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.
``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 needed weight and, if readers look closely, wit. 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. Ages 3-8.