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GROWING PATTERNS by Sarah C. Campbell


by Sarah C. Campbell and photographed by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59078-752-6
Publisher: Boyds Mills

In nature, the number series called Fibonacci numbers (1,1,2,3,5,8,13...) often appears in the arrangement of petals or spiral patterns in plants and animals. This math-and-science title is another beautiful photo-essay by the creators of Wolfsnail (2008). A spare, simple text introduces the idea that plants carry genetic instructions for their development, often including a mathematical pattern. Readers are engaged in the process of discovering the pattern by the repeated question, “Can you count…?” Beginning with a tiny photo of a seed followed by an equally tiny single-petal flower and then going on with increasingly larger photographs, the design reinforces the concepts of the series and a logarithmic spiral. Spirals in pine cones and pineapples are artificially colored to accentuate the pattern. Pointing out that not all plants and animals exhibit this arrangement, the author concludes by inviting readers to take a closer look outside. The backmatter makes clear that the nautilus-shell curve shown is not quite a golden spiral. This clear demonstration of complex ideas will be welcomed in elementary classrooms. (more about Fibonacci numbers, glossary) (Informational picture book. 5-9)