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.
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?
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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 entries 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.
RATING AND CONTENT
Recommended for ages 4 and older
Quality: 4 out of 5
Educational value: 4 out of 5
Positive messages: 4 out of 5
Positive role models: 3 out of 5
Violence and scariness: 0 out of 5
Language: 0 out of 5
Authors: Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter
Illustrator: Maria Beddia
Book type: Non-fiction
Publication date: November 13, 2018
Number of pages: 40
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