Rabbit Problem

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Rabbit Problem

Book Information

Reader Personality Type
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2010
Mathematics Curriculum

Emily Gravett has written and illustrated a picture book based on a problem originally proposed and solved in a book from the 13th century, Liber Abaci.Gravett “illustrates” a mathematical concept known as the Fibonacci sequence. The original problem from Liber Abaci is as follows:“How many pairs of rabbits will be produced in a year, beginning with a single pair, if in every month each pair bears a new pair which becomes productive from the second month on” (“The Golden Ratio” http://library.thinkquest.org/C005449/ )

Gravett’s book’s title plays on the unofficial title of this famous math problem while it can also innocently refer to what happens if rabbits continue to reproduce in a field to which they are confined. To mirror the original problem Gravett designs the book as a calendar with each turn of the page revealing another month and more rabbits multiplying according to the Fibonacci sequence.

The book actually begins on the initial endpaper with a rabbit appearing to teach a lesson on “The Rabbit Problem,” so don’t skip this introductory material. The reader must then reorient the book itself as if it were a calendar.

The back cover of the book asserts that this is not a math book and that its intended audience is between the ages of 4 and 8. Children of this age range would enjoy watching the consequences of rabbits multiplying unchecked until they escape off the final page spread in pop-up format. However, for budding mathematicians aged nine and up, this is a fun introduction to the Fibonacci sequence.

Recommended by Katherine Stehman, Librarian.

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