Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story

Stephanie Spinner, illus. by Meilo So. Knopf, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-375-86846-7
Alex, as adult readers may recall, was indeed no ordinary bird: for 30 years, this African grey parrot, purchased in a pet shop, was the research subject of animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg, who taught Alex how to count and do simple arithmetic; recognize shapes, materials, sizes, and colors; and speak and understand hundreds of words—upending the conventional wisdom about animal intelligence and proving that “birdbrain” could actually be a compliment. Alex died suddenly in 2007 and was mourned worldwide, but his life is well-served by Spinner (Aliens for Breakfast) and especially by So, whose fans will no doubt cheer