Review: P is for Pterodactyl

P is for Pterodactyl
The Worst Alphabet Book Ever
Authors: Raj Haldar & Chris Carpenter
Illustrator: Maria Tina Beddia
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

This book is not just for kids. If you know adults that are learning English, give it to them.

Oftentimes, I find myself in a classroom of English Learners having to explain how many different sounds the letter “A” can make in the English language. I see their eyes roll into the back of their heads, I’m left to explain: “there is no rule, it’s just English.” This book, ostensibly a children’s book, can teach everyone a thing or two.

Quick Rating: Buy & Keep


A children’s picture book (note the italics, they are on purpose), the authors take you on a ride through the alphabet pointing out how the letters of the English alphabet do not always behave as intended. This books goes way beyond “i” before “e” except after “c” and takes on weird grammar rules and super secret silent letters.


Bedia self-describes her style as “young, playful, and colorful” which demonstrates she is remarkably self-aware. Her lines are crisp and clean. The illustrations, although sophisticated in design, do bridge the appeal-gap between adults and children. Moreover, they underline the punchlines without taking them over.

It’s On My Bookshelf

Noticed how I italicized children’s picture book? Well, that’s because this is really an adult book in disguise. There is no way that kids in the target age range, four to eight-year-olds, will understand the inside jokes or the arcane grammatical rules in play. Those are clearly aimed at an adult audience. And, you know what? That’s absolutely fine. We should have some fun while we are reading the book. If the only take away for children is that sometimes the letters of the alphabet misbehave, they will be leaps ahead of many English speakers (and writers for that matter). This book, although it’s a concept book, can be read again and again as the child grows older. And, when your child outgrows it, yes, it can turn into a lovely coffee table book. And that’s, why the book stays on my bookshelf. [End.]

If you want to purchase a copy of P is for Pterodactyl, and support my endeavors at the same time, you can click on one of the links below. No extra cost to you, and it will help me out! More books to read, more reviews to do!

Please, leave comments! I love a HEALTHY exchange of ideas. After all, critical thinking is essential to life.

P is for Pterodactyl! (Support an Independent Bookstore)
P is for Pterodactyl (Hardcover at Amazon)*

More books for this Age Group can be found here.

If you’d like to preview the book, here’s a read aloud:

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Reply