Fifteen different picture books you will want in your classroom library when teaching fractions in the Early Years.

When starting any new topic in class, I always consider what books I'll be using to help teach the concepts to my children. 

Fractions are no different and there are some fantastic books about fractions making them a perfect addition to any teaching fractions unit.

15+ OF THE BEST BOOKS FOR TEACHING FRACTIONS - a handy  list of picture books perfect for teaching fractions in Kindergarten and First Grade

Equal Shmequal by Virginia Knoll is a useful picture book for introducing the idea of equal and halves. A mixed bag of forest animals try to sort themselves into equal groups to try and imitate the tug of war they saw some children playing. It has a problem solving element that could easily be replicated as an activity for a whole class to attempt in small groups. 

The animals end up sorting themselves by weight making Equal Shmequal ideal for teaching other measurement concepts as well.

Another great book to start your unit on fractions with is Fraction Fun by David A. Adler. It starts by introducing the idea that a fraction is part of something and we use fractions all the time. It also shows children how to write fractions using a numerator and denominator and steps through making paper-plate pizzas cut into different fractions. 

Fraction Fun also leads into exploring and comparing fractions, posing a task to compare items by size and weight. It also takes a brief look at (USA) money as a fraction.

Fraction Action is another picture book that uses real life examples to start introducing fractions. Set in a classroom, it begins with the students all brainstorming different fractions they can think of - half a glass of juice, a piggy bank half full. The author, Loreen Leedy, also looks at thirds and quarters making it perfect as a read aloud as you can pause and ask your own class for their own ideas.

I like this book as it doesn't just introduce fractions as part of a whole but also parts of a set. Examples of the animals having to share a set of marbles and then dividing up different fruit into different fractions to share help reinforce this idea with real life examples. The book also works through a lemonade shop showing cents as fractions of a dollar before finishing with a quiz pitting teacher against students which touches on comparing fractions and reinforces the idea that fractions must be equal.

A classic with good reason, The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins taps into that all familiar obligation children with siblings grow up with - the concept of sharing. 

The Doorbell Rang begins with two children sitting down to enjoys some freshly baked cookies when the doorbell rings... now they have to share the same cookies with their friends. The story continues with more and more friends arriving. 

Primarily used to teach children about division, I think The Doorbell Rang is equally useful for teaching fractions as it helps reinforce the concepts that fractions must be equal and not all fractions are part of a whole - if we have 4 cookies to share, I can have 2 cookies and you can have the other half. 

The book provides a real life situation many children can relate to.

Give Me Half is one of the MathSmart series of books and is another book based around sharing food equally between two siblings. It's a great introductory book for younger grades.

The Lion's Share by Matthew McElliogott mixes fractions and doubling together using the tale of a little ant who hosts a party for her king, the lion. After making a mess of the main course, the ant brings all the animals a big cake to share. The elephant keeps half, as does the next animal and the next and the next until the ant is left with nothing to share with the king. Horrified she promises to make her king another cake. Not wanting to be outdone, each animal then promises to make twice as many as the animal before them leaving the elephant making two hundred and forty-six (curses) two hundred and fifty-six cakes for the following day.

I love a good fractured fairy tale so grabbing a copy of Twinderella for our bookshelf was a easy decision. In this retelling of the classic, Cinderella has a twin which means all her chores can be split in half.

The usual characters are present - the evil stepsisters, the fairy godmother and, of course, Prince Charming but seeing as there's only one of him that can't be divided in half, the fairy godmother steps in to create a double for the happily ever after.

I love the children's show Peg + Cat for all the maths they incorporate. 

This book Peg + Cat: The Pizza Problem focuses on fractions, mostly halves making it a good introductory book for your bookshelf with its familiar characters and format.

Chocolate will always help engage learners so The Hershey's Milk Chocolate Fractions Book by Jerry Pallotta is a must for any classroom library despite being a marketing tool for Hershey Chocolate. The visuals throughout especially the double page spreads make comparing fractions easy to understand.

A Hershey's chocolate bar has 12 parts when broken up making it perfect for teaching fractions as the author uses many different examples using the divided up chocolate bar paired with easy to read written fractions (numerator/denominator). It steps you through how to write/read fractions along with equivalent fractions and adding fractions. For older children, it also teaches how to simplify fractions as well.

If you don't want to use chocolate, Jerry Pallotta has done a similar book using apples.

A Fraction's Goal is another one that uses food as examples. It uses a gentle rhyme throughout making it a great read aloud while covering all the main concepts you want when first teaching fractions. 

I like this text as it considers fractions as both parts of a whole and parts of a group. I also like how it references the fractions typically found in cooking.

The visuals are easy for young children to understand and are accompanied by written fractions. The text also names the parts of a written fraction (numerator/denominator) making it worth a look!

Whole-y Cow! is a fun look at fractions. Written by Taryn Souders, Whole-y Cow! follows a adventurous cow through her day - being painted, swimming, eating icecream, bathing, balancing, catching butterflies, playing a cello... all while posing questions to the reader as to what fraction of the cow is painted? What fraction of the butterflies are blue?

A rhyming tale with repetitive text children will be saying aloud by the end of the book, Full House by Dayle Ann Dodds. It tells the story of Miss Bloom and her five guests as it focuses on sixths.

If You Were A Fraction by Trisha Sue Speed Shaskan gives countless examples of different fractions. A useful definition of a set is provided along with comparative fractions.

Another useful book to have in your classroom library when teaching fractions is My Half Day. It follows two children around camp after one wakes up with only half a head of hair. It's a promising start reminiscent of Wacky Wednesday and incorporates fraction imagery to compliment the text children will enjoy scanning to find all the different fractions.

Because I love this book, Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton has to get an honorary mention here.

Why? Because (spoilers ahead) George eats a whole cake during his time alone in the house. It's a great read aloud for class when first starting any work on fractions. Followed up by splitting a pretend paper cookie with a child in front of your class but making sure the two parts aren't equal will quickly reinforce some understanding your children already have about fractions.

If you're looking for a great fraction art activity, I highly recommend the book Picture Pie by Ed Emberley.

I've used it year after year when teaching fractions. With younger children, it helps build fine motor skills as they learn to fold circles into equal parts. Older children will create more complex pictures but they can also be asked to label their creations with fractions too.