BOOKS: Titles to read aloud
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1996:
The FURRY Alphabet Book
The EXTINCT Alphabet Book
The BUTTERFLY Alphabet Book
All by Jerry Pallotta; butterfly book with
Brian Cassie; illustrated, respectively,
by Mark Astrella, Edgar Stewart,
and Ralph Masiello. Charles Bridge Publishing
(85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02172), 1991,
1993, 1995. $6.95 each, paperback.
Somewhere along the line someone sat on Jerry
Pallotta’s offbeat sense of humor. The Furry Alphabet Book
is a hit with children because it lightheartedly but factually
introduces 26 of the oddest creatures Pallotta could think of,
including the hyrax, the quokka, and the naked mole rat.
The Extinct Alphabet Book is even wilder,
eschewing the familiar extinct creatures, e.g. dinosaurs, to
present succinctly accurate if also clownish lessons in ecology
and evolutionary biology. Here are creatures from
every major phylum, and every epoch of the history of life
on earth, including Neanderthal humans, a reminder that
we are by no means exempt from natural law and disorder.
Wolf’s favorite among them is the last, Zygorhiza, a longnecked
By contrast, the Butterfly Alphabet book is colorful,
instructive––and quite, quite serious.