Please welcome my guest author today, Rajani LaRocca! I was thrilled to meet her at her debut middle grade book launch of Midsummer’s Mayhem. We actually both had the exact same debut book launch birthday (mine for Sumo Joe!) so we are “related” in that way :).
What’s truly remarkable about Rajani is that she’s a Harvard-educated doctor, an amazing author with more than a dozen books published or about to come out, and mother and wife. How does she do it all? I don’t know. I’ll have to get her back another time to give us her secrets. Today, she is here with a math picture list with the launch of her (debut?) picture book Seven Golden Rings, published by Lee and Low.
Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math by Rajani LaRocca, illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan
This story feels like a beloved folktale or Biblical story (think Joseph and seven years of plenty versus seven years of famine), but it’s actually an intricately woven new fable of music and math. Baghat wants to audition to be a musician for the Rajah. His mother gives him the last of her valuables in the form of 7 small linked rings that were part of her wedding necklace. In order to pay for lodging, Baghat determines the best way to split the rings. His prowess with math impresses the Rajah. This is a delightful way to introduce kids to the Hindu-Arabic number system, more commonly known as the decimal system! [picture book, ages 7 and up]
We are also giving away a copy of Seven Golden Rings! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
Each of these books presents mathematical concepts from a unique perspective, and they all make math interesting, fun, and even wondrous.
Math Picture Books to Count On
Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander, illustrated by Wayne Geehan
The kingdom next door kingdom is threatening war, so King Arthur must call his knights to discuss what must be done to keep the peace. But his table is so long that the knights can’t hear each other. Then Sir Cumference, his wife Lady Di of Ameter, and their son Radius, along with the carpenter, Geo of Metry, come up with the perfect solution. A fantastic introduction to the geometry of circles. There are now many more titles in this series! [picture book, ages 8 and up]
One Grain of Rice by Demi
A greedy rajah hoards rice from his hungry people, until a clever girl teaches him about generosity…and numbers. Told in a folktale style, this book is a fascinating introduction to the powers of two. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
100 Bugs: A Counting Book by Kate Narita, Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
This beautiful book details all the different ways to add to ten (1+9, 2+8, etc). It also teaches us about a variety of fascinating insects and plants! [picture book, ages 5 and up]
Love, Triangle by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Bob Shea
This book is a sweet and funny look at friendship told from the point of view of Circle and Square, who are close friends until Triangle comes along and drives a wedge between them! Shapes abound in the art, and the geometry puns are delightful. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska
This book takes the abstract topic of infinity and presents it in a whimsical, child-friendly way, rooted in familiar childhood favorites (like music, ice cream) and family. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
On Beyond a Million by David M. Schwartz, illustrated by Paul Meisel
This book takes a mind-blowing look at big numbers—really big numbers—in powers of ten. Have you ever heard of a vigintillion? This book will teach you how big it is! [picture book, ages 5 and up]
Dozens of Doughnuts by Carrie Finison, illustrated by Brianne Farley
LuAnn the bear is baking doughnuts for one last meal before she hibernates for the winter. But then she gets an unexpected visitor…and then many more! LuAnn keeps baking, but soon she’s out of both doughnuts and patience. This sweet story about friendship and sharing also features a clever lesson on division. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Seven Golden Rings Picture Book GIVEAWAY!
We are giving away a copy of Seven Golden Rings! Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. We can only mail to US and AFO addresses.
Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area with her wonderful family and impossibly cute dog. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, she spends her time writing novels and picture books when she’s not practicing medicine. Her middle grade debut, Midsummer’s Mayhem (Yellow Jacket/Little Bee Books, 2019), an Indian-American mashup of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and competitive baking, was an Indies Introduce selection, an Indie Next pick, a Kirkus Best Middle Grade Book of 2019, and a 2020 Massachusetts Book Award Honor title. Her debut picture book, Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math (Lee & Low Books, October 2020) is set in ancient India and involves a math puzzle and an explanation of binary numbers. You can learn about her other forthcoming books at www.RajaniLaRocca.com and find her on Twitter and Instagram @rajanilarocca.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.