What Is Math?


By Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa

Formats and Prices




$22.99 CAD




Hardcover $17.99 $22.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around July 26, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

An NSTA-CBC 2023 Best STEM Book of the Year​ 
An Amazon Editor's Pick • An Amazon Best Book of the Month
"A great way to show even the math-averse or math-phobic the many ways that math is hiding in their everyday lives." —Kirkus Reviews
"A delightful first look at STEM." —School Library Journal
A lively celebration of math and all the ways it applies to everyday life.
What is math? So many things! Counting and calendars, weights and fractions, shapes and distances, charting and graphing. Math is the way we measure and code our world, from seasons to clocks, recipes, classrooms, and beyond. Math is all around us! 
Readers will be introduced to:
– Graphs and charts—in the form of pizza pies! 
– Counting and weight—when baking a cake!  
– Shapes and word problems—to build a spaceship! 
This rousing read aloud offers an engaging and accessible introduction to math—perfect for sparking an early interest in STEM subjects for preschool and early elementary school children. And be sure to keep an eye out for a friendly black cat and white dog on each spread as they participate in the math-related hijinks!


  • Praise for What is Math?:
    An NSTA-CBC 2023 Best STEM Book of the Year​
    An Amazon Best Book of the Month ​

    "Jaunty rhymes introduce readers to many different answers to the titular question, the illustrations showing an array of children, diverse in terms of race and ability, exploring their world, attending school, and interacting with friends....A great way to show even the math-averse or math-phobic the many ways that math is hiding in their everyday lives. A solid definition of math that shows its ubiquity."
  • "The concepts of counting, adding, subtracting, comparing, and sorting are included in addition to lessons on weight, calendars, time, shapes, patterns, graphs, and charts. Young readers will enjoy spotting how a black cat and white dog enhance both the merriment and math concepts in each scene…A delightful first look at STEM."
    School Library Journal
  • Praise for What Is Science?:

    Finalist for the AAAS Subaru Best Science Book and Film Prize
    A Bank Street Best Book of the Year

    "Young readers will relish the whirlwind tour that encompasses stars, planets, rocks, soil, sea and sky, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes and snow. The bright, bold illustrations will cause children to reach for the book on their own."
    Science Magazine
  • "With its large illustrations, simple text, and important concepts, this title will be enjoyed by newly independent readers, or will ignite excitement in a group. A unique look at the topic."
    School Library Journal

On Sale
Jul 26, 2022
Page Count
40 pages

Rebecca Kai Dotlich

About the Author

Rebecca Kai Dotlich is a poet and the author of many award-winning picture books for young readers, including Race Car Count; What Can a Crane Pick Up?; One Day, The End; and What Is Science?, which was a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year and a finalist in the Children’s Science Picture Book category of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. She loves grouping her vintage marble collection into cupcake tins. But not to worry—she never bakes them. She lives in Indiana.

Sachiko Yoshikawa grew up in Tokyo, where her parents ran a salon. Her mother was a stylist, while her father kept track of the financials, often with an abacus. It was on the abacus that Sachiko learned to add and subtract. She still uses a mental image of her father’s abacus when solving simple math problems. Sachiko is the illustrator of Beach Is to Fun as well as What Is Science? She lives in California with her family.

Learn more about this author