Kiddo'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. Kiddo 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)
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 like my son, 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 but also the the "golden ratio." This is my favorite book on the list.
The Rabbit Problem. I love this fun book! Fibonacci + Emily Gravett = a 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 gorgeous 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. Still, it's worth checking out from the library as part of your child's overall introduction to Fibonacci and numbers in nature.
Coloring Fibonacci: Nature Art Therapy. What about a coloring book? This is pretty snazzy.
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!
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.
Want more math books?
You must know about--or must check out--Vi Hart's quick-spoken, quick-drawn video series on Fibonacci.
I have watched it twice because she talks so fast AND because it combines a long-time loathe (math) with a long-time love (art).
Mom and Kiddo says
Great suggestion. I didn't know about this video.
Amazing the things that I "knew" in school, but forgot, and am rediscovering while we are learning along with the kids again. These look like great books! 🙂
Mike would go nuts if he had a child like Kiddo! He was a lot like your son as a kid (and uses some pretty intense math at work these days), but so far our kids take after mostly number-ignoring-in-the-early-years me... I'll see if our library has copies of these for him to read to them, though - he would enjoy that, and they probably would as well.
I have to learn more about Fibonacci myself, but we checked out The Rabbit Problem recently- very funny book. Will check out the other books you recommend too.
Raising a Happy Child says
All of these are great ideas. I need to check them out. I also completely forgot about this sequence until the recent post at Almost Unschoolers.
Carol Simon Levin says
Thanks for this post and all your other great lists -- I am a youth services librarian at a public library and have been recommending them to patrons and printing them and putting them up with related displays!
Another wonderful book that addresses Fibonacci and other math curiosities is "The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure" by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. It is a chapter book rather than the picture books on your list, but makes a great read-aloud. We enjoyed it as a family read when my daughters were in 2nd & 6th grade -- and they grew up to be out-of-the-box thinkers (a computer scientist and mechanical engineer/circus aerialist).
Erica MomandKiddo says
Hi Carol, that is a great book! I included it on my list of math chapter books and I'm glad you mentioned its connection to Fibonacci. Thank you so much for your kind words about my lists. I am so pleased they have been useful to your library!
Patti Askins says
A more general-math fun book for young readers is the rhyming Math Curse by Sciescza & Smith, featuring a teacher named Mrs. Fibonacci. Great fun and great message...that almost everything in life can be viewed as a math problem.
Erica MomandKiddo says
That's a great book!