D’Agnese, Joseph. Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci. Illus. by John O’Brien. Holt, 2010.
Once upon a time in medieval Italy, there lived a boy named Leonardo Fibonacci who loved numbers. He spent so much time thinking about numbers, people called him a blockhead.
As an adult, Fibonacci traveled far and wide and noticed how some people wrote numbers in other, sometimes better ways — the Hindu-Arabic numerals, for instance. He marveled as he discovered that many living things exhibited a numerical pattern. O’Brien’s atmospheric, detailed pen-and-ink and watercolor paintings evoke the wonder of the man who became known as the greatest Western mathematician of the Middle Ages. D’Agnese’s accessible and engaging biography of this intriguing man provides educators with a fun way to teach a number of mathematical concepts. Flowers with eight petals, lemons with eight sections, clovers with three leaves: these are all Fibonacci numbers. Then there are Finbonacci spirals to find: in a ram’s horn, an ocean wave, an unfurling fern. Teachers can employ a range of activities, from nature walks to photography to poetry exercises to open children’s eyes to the patterns around us. Fibonacci’s in the air!
For more on D’Agnese, check out this interesting interview. Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci is also available as a CD/book or as a DVD (16:20 min.), with an online teacher’s guide from Spoken Arts.
Pair Blockhead with Sarah C. Campbell’s gorgeous Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature, 2011 Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12.
Can Publishers Make E-Books Self-Destruct? Librarians Fight Back. How’s this for working the numbers?
HarperCollins is pushing a policy that limits libraries to only 26 check-outs for electronic books. After that, they disappear! If you think this is a bad deal for readers, click on the link and sign the petition. Then share it with others.
- Divine Composition With Fibonacci’s Ratio (The Rule of Thirds on Steroids) (digital-photography-school.com)
- Numbers in Nature – the Movie (delamagente.wordpress.com)