The Extinct Alphabet Book

The Extinct Alphabet Book

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By: Jerry Pallotta / Illustrated by: Ralph Masiello

Extinct but not forgotten.

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.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Jerry Pallotta, author

Jerry Pallotta began writing children's books to entertain his own children. Now, as the author of a best-selling alphabet book series and other children's books, he is delighting young readers everywhere. Jerry lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with his family.

Read more about Jerry.

Ralph Masiello, illustrator

Ralph Masiello is an award-winning graduate of Rhode Island School of Design. he has illustrated several books for young readers, including The Frog Alphabet Book, The Yucky Reptile Alphabet Book, and The Icky Bug Alphabet Book. Ralph lives in Massachusetts with his family.

Read more about Ralph.

Editorial Reviews:

Publishers 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 need weight and, if readers look closely, with. 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.

Science Books & Films

This book can be enjoyed on several levels. First, it is an extremely attractive book, with beautiful illustrations of extinct animals on each page. The approach is to have one animal for each letter of the alphabet, with one page for each letter. The author actually put in two pages for four of the letters, so there are 30 pages of illustrations. The illustrations are instructive, giving a realistic image of what the creatures looked like. This is interesting to both children and adults. The text hat accompanies the illustrations is also interesting and informative. The approach implies an evolutionary concept. Statements such as "ninety-nine percent of all living things that ever lived are now extinct" show that extinction is a natural process. A page devoted to Neanderthals shows that this process applies to human lineage as well. Reasons are given for why an animal becomes extinct, such as disease, loss of habitat, and human pressure. The text is written with a light touch, with both humor and wit. It is not, however, completely without problems. For example, although a pronunciation guide is given for coelacanth, none is given for names denoting any other animals.


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ISBN: 978-0-88106-471-1
ISBN: 978-0-88106-470-4

Ages: 4-7
Page count: 32
10 x 8

If you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:
Jerry Pallotta's Alphabet Book series
In My Own Backyard