P Is for Pterodactyl: The WORST Alphabet Book Ever
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that P Is for Pterodactyl shows kids lots of English words that are hard to spell (or pronounce) because they begin with silent letters, like pterodactyl, aisle, knight, and knot, or have silent letters in them. It also gets into words that come from languages other than English, like gnocci and tsunami, and plays with homonyms like sea and see. Every page has a fun, cartoon-like illustration and sentence below it that help kids understand the meaning and context of the words. P Is for Pterodactyl is a word lover's delight and an almost mandatory read-aloud. Includes a glossary at the back.
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What's the Story?
P IS FOR PTERODACTYL is unlike any alphabet book you've seen before. It highlights words that begin with silent letters or contain them. And it not only says what words the letters are for (like "C is for Czar"), but also, in some cases, points out what they're not for, as in "F is not for Photo, phlegm, phooey, or phone." It also gets into homonyms, like see and sea. On the "O is for Ouija" page, we see a leopard wearing a red beret playing with a Ouija board, two kids, and a tiny witch. Below the picture the sentence reads, "The French leopard says, 'Oui! We'd love to play Ouija with the wee witch from Oaxaca.'"
Is It Any Good?
This unconventional alphabet book makes a great read aloud and will open kids' minds to the crazy world of words and spelling. Reading P is for Pterodactyl aloud is a must for younger kids, given amusing but complex sentences like: "The tsunami washed away all of Tchaikovsky's chintzy tchotchkes," which appears below a cartoon-like illustration of a giant wave about to crash on the classical composer and his piano. A fun twist on the alphabet book structure is having some entires that tell readers what a letter is not for, as in "U is not for You," and Y is not for Why."
Amid all the humor, wordplay and silliness, there's solid, brain-teasing information about words and how they're spelled. It a delight from start to finish, especially for word lovers and their offspring. But many words (like euphoric and eulogy) and sentences are challenging and may require grown-up assistance/explanation. There's also is a handy glossary at the back.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the silent-letter words in P Is for Pterodactyl. Which ones were new to you? Which ones had you heard before but didn't know what letter they started with?
How is this book different from other alphabet books you've read?
How do the pictures help you understand the meaning of each word? Which picture is your favorite? Which one is the funniest? Is it easier to learn something new when it's funny or has a funny picture on the page?
- Authors: Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter
- Illustrator: Maria Beddia
- Genre: Alphabet
- Topics: Numbers and Letters
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publication date: November 13, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 8
- Number of pages: 40
- Available on: Hardback
- Last updated: December 8, 2020
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