Skull Alphabet Book

Skull Alphabet Book

4.3 3
by Jerry Pallotta, Ralph Masiello
     
 

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Riddle me this: what animal beginning with 'L' has binocular vision and is a predator?

THE SKULL ALPHABET BOOK makes young readers use their brains. Children learn simple facts and hone their critical thinking skills as they deduce the identity of 26 different animals arranged in alphabetical order.

Incredibly rich, realistic, and inventive oil paintings by

Overview

Riddle me this: what animal beginning with 'L' has binocular vision and is a predator?

THE SKULL ALPHABET BOOK makes young readers use their brains. Children learn simple facts and hone their critical thinking skills as they deduce the identity of 26 different animals arranged in alphabetical order.

Incredibly rich, realistic, and inventive oil paintings by Ralph Masiello lay a trail of clever clues to the identity of the animals represented only by their skulls. Look even closer and find hidden in the unique settings portraits of 43 of the presidents of the United States.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Plenty of information on bones, skulls, tooth types, blowholes, head terminology and such are packed into this alphabet book. It's not for little would-be readers but is organized as a guessing game for experienced readers in which "A is for...." is not answered but instead features a paragraph about skulls, a clue both in text and pictures, and the invitation to "Think!" All clues help readers determine that it's an anteater's skull. If readers don't know a lot about animals, then it's more difficult to figure out Ibex, a narwhal, and a Jersey cow; additionally hard is L for lion, lynx, leopard or some other cat but we can't tell from the clues, and nowhere in the book are all of our guesses confirmed. That frustration aside, the paintings of skulls are made more interesting by their placement in natural backgrounds and by Masiello's having scanned in and hidden all of the presidents of the United States somewhere in the pictures. You can find them in bark patterns, on the ends of bones, as a seal on a banana, within the forest floor, and as wallpaper. While the skulls aren't all identified for you, the presidents are listed in order on a page of other skulls not a part of this alphabet, including the amazing skull of babirusa, a pig. Fans of the series will welcome this interesting way to package even more information and older children who know something about any science or social studies category could use this alphabetic model as a template for creating another topical ABC information book. But be sure to let the reader in on all of the secrets! 2002, Charlesbridge,
— Susan Hepler
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Twenty-six mammal skulls from anteater to zebra are highlighted. Readers can see each skull, but are not told immediately to which animal it belongs. In some cases the features of the skull itself give it away, as in elephant or ram. Other times, Pallotta gives verbal clues: "A sly person can identify this skull-there are only three letters in its name" points to fox. There are also visual hints such as the mousetrap next to the cat skull and the bananas upon which the monkey skull rests. Others, such as baboon and gorilla, are particularly tough. On a spread between V and W the names of each animal featured in the alphabet are hidden among drawings of non-mammal skulls. In addition to the clues, the author works in scattered facts about skulls in general and about the individual animals. This all works pretty well, but a "hidden presidents" feature is less successful. Most illustrations include one or more U.S. presidents' faces hidden in the background or even on the skull itself. This extra feature may please kids who just love to look, but the incongruous portraits are obtrusive and detract from the cohesiveness of the theme, which is otherwise fairly appealing and effective. With little available for primary-age kids on this intriguing topic, this title is worth considering despite its flaws.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881069150
Publisher:
Charlesbridge
Publication date:
07/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
864,186
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.12(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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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Skull Alphabet Book 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
They enjoyed guessing which animal the skull belonged to based on the clues. And we're still finding the presidents that are hidden!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'A is for We are not telling you!' Like Ralph Masiello's other best-selling alphabet books (including 'The Yucky Reptile Alphabet Book' and 'The Icky Bug Alphabet Book'), this is clearly an ABC book with a difference. 'The Skull Alphabet Book' simply uses the alphabet as the framework for gorgeously detailed renderings of an A-to-Z of animal skulls, sometime taking humorous liberties with his initialing schemes. Good fun.