animal scientist in the 1970s was even more challenging.  

Grandin perseveres through it all, earns three college degrees, and becomes famous for her work on behalf of animals.  This book has a nice rhythm to it that makes it easy to read.  In addition, a timeline at the end of the book brings in more math. 

The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi

This story supports children in developing a growth mindset.  Even if you cannot do something YET you will be able to do it with practice and perseverance and determination.  Very colorful pictures and a catchy rhythm make this book very enjoyable.