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P is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever
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P is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  799 ratings  ·  198 reviews
Let's get real—the English language is bizarre. A might be for apple, but it's also for aisle and aeons. Why does the word "gnat" start with a G but the word "knot" doesn't start with an N? It doesn't always make sense, but don't let these rule-breaking silent letters defeat you!

This whimsical, funky book from Raj Haldar (aka rapper Lushlife) turns the traditional idea of
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  799 ratings  ·  198 reviews

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P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever truly is the worst alphabet book ever. ;-)

Each page in this cute little volume displays a letter of the alphabet and highlights ways in which the letter does not seem to follow the rules. Sometimes this means highlighting its use as a silent letter...

...and other times it means showing how that letter is not actually used where you might expect it to be.

I mostly prefer the pages that deal with silent letters -- they are easier to follow and I
Lisa Vegan
Recommended only for independent school aged readers, definitely not preschoolers. This book is not much fun as a read aloud unless kids SEE the pages and at least know their alphabet/phonics and preferably have the vocabulary to know the meanings of many of the words, and there is some advanced vocabulary/esoteric words than only older kids or even adults will know. Particularly recommended for children and adults puzzled and/or amused by the vagaries of the written English language. Most of th ...more
Now generally and from a presented text proper point of view, I have truly found Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter's P is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever both fun and lyrically, humorously engaging, with many included onomatopoeia, tongue twisters and other word-based joys and rhetorical delights (although indeed this is claimed with the necessary caveat that P is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever is most definitely and in my humble opinion much too advanced and too potent ...more
Chance Lee
Oct 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-it
This book about English being confusing and inconsistent is, itself, confusing and inconsistent. "S is for Seas" because "seas" sounds like the letter C, I guess, but what other sound is "s" supposed to make in a book about words "nearly impossible to pronounce"? The page also has the word "Arkansas," which fits the theme, but to make the page about the sea is a weird choice.
Perfect for the girl with the silent "x" at the end of her name.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Incredibly clever alphabet book that is perfect for a teacher, that clever early reader, or the friend that is over and done with childhood classics.

It addresses the nuances of what a nightmare it is learning vocabulary rules only to find out that the rules don't apply.

Becky B
An alphabet book that pokes fun at words that use letters in unconventional ways for English.

I thought that this book might be a great tool for our ESL teachers, but upon reading it I was disappointed. First of all, the words chosen for each of the letters are not even. They aren’t all letters that make an unusual sound or are silent. (I think the most ridiculous page was the Q page featuring a bunch of words that have the Q making a hard K sound…which is the sound Q makes. I guess they picked Q
Lisa Wolf
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, funny
This is an AMAZING alphabet book, featuring all those tricky English words that don't follow the rules. Loved it! My family got some major giggles while flipping through the pages.
Carla Johnson-Hicks
My grandchildren love alphabet books, and dinosaurs, so I though this would be right up their alley. Well there was only one dinosaur, but this was an incredibly silly book and my grandson loved it. It poked fun at the way the English language does not follow rules, especially all the silent letters in the language. It's written quite sarcastically and would probably be appreciated by older children who struggle with pronunciations and spelling as well as younger children who will just enjoy the ...more
This is a *delightful* alphabet book that uses some unusual examples for its letters - but the illustrations are great and it also provides a great glossary in the back for kiddos (and adults) who want more context for the neat words they encounter inside.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I thought this was a really cute idea, but the execution left something to be desired. The problem is that there aren't words for some of the letters and the authors had to reach a bit. Several foreign words were used (Djibouti comes to mind), but the author emphasizes that "English" is a funny language. Oui is used as an example of how an "O" at the beginning of the word in English usually has a "W" sound. ??? The art was cute. But I'm not really sure of the audience of this book. The words are ...more
Erica Sonzogni
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Have you ever read the WORST alphabet book ever? P is for Pterodactyl, The Worst Alphabet Book Ever is just that. This book is structured like a regular alphabet book, except each word includes silent letters. These words do not begin with the sound of the letter, which makes it horrible if readers are trying to learn letter sounds. The purpose of this book is not to learn letter sounds; however, but for readers to understand that language is complex and sometimes unpredictable. For example, on ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a digital ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book is incredibly silly and I loved every page. It's a clever alphabet book that gives the reader a word that has a silent letter either at the beginning, middle, or end. It's written quite sarcastically and it's a good book to gift someone who's tired of getting the same old alphabet book. I can see younger children getting a kick out of some of the pages, especially if it's read in a funny voice. The drawings seem a
Amanda [Novel Addiction]
Ha. Fantastic.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
An enjoyable book for someone who likes words (or works with them!). Full review here:
Melanie Dulaney
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
As an adult who cannot stand the fact that so many words in the English language do not follow the so-called rules, I chuckled throughout the reading of this book. But I am not sure who the target audience is. Children will be drawn to the brightly-colored, cartoon-like illustrations by Maria Beddia (no information on art medium could be found in publisher info nor with a fairly lengthy Internet search), but the sentences on each alphabet page are so filled with difficult to pronounce words that ...more
First sentence: A is for Aisle. The bread aisle has not been cleaned in aeons, and nine tiny beasts meet to have a feast.

