Fibonacci numbers appear in nature and nobody knows why. An aspiring detective needs a definition as well as a reason to care. Kids who are “in” on the pattern and how it works love to show you. Add one to one and you get two. Add two and one, and you get three. Add three and two and you get five. Or 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, and what comes next? Aha! Before you know it, you are hooked.
GROWING PATTERNS: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell, photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell, Boyds Mills Press, 2010
The author and her husband make this mathematical enigma accessible to readers of all ages. Author Campbell shares enough history to ground the subject, not overwhelm the reader. A one page glossary will probably encourage readers who don’t read the last pages first to go back and start over, or hunt for those pages they want to ponder again. Lavish photographs by both Campbells and easy to follow diagrams support the brief but clear text so even the most math resistant reader will be drawn in, totally unaware of how much he or she is learning.
The challenge to find this pattern in the flower bed, the field, at the beach, on animals, or any other place not yet reported, will inspire a summer of sleuthing.
Imagine that first report of the school year:
How I spent My Summer: Stalking Fibonacci Numbers.
My summer summaries were never that intriguing. Were yours?