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Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story
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Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story

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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  259 ratings  ·  85 reviews
In 1977, graduate student Irene Pepperberg walked into a pet store and bought a year-old African grey parrot. Because she was going to study him, she decided to call him Alex--short for Avian Learning EXperiment. At that time, most scientists thought that the bigger the brain, the smarter the creature; they studied great apes and dolphins. African greys, with their walnut- ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Kayce
Cried as I read this one... At work... This is a great description of the scientific process, as well as the story of an amazing animal, and a special friendship. Alex was more than just his name: Avian Learning EXperiment. He was a friend; an intelligent being.

My personal experience with pets and animals in general places me in the school of thought shared by the scientists mentioned in this book. I loved it! Love the message...
Rena
Mar 23, 2015 Rena rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: juvi
I had many parakeets when I grew up and Alex makes me want one again. Birds are amazing creatures with as much attitude as cats. Geez, I'm going to have to go to the pet store!
Alexandria Stephens
Alex the Parrot is the story of a bird who revolutionized the way scientists think about brain size. The Avian Learning Experiment was based on the fact that scientist believed the bigger the brain, the smarter the creature. Alex was an African parrot and had the brain size comparable to a walnut. Although his brain was small, the bird was extraordinarily intelligent. This book can be used in literacy to teach recounting a story. Students can read this book either independently or aloud and eith ...more
Brienz Wilkening
This was a very informative book about a woman named Irene and her parrot ALEX (Avian Learning EXperiment). The story takes you through there growth together and Alex's learning abilities as a parrot. I knew before reading this book that parrots could learn many words but this parrot far outweighed anything that I thought was possible for a parrot to do. The illustrations are very simple and there are quite a few words on each page but in about 40 pages you learn the entire story of Alex and Ire ...more
Amy Rae
After reading Koko's Kitten yesterday, I was pretty hesitant about this one--I really didn't want it to be full of the same issues. From a bit of outside research, it doesn't look like it is, which I'm happy about.

Anyway, the art for this book is colourful and vividly gets across the life of Alex the African grey parrot. The text is rather long, which makes it a little harder to imagine a reader for the book. Most of the kids who come to my bookshop, by the time they'd be able to read this on th
...more
Kam-Yung Soh
A nicely written children's book about the life of Alex the Parrot, one of the most famous parrots in science who helped to show that some birds can be pretty intelligent.

Starting with his life after being bought from a pet store, the book goes on to show his life as an experimental subject, being shown objects and what they are, gradually building up single word vocabularies. Eventually, Alex learns enough to form multiple word sentences and even to make up his own sentences. More importantly,
...more
Kendall
Spinner, S. (2012). Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

Additional Information: Primary (K-3)

Summary: When Irene Pepperberg bought Alex the parrot for research in 1977, she had no idea that he would surpass expectations and learn more than 100 words. This book details this true story in five sections and alternates between the research science, the relationship between pet and owner, and Alex's strength to beat the odds.

Notable Awards/Reviews: Booklist 10/01/12 (Vo
...more
Peacegal
This is a wonderful, colorful book that will introduce youngsters to Alex, an African gray parrot who helped change everything we know about bird intelligence and animal cognition. Thanks to Alex, we no longer are unaware that feathered friends aren't "bird brains." His relationship to the people around him is also touching and a fine example of interspecies friendship.
Meaghan Grady
Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird By: Stephanie Spinner 2012
Meaghan G., Spring 2015
*NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for 2015*

This was a very informative as well as a fun read! I really enjoyed reading Alex the Parrot. This story is about a bird that changed the way of science and research. Alex is an African Parrot and he gets purchased by a graduate student named Irene. Irene called the parrot Alex because she was going to research him and the research being conducted stood for Avian Learn
...more
Janie
BLUESTEM NOMINEE 2015-2016. Science - Animals - Intelligence - Training
True story of Alex the parrot raised from the age of 1 by Irene Pepperberg. Bought to study his intelligence she called him Alex, short for Avian Learning EXperiment. With his walnut-sized brain he was thought to not be very intelligent, though gray parrots are very vocal. The story is about her training and is quite good. Team this book that tells a lot about scientific principles with a video online of Alex. There are many.
...more
Kelly
Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird, written by Stephanie Spinner and illustrated by Meilo So, is a nominee for the 14-15 South Carolina Children's Book Award.

Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird is a true story of an extraordinary animal. This book tells the tale of Irene Pepperberg and her work with Alex, a truly phenomenal African grey parrot.

Irene believed that birds could learn language and communicate with the world around them, and she set out to prove just that. She patiently taught words an
...more
Kellee
Reviewed at: http://www.teachmentortexts.com/2012/...

Through my fascination with apes, I have learned quite a bit about language acquisition, intelligence and apes. This nonfiction picture book takes a look at these topics from a whole different direction- parrots. Growing up my father always wanted a parrot and specifically an African Grey because of its intelligence. This was my extent of knowledge of these animals until picking up this book and I will say that I am now so intrigued by African
...more
Richie Partington
Richie’s Picks: ALEX THE PARROT: NO ORDINARY BIRD by Stephanie Spinner and Meilo So, ill., Knopf, October 2012, 48p., ISBN: 978-0-375-86846-7

“A-well-a bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A-well-a bird, bird, bird, well the bird is the word
A-well-a bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A-well-a don't you know about the bird?
Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word!
A-well-a bird, bird, b-bird's the word”
--The Trashmen (1963)