Premise/plot: This book is not your traditional alphabet book. It is choosing to highlight words that "misbehave" in one way or another. Usually misbehaving words start with silent letters or break phonic rules in some way. Some letters are trickier to find examples for than others. Some choices make total sense--others not so much. There is a glossary and word pronunciation g
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Electronic ARC provided by NetGalley.

I requested this book from NetGalley because I have a three year old who is super into words and grammar, and this looked like a fun and out of the ordinary alphabet book. "P is for Pterodactyl" goes through the alphabet highlighting words where the letters break the rules (lots of unexpected silent letters and such). The art is fun to look at and I enjoyed seeing a book that has fun with the ridiculousness of the English language.

This book would probably be
A worthy addition to the slightly-messed-up alphabet book collection, put it on the shelf right next to Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book.

The illustrations are lots of fun and I really appreciated the glossary of terms in the back!

This would be a great read-aloud for those older elementary school visits.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: story-time, kid-reads
I love using this in an A-B-C story time. Paired with a classic ABC book, P is for Pterodactyl perfect!

Some of the words are really hard, so practice a few times before diving in. The guide in the back is a life saver (especially for a Dyslexic such as myself). If you want to use this in a teaching setting, ask kids and caregivers words they know that don't follow the usual language rule.
Amanda Hilde
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This is the worst alphabet book ever, but it is hilariously ridiculous in that pursuit. This book would be good for any English as a second language learner to understand that English is an odd language and sometimes the rule of thumb doesn't always apply.
Alyse Stolz
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I want to say I bought this for my friend’s daughter but I am ridiculously selfish, and bought it for my friend’s daughter will full intention of reading it first. And boy do I love this book! So satisfying. English. What a goofy language.
Ashley Adams
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: educators
Shelves: children, humor, education
P is for Pterodactyl might actually be one of the BEST alphabet books ever! It covers silent letters from aisle to gnat. It cheats a little by using Spanish, African, and Roman references, but it is super cute and informative!
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this for personal fun wordplay reasons but I'm not really sure who the audience is. The illustrations would work well for very small children but the language and words used do not. It would almost be best used in a language lesson for older children.
Ashley Holstrom
So much fun!
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another not for young children picture book. I loved the concept, silent letters abound, my favourite was the letter. The illustrations weren’t to my taste, but did well with the text. My biggest grievance was with the inclusion of words that are actually in others languages beings included like fajita and Djibouti - this takes away from the premise for me.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
A brilliant picture book for any age, definitely my style. Witty and fun with our crazy language.
A lively alphabet book with clever and humorous wordplay that older readers will appreciate. A useful book to supplement spelling units.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before I moved I had a collection of quirky alphabet books, but this one takes the cake!
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Better known by his stage name Lushlife, Raj Haldar is an American rapper, composer, and producer from Philadelphia, PA.