My child's sense of wonder regarding numbers has been very educational for me. Lately he has been enjoying Fibonacci books for kids. I'm not sure I'd ever heard of the Fibonacci sequence before he read about it, or, if I had, I'd forgotten about it.
Since learning about the sequence, and its appearance in the natural world, our nature walks have included some math exploration. my son likes to pick up pine cones or examine leaves to see if their patterns adhere to the sequence. (Note: Book covers and titles are affiliate links that earn commission from qualifying purchases.)
MORE: After reading these books, try out our open-ended Fibonacci art project!
Fibonacci Picture Books:
Here are a few great books describing the Fibonacci math patterns as well as teaching about their namesake:
Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci. The man himself! This is an accessible (though somewhat fictionalized, as little is known about Fibonacci's life) biography for kids about how Fibonacci came to discover the patterns in nature that are named after him. For those of you who have kids who are inexplicably drawn to numbers it will have a particular resonance.
Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature. You can't beat beautiful nature photos and mathematics. This book has examples of Fibonacci patterns in nature as well as the "golden ratio." Gorgeous.
The Rabbit Problem. I love this fun book! Fibonacci + Emily Gravett = a math match made in heaven. Although the idea that rabbits actually reproduce according to the Fibonacci sequence is not entirely accurate, it is nevertheless a fun way to explore rapidly growing numbers. Although the math concepts may go over the heads of the very youngest kids, they will love studying the humorous illustrations of numerous bunnies! The book ends with a terrific pop-up page.
While Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature doesn't exclusively look at Fibonacci spirals, it is nevertheless a beautifully illustrated introduction to the world of mathematical spirals in nature. Short, charming poems identify both common and mysterious spirals in the natural world, drawing kids into the lyrical text. Be sure to go out for a nature walk afterwards.
Wild Fibonacci uses the number sequence as a basis for creating a rhyme about animals. It's a nice book to read, but the short poems don't illuminate much about the mathematics of the sequence. (I prefer the poems in Swirl by Swirl) Still, it's worth checking out from the library as part of your child's overall introduction to Fibonacci and numbers in nature.
Fibonacci Fun: Fascinating Activities With Intriguing Numbers is an activity book with projects and puzzles for kids based on Fibonacci and other number sequences. It may inspire you to get hands on with math! Best for upper grades and middle school.
So, is it math that makes nature beautiful, or nature that makes math beautiful? You decide. Either way, these are fun books about both. Enjoy.