Word nerds rejoice! Someone finally wrote a book that gives the nod to the quirks of the English language. The title, P Is For Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever, is not a judgment; it’s the actual name of the book!

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Written by Raj Haldar (also known as the rapper Lushlife) and computer programmer Chris Carpenter, P is for Pterodactylis filled with clever and creative sentences, each one spilling the dirty little secret we’ve all known since kindergarten — English is hard! 

C is for Czar page

From A to Z, a rapper and computer programmer (yes, you read that right) were the tag team you never knew you needed to shine a light on “all the letters that misbehave and make words nearly impossible to pronounce.” Haldar and Carpenter whimsically illustrate that while there are plenty of rules in language and grammar, sometimes rules are meant to be broken. 

K is for Knight page

With sentences like “The charging tsunami washed away all of Tchaikovsky’s tchotchkes,” it’s pretty clear that this book isn’t necessarily just for kids either. 

T is for Tsunami page

P is for Pterodactyl is a fresh take on the secret lives of silent letters, and it’s super fun to read, no matter how old you are. And if you run into any trouble, the authors thoughtfully include a dictionary in the back to help you out.

Worst Alphabet Book page: M is for Mnemonic

P is for Pterodactyl has been outrageously popular, so much so that it sold out of its first print run (over 10,000 copies!) the day it was published and, not surprisingly, The Worst Alphabet Book Ever made it all the way to #1 on the New York Times bestseller’s list in December 2018. A gnarly honor indeed! (See what I did there?)

Raving Reviews!

Readers everywhere are cheering for P is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever. Here’s what some Amazon reviewers had to say:

  • “This book is really hilarious! My friend and I laughed like school children. I had to look up a few of the words for pronunciation, which was fun. Also, I really like the illustrations.”
  • “I’ve long thought that the poor correlation of the sound of English words to their spelling needed to be highlighted. This humorous book does a great job of lampooning word-initial sounds versus word-initial letters. It should be a required textbook for all ESL classes!”
  • “This book is hilarious!! What a great way to make kids feel good about learning! It shows you that language is hard and encourages you to laugh about the hard stuff and not feel bad that it’s hard. Teaching kids with humor – who’d a thunk it works?! Buy one for every child and adult on your list. You will officially be the coolest gift giver ever.”
  • “This book was a hoot to read. Even as a college grad there were new words for me to learn. In the back was a dictionary of the new words, how to say them, and what they meant. Great for adults as a laugh or for children to learn so of the quirks of the English language.”

More Books Like P Is For Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever

1. All My Friends Are Dead

By Avery Monsen and Jory John

All My Friends are Dead - Books like

If you’re a dinosaur, all your friends are dead. Cute and dark at once, All My Friends Are Dead is a hilarious book that shows the down side of being anything from a snowman to a tree. It’s the saddest funny book you’ll ever read.

2. No Reading Allowed: The Worst Read Aloud Book Ever

By Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter

No Reading Allowed - Books like

Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter are back with their second installment, continuing to lay bare the absurdity of the English language. This time they tackle homophones, homonyms, and tricky punctuation. We dare you to try reading this one out loud.

3. I Need A New Butt

By Dawn McMillan

I Need a New Butt book

If there’s one way to get your kids’ attention, whether it’s at home or in the classroom, it’s mentioning the word “butt.” Works. Every. Time. And author Dawn McMillan knows this all too well. In I Need A New Butt, a little boy sets out to solve a pretty big problem — there’s a crack in his butt! Will he choose a robot butt? Will he choose a rocket butt? Guess you’ll have to read it to find out. My guess is there will be no shortage of smiles and giggles when the little ones read this one.

4. K is for Knifeball: An Alphabet of Terrible Advice

By Avery Monson and Jory John

K is for Knifeball book

The authors of All My Friends Are Dead have teamed up again. This time they chose to offer an entire book filled with terrible advice. Monson and John use dark humor to create a series of amusing rhyming couplets that offer questionable life advice, though maybe the kids should sit this one out.

5. The Book of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks: A Celebration of Creative Punctuation

By Bethany Keeley

Book of Unnecessary Quotation Marks - Books like

The Book of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks is the creative genius of author Bethany Keeley. Keeley originally started her journey down the long and winding road of grammatical rules and punctuation with her labor of love, The “Blog” Of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks. To her surprise, people are always finding hysterically incorrect ways to use quotation marks, and her gift to all of us is a compendium of the little gems she had collected along the way. This may be the perfect gift for that person who’s always correcting someone else’s grammar.

These books are excellent reminders that reading is pretty fun. Not to mention brilliant examples of how uproariously funny the English language can be when it goes rogue. Add them to your own library, or give them as gifts; either way, they’re sure to bring a smile.

“The Worst Alphabet Book Ever” Exists and You've Got to Read It!