Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book Review - Fibonacci Zoo

Fibonacci Zoo

By: Tom Robinson
Illustrated by: Christina Wald
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
Publication Date: May 2015
ISBN: 978-1628555622
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: June 2015

Notebook and pencil in hand, Eli was ready to pass through the gates of the Fibonacci Zoo. It was no ordinary zoo and he had to look carefully and discover just what was different about it. The first thing Eli and his father spotted was a lone alligator. Hmmmm, not anything unusual about that and Eli recorded his finding in his notebook. The little notebook soon read "1 alligator" and "1 bison." Just what was so special about this zoo anyway?

Eli's teacher said that the Fibonacci Zoo "was different from most zoos," but even though his list began to grow there was only one unusual thing about it. The unusual thing was the fact that there weren't a lot of animals. Eli continued to observe and write: "2 camels," "3 dolphins," "5 elephants," and "8 flamingos." All of a sudden he began to see a pattern and exclaimed "if I take any two numbers in order and then add them up, I get the next number." Hmmmm, next up were the gorillas.
Eli began to work through his pattern, trying to visualize and work through the formula. His father smiled, knowing that Eli had found out the secret to the Fibonacci Zoo. "See?" He began to explain to his father. "1 + 1 = 2. 1 + 2 = 3. 2 + 3 = 5. And 3 + 5 = 8." They rounded the corner, checking out the gorillas and marking the number in his notebook. He began to count them to see if his hypothesis was correct. Can you finish the formula and come to the same conclusion Eli had? Just how many gorillas would they see?

This is an excellent book to introduce young students to numbers and patterns. The visual imagery presented in this book will make it easy for students to understand and grasp Fibonacci sequencing. Simply introducing mathematical concepts sans a way for children to visualize them can be a daunting task for many. In addition to Eli's notebook there are small sidebars with the equations and sequence (2 + 3 = 5 and 1 1 2 3 5). The artwork is very vibrant and appealing, drawing one's eye to the animals. In the back of the book there are four pages of activities as well as free complementary activities on the publisher's website.

Accelerated Reader: 3.0
Flesch-Kinncaid: 4.4
Lexile: 510l
Fountas and Pinnell: M

Quill says: This is an excellent book to introduce numbers and patterns to children in the homeschool or classroom setting!