Growing Patterns is Here!

growing covOur two copies of Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature arrived today. The books are beautiful! The colors are bright, the pages are shiny, and the shape is a golden rectangle. After getting some positive feedback on using video on the blog, I decided that this would be a good day to use it again. You can watch the brief video below and then read on for more information.

From my early days of writing for children, I have always read what I was working on to kids. At first, it was my own. Then, I moved on to sharing with kids at my kids’ school. In addition to reading my stories and poems, I read all kinds of books to small groups and entire classrooms. I could tell from the kids’ reactions what was working and what was not. I learned, too, that kids are not willing to sit still for version after version of the same story. I learned to get my stories into pretty good shape before I shared and to read once and move on.

One of the spreads in Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator is in the book because of questions I got from kids when I went to schools with my Highlights article about wolfsnails. Kids always asked if wolfsnails eat worms. I created a scene in which a wolfsnail encounters a worm (and does not eat it) so that I could answer the question in the text.

With Growing Patterns I pushed my luck with a few of the young readers, asking them to read it aloud to me. I know they felt a little nervous, but I kept my mouth shut and tried not to be too obvious about the notes I was taking. I was watching for places where they stumbled over my awkward constructions or where they needed more clarification. Two second graders wrote out a page of questions for me. Many of the questions were about how I took the photographs or got interested in the pattern. But they also pointed out their favorite photographs and patterns. I am very excited about going back to their school this week and showing these now third graders the final product.

Thank you, everybody!

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