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Return to Book Page. Preview — Blockhead by Joseph D'Agnese. John O'Brien Illustrator. As a young boy in medieval Italy, Leonardo Fibonacci thought about numbers day and night. He was such a daydreamer that people called him a blockhead. When Leonardo grew up and traveled the world, he was inspired by the numbers used in different countries.

The boy who was once teased for being a blockhead had discovered what came to be known as the Fibonacci Sequence! Get A Copy. Hardcover , 40 pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Blockhead , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci. Oct 29, Manybooks rated it liked it Shelves: childrens-history-nonfiction , biographies-memoirs , science , picture-books , book-reviews , childrens-literature.

However and all the above having been said, as Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci is a non fiction biography and covers important history, science and mathematical information, I am really and sadly majorly annoyed and disappointed that there are no suggestions for further reading, no bibliographical lists and that even the author's note at the back, while adequate, really should have been a bit more substantial especially considering how important Fibonacci numbers are, how his contributions and discoveries are an essential part of almost any type of math and mathematical pattern recognition, and how his number patterns are found over and over again in all aspects of life, in both man-made structures and in nature, especially, in particular, in how many plants, seeds and such are structured.

And thus, only a high three star rating for Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci as I also do not all that much enjoy John O'Brien's accompanying illustrations, appreciating the depictions of buildings, of architectural structures, but yes, finding the human figures kind of creepy, with the hairdos in particular looking more like strange woolen hats than actual hair. However, and my own quibbles with certain aspects of this book quite notwithstanding, I still do in fact highly recommend Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci , as Joseph D'Agnese's text really does do a simply amazing job introducing not only Leonardo Fibonacci as a historical and yes a living and breathing figure, but also wonderfully, with understated and easy to understand truth explaining Fibonacci numbers.

Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn. Shelves: childrens , z , goodreads-author , picture-books , science , zz-4star , readbooks-male-author-or-illust , reviewed , biography , non-fiction. This is the story of the famous Leonardo of Pisa, Leonardo Fibonacci, who is considered to be the greatest western Middle Ages mathematician.

Both aspects of the story are fascinating. I also like how it shows what a young This is the story of the famous Leonardo of Pisa, Leonardo Fibonacci, who is considered to be the greatest western Middle Ages mathematician. I also like how it shows what a young person might be bullied about might end up being one of their strengths and gratifying accomplishments. But this is an engaging story. The part about the famous Fibonacci Sequence and other natural wonders that fit with those numbers is entertaining and enlightening, and more than a tad spine tingling.

I loved the illustrations. I actually think in some ways they did a better job than the story text of reflecting the time period and circumstances. I appreciated some of the simple observations readers are encouraged to make, such as viewing a cut apple or lemon, looking at the number of petals on flowers, etc.

View all 10 comments. Oct 29, Kathryn rated it it was amazing Shelves: biographies , childrens-picture-books. At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about the story of a long-dead mathematician, of whom very little is actually known, being told in the first person and with some vernacular such as "yuck! But, on the whole, the story works well and conveys some challenging concep At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about the story of a long-dead mathematician, of whom very little is actually known, being told in the first person and with some vernacular such as "yuck!

But, on the whole, the story works well and conveys some challenging concepts i. Best of all, I loved the exchange between Alfredo and the bullied young mathematician: "I think people are happiest when they know what pleases them," said Alfredo. And you, Master Leonardo, what makes you happiest? That way, you will always be happy. View all 14 comments. Shelves: childrens-biography , picture-books , childrens-non-fiction , mathematics. Labeled a "blockhead" by a teacher, because his mind would wander in class as a result of being done with his mathematical problems first!

An engaging look at an important figure in the history of mathematics, Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci is somewhat speculative in nature as the author freely acknowledges in his brief afterword , as little is know of Fibonacci's life. Still, D'Agnese takes what is known, and fleshes it out, producing a story that is both informative, with its examination, not just of Fibonacci's life, but of the importance of Hindu-Arabic numerals and the Fibonacci Sequence, and also entertaining.

The accompanying artwork by John O'Brien has an interesting textured quality to it, with subtle dots and lines throughout that hold the eye. I don't know that this is so outstanding that I would list it amongst my favorite picture-book biographies - a little too informal and colloquial in tone for my taste - but it is still well worth picking up, for young readers interested in mathematics, or in Fibonacci.

Aug 10, Alyson rated it really liked it Shelves: childrens. Attention math teachers- better get this and start up some lesson plans, aided by some suggestions for activities in the back! Very interesting about Fibonacci's life and his curiosity. The math concepts are clearly presented and the illustrations really contribute to the fun of the book.

View all 3 comments. Mar 20, Dolly rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: parents reading with their children. Shelves: , italy-italian-roman , favorites , france-french , africa , egyptian , childrens , arabic-arabia , math , historical-fiction.

I saw this book in the Goodreads giveaways and when I read the summary, I really hoped I'd win a copy. Even though I knew it was a long shot, I was disappointed when I didn't win. So when our local library displayed this book in the new books section, I was thrilled and I picked it up right away! It's a wonderful story of numbers and a boy's willingness to devote his energy to the thing he loved the most, despite the name-calling and teasing that it generated.

And it shows how Leonardo Pisano Bogollo more famously known as Fibonacci found success and is considered by some to be "the most talented western mathematician of the Middle Ages. Although I had heard of the Fibonacci sequence, I never truly examined how ubiquitous the numbers are and how elegently they are displayed throughout nature.

While reading this book to our girls, I was fascinated and I believe I learned as much from the story as they did. The illustrations are wonderful and the designs incorporate the Fibonacci numbers throughout.

The gorgeous swirls and patterns in the illustrations, the inspiring tale, the math lesson and the subtle, but clever humor combine to make a wonderful story. This is definitely a book I'd like to read again. View 2 comments. Sep 16, Raina rated it it was amazing Shelves: wishlist. I love this book! It reminds me a little of the Sir Cumference book about math. In picture book format, it follows the life of Leonardo Fibonacci in a way that is both engaging and easily understood. Even as an adult, it made me curious about how the Fibonacci Sequence.

I loved learning about how the Fibonacci sequence of 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34, The book illustrates ways Fibonacci found his recurring pattern. Fibonacci, the man modern math I love this book!

Fibonacci, the man modern mathematicians regard as the greatest Western math mind of the Middle Ages, was called "Blockhead" and "Idiot" throughout his life. For all his work, Leonardo Fibonacci is best known for the number pattern in his famous rabbit problem. This same sequence that we know now describes how living things prosper, such as flowers and mollusks. The numbers even pop up in works of human imagination--buildings, music, art, and poetry.

Leonardo may have not had the most common sense in the world, but he shared a curiosity about the earth and its wonders which many children and adults like myself are certain to connect with. His ability to think for himself and put aside the thoughts and opinions of others , to think outside the box, and to build his daydreams into a numerical reality radiate warmth, truth, and beauty.

This book captures those feelings perfectly and reminds us that great minds are frequently less understood and mocked by simpler minded individuals. May 06, Janet rated it it was amazing Shelves: ecasl. If you have a "must have" shelf that you have created as an educator it must contain this book. What a well written and understandable story about math.


Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

Math lover or not, readers should succumb to the charms of this highly entertaining biography of medieval mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci. As an adult, he works out a math problem that involves reproducing rabbits and discovers a pattern that repeats itself in nature, which becomes the sequence of numbers that now bears his name. But how could that be bad? Mother Nature loved numbers too! Atop dappled backgrounds, O'Brien's delicate swirls and hatch marks echo the mathematical patterns—another graceful connection between math and the real world in which children live. Ages 6—9. During the Covid crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website.





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