P Is for Pterodactyl The Worst Alphabet Book Ever by Raj Halder and Chris Carpenter was highly recommended to me by my favorite public librarian. As I read the text for myself and explored the book, I found the idea of focusing on words that start with silent letters an interesting word study focus. It reminds me a bit of an older book – A My Name is Alice. There’s a catchy phrase – “S is for Seas” and then a sentence using the words in context.
As I read the title page, I quickly learned from my students how to pronounce pterodactyl. Dinosaur names are always tricky for me and I wanted to pronounce the p, even though I knew the focus of the book was on words with silent first letters.
My student’s reflections at the end of the story –
“It’s a good book with lots of hard words.”
“It was playing with you by giving you words to learn.”
“Fascinating – I never knew so many words had letters at the beginning you can’t hear.”
“I liked this book, I got to learn new words.”
“It was interesting to learn how to pronounce words in different ways.”
I hadn’t expected how tricky the vocabulary would be in second grade and think exposing them to words that start with a silent letter was interesting. This would be a great book for upper grades.