‘P is for Pterodactyl’ Book Exposes the Oddest Spellings in English

P is for Pterodactyl - Alphabet Book

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Tsunami. Knight. Wren. Aisle. What do these words have in common? They're just some of the quirky words featured in the new book P is for Pterodactyl. This fun take on a standard alphabet book features some of the trickier words used in the English language. By focusing on silent letters and silly homophones, the book is a great way for kids to start tackling advanced spelling and for word nerds to get a good laugh.

“Let's get real―the English language is bizarre,” the book admits. “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!”

P for Pterodactyl was written by Raj Haldar, also known as Lushlife, and Chris Carpenter, with illustrations by Maria Beddia. The color illustrations help demonstrate the context of each word, while clever sentences filled with alliteration make for a fun read. For instance, “The gnome yells, ‘Waiter! There’s a bright white gnat nibbling on my gnocchi!,' ” accompanies “G is for Gnocchi.”

Of course, some of these words are used in the English language but taken from others, which makes the pronunciation quirks more understandable. Gnocchi is an Italian word for a specific type of pasta, while czar is a Russian word for emperor. Overall, the book is a fun way to get kids excited about language in general and pique their curiosity about why we pronounce words in particular ways.

If you're looking for an enhanced experience, listen to the P is for Pterodactyl audiobook or download activity worksheets, free of charge!

P is for Pterodactyl is an unusual alphabet book that features some of the English language's quirkiest words.

P is for Pterodactyl - Alphabet Book

P is for Pterodactyl - Alphabet Book

P is for Pterodactyl - Alphabet Book

h/t: [The Awesomer]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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