Picture Book Writer

Picture Book Writer

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Picture Book and…Fibonacci?

I may have just broken a code.

A math sequence. The fibonacci sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55…).

In a picture book, of all places!

Disclaimer: my neurologist did say my left parietal lobe could have trouble with mathematics after surgery.  To that I say: Psshh. Lame. Disclaimer no. 2: I was never very good in mathematics.

The book is Jack, by Tomie DePaola. It is a beautifully illustrated book seemingly not about math. Interesting! Let's take a look...

Jack is a boy living with his grandfather in the country. One day, he decides he would like to live in the city. His grandfather, very supportive, offers Jack advise to go and seek the king for help. Along the way, Jack makes an assortment of friends.

So Jack (our #1 hero) sets out for the city, leaving his grandfather (1).

On the way, he meets a chick (nice pun, DePaola):

Jack + chick = 2

Then Jack meets a duck:

Jack + chick + duck = 3

Next Jack meets a goose and a dog:

Jack + chick + duck + goose + dog = 5

Then Jack meets a frog, a pig, and a cow:

Jack + chick + duck + goose + dog +frog + pig + cow = 8

Next, Jack meets a cat, a sheep, a horse, and an owl:

Jack + chick + duck + goose + dog +frog + pig + cow + cat + sheep + horse + owl = 12. I know, I know. The next Fibonacci number should be 13. But what the text leaves out, the illustration makes clear: + crow. The crow joins the group for the rest of the story and we now have 13.

The other characters are quiet observers in the scenery. They include two doves on the dedication, a worm, ants, mice, spider, nuns, Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty, a guard, king, queen, etc.

I wonder if they make 21?
Don't forget that crow!

I'll leave that for you to decide. My brain needs some rest. This is where too much time on my hands has led me. But it was worth it. Whether or not my math holds true, this story illustrates how to be inclusive...and the beautiful outcome that builds from there.

Have fun delving into this fun, beautiful book!

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