Alex was a bird who knew words. In 1977, grad student Irene Pepperberg purcha
...more
Destinee Sutton
I remember when Alex and Me came out in 2008. The story of the smartest bird in the world was bound to be rewritten for children and I think Stephanie Spinner has done a good job of it, especially for a 2nd to 5th grade audience and reluctant readers. With lots of colorful illustrations and a short, clear narrative, this story has major appeal for animal lovers and kids who only want TRUE stories. It might be interesting to compare this to The One and Only Ivan in terms of how animal intelligenc ...more
Danielle Butler
Alex is an African grey parrot which is unique because he is a scientific project. Alex was studied around the time that many scientist were studying other animals and trying to get the animals to communicate with humans. Birds were not thought of being intelligent because they have smaller brains than most animals. Alex proves the other scientists wrong by not only using words to describe objects, but showing an actual understanding of language and concept of ideas such as adding and subtractin ...more
Hannah Jefferson
I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this book or how much I recommend it for kids of any age, whether read aloud to a younger child or independently by an older one. It tells a story of something all kids love - talking animals - and the best part is that it all REALLY happened! Kids will laugh at Alex's silly antics, marvel at his intelligence and maybe even shed a tear or two at his untimely passing. I know I did. The illustrations are watercolor and colored pencil, simple but very vivid and ...more
Katie
This is a really interesting book that looks at experimental processes scientists use to learn new things about animal behaviors. It was neat to hear about Alex and how feisty he became! I did find myself wishing that there were a few real photographs somewhere in the book - the illustrations are nice, but not quite the same as photos. The text is pretty sophisticated... probably more on a 3rd grade level.
Ms. Ramsborg
Alex the Parrot
Lexile: 680

I liked this book because it is a true story about a parrot and his trainer. The parrot is an African gray parrot, who was named Alex by his trainer, Irene. The parrot’s name (Alex) stood for Avian Learning Experiment because Irene wanted to prove that birds are highly intelligent at a time that most people thought birds were dumb because they have small brains. I liked learning more about parrots, but the best part was reading about the relationship between Alex and Ir
...more
Alex
Loved this book. I may be biased because I have pet parrots. I've heard about Alex the Parrot, watching videos online, and I've seen another book at the bookstore. But, this is wonderful for children. Great illustrations. The writing was clear and beautiful.
Jonathan
This book had just the right amount of information to teach me something new, while keeping it simple enough that I didn't get bored. I honestly had never even heard of this book and the book sparked enough interest for me to spend at least an hour searching the Internet for more information and videos. So cool.
Terri
As an undergraduate I was fortunate to work for a short time with Dr. Roger Fouts and chimpanzees Lucy and Washoe at the Primate Center at the University of Oklahoma before they moved to Washington state. I found the research in animal language and communication fascinating and was especially interested in how the chimps combined the ASL signs they knew to create names for new things in their environment. As I read about Irene and her research with Alex I was reminded of those days. It's incredi ...more
Mrs. Knott
Great narrative nonfiction story that shows the scientific process and a fascinating story about how the grey parrot can learn and communicate.
The Reading Puppet
Loved this. It was so cute and it's based on a real Parrot. I can't wait to read the adult non fiction book Alex and Me.
Angela
Irene Pepperberg's book Alex and Me, an adult memoir on the same subjects, is perfectly reconstructed for young readers and beautifully illustrated by Meilo So in this must-have narrative non-fiction picture book.

I've never been a person fascinated by birds (don't tell my mother-in-law and nephew---one of which will likely read this review), but Pepperberg's story elevates our understanding of animal intelligence such that even folks like me are intrigued.

A much needed addition to non-fiction p
...more
Anna Rose
A cute and creative retelling of Alex, the bird who helped scientists realize the intelligence of animals and their ability to learn words.
Shirley
In the 1970s, a graduate student named Irene Pepperberg walked into a pet store to purchase an African grey bird, who was about 1 year old. She brought him back to her lab and called hime Alex--short for Avian Learning Experiment. Irene wanted to study the intelligence of birds and believed that birds like Alex were capable of learning concepts. This book chronicles their 30 year relationship, and shows how not only how intelligent Alex was, but also how emotionally complex he was as well. This ...more
Barbara
The start was a bit slow for me but,the ending was great !! Awesome picture ans interesting story!!
Diane Griswell
Excellent nonfiction read. I was surprised by how this story touched me emotionally.
Courtney Angelo
This was a fun book! It attacks a subject younger children may not know much about; heck, I don't know much about the intelligence of animals and I'm an adult! The illustrations pulled this book together; children can read this book and really hear the parrot learning with them. It's an amazing thing to learn about because we are so used to humans being the ones we can talk to and learn with. This book shows that there is another world out there with our animals! I would like to use this book in ...more
Gwen Kaplan
Intriguing account of a biologist and her study of an African Grey parrot. Over the course of three decades, Alex the parrot learns enough words to communicate basic concepts (more words than chimpanzees, and spoken clearly). He also understands sophisticated concepts such as zero or nothingness, and demonstrates a fun personality. The book tells the story clearly, explaining the significance of this scientific research to children. One can't help wondering what other types of communication migh ...more
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8238
I was born in Davenport, Iowa, and grew up in Rockaway Beach, New York. I read straight through my childhood, with breaks for food, sleep, and the bathroom. I went to college in Bennington, Vermont, moved to New York City, and took a job in publishing so I could get paid for reading. I read so much bad fiction that I needed a break, so I moved to London, and from there I traveled to Morocco, Iran, ...more
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