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The Extinct Alphabet Book

Overview

Learn about the five-eyed Opabinia and the Four-toed Horse. Speculate about the life of the Jamaican Long-tongued Bat. Discover the fate of the beautiful Quagga. But don't look for any dinosaurs in this book. There aren't any!

Millions of creatures other than dinosaurs are now extinct. In true alphabet book tradition, the author has found twenty-six of the most extraordinary past-inhabitants of the Earth.

Jerry Pallotta and Ralph Masiello team ...

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Overview

Learn about the five-eyed Opabinia and the Four-toed Horse. Speculate about the life of the Jamaican Long-tongued Bat. Discover the fate of the beautiful Quagga. But don't look for any dinosaurs in this book. There aren't any!

Millions of creatures other than dinosaurs are now extinct. In true alphabet book tradition, the author has found twenty-six of the most extraordinary past-inhabitants of the Earth.

Jerry Pallotta and Ralph Masiello team up to provide exciting, accurate text and illustrations filled with unusual and amusing insight that will satisfy fans of all ages.

Each letter of the alphabet features information about a creature that no longer exists.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``H'' is for Hallucigenia--a creature so startling in appearance that the scientists who discovered its fossils thought they were hallucinating. ``X'' is for Xerces Blue--a gossamer-winged butterfly that dwelled on one particular hill in San Francisco, until urban expansion destroyed its habitat. This alphabetized assembly of bygone species mixes the ancient and contemporary, the bizarre and beautiful. Pallotta's conversational text swings between scientific (``Fossilization occurs when minerals replace what used to be the bones of an animal'') and silly (``K is for Kaka . . . If we could go back in time and talk to this bird it would probably say, `I wish I had a different name' ''); between an activist's gravity and a punster's levity. Masiello's exotically colored oil paintings lend the text needed weight and, if readers look closely, wit. Although the book's tone and information are well beyond the comprehension skills of letter-learners, the alphabet device serves to marshal the roster of extinct species without rebuffing adventurous preschoolers. Nothing so obvious as a dinosaur is included, but neither are pronunciations of words sure to fluster even the most confident readers. Ages 3-8. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-3-Extinction is the theme of this sometimes silly, sometimes serious alphabet book. Small bits of information are interspersed with occasional explanations and humorous asides. Entries range from the little known African Quagga to Neanderthal Men and Women. Much of the text tends towards the simplistic. Stating that ``Blue Bucks (sic) became extinct when people killed them for dog food'' is more misleading than funny, since these South African mammals were hunted to extinction by white settlers before 1800. Masiello's full-color oil paintings tend to be dark but interesting, with an occasional bizarre slant. Better titles both on the alphabet and on extinction exist.-Eva Elisabeth Von Ancken, Trinity Pawling School, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881064704
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/1993
  • Series: Jerry Pallotta's Alphabet Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 213,793
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: IG630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.58 (w) x 10.56 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Pallotta is an award-winning author of children's alphabet books and imaginative fiction. His books combine interesting facts, detailed research, humor, and realistic illustrations that mesmerize children everywhere.
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