Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature
Midwest Book Review
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"Featuring gorgeous photography throughout, Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature is a picturebook that teaches young readers the basics about fractals - recurring patterns that are "the same near as far", commonly found in nature. ... An afterword about Benoit Mandelbrot, one of the first mathematicians to understand and teach others about fractals, rounds out this astonishing, reader-friendly introduction to mysteries of mathematics in the natural world."
Boston Globe
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"In Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature, Sarah C. Campbell, aided by photographs she and her husband, Richard P. Campbell took, explains what does (lightning) and doesn’t (a swallowtail caterpillar’s markings) constitute a fractal. She delivers a tidy education, gives a nod to the use of fractals in the built world, and offers the hope that readers will invent new uses."
"Through examples of what fractals are and what they aren’t, this photo essay introduces a complex mathematical idea in a simple, inviting way. Using a straightforward text and eye-catching photographs, the Campbells start with the familiar: spheres, cones, cylinders—shapes readers can find and readily name in their environments. But then they move on to the more elaborate forms: a head of broccoli, the flower of a Queen Anne’s lace, a tree. ... For visual learners, this is a particularly accessible demonstration of an intriguing concept."
Horn Book
"Bring up the math term fractals in a roomful of adults, and it’s likely quite a few eyes will glaze over. Yet wife-and-husband team Sarah and Richard Campbell succeeds in making fractals accessible and engaging to—get this—the elementary-school crowd. Sarah Campbell’s writing is clear, fluid, and concise, effortlessly so. ... Glossy, well-designed pages feature crisp, up-close photographs, which pair perfectly with the text—making this the go-to choice for introducing fractals to children (and grownups)."
School Library Journal
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“Using clear text and outstanding color photographs, Campbell explores the concept of these unusual shapes. Beginning with circles, cones, and cylinders, she leads readers carefully and concisely through examples of fractals such as trees, rivers, mountains, broccoli, lightning, and lungs. The photographs, sometimes highlighting the ever-smaller pieces of a vegetable fractal against a black background, sometimes drawing back to give a aerial view of a geological feature, are crisp and precise and underscore the clear text.”
Publishers Weekly
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"The husband-and-wife team behind Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature (2010) demystify the concept of fractals, which mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot used to help understand complicated shapes in nature.... This fascinating exploration should awaken readers’ powers of observation and appreciation for the intricacies of nature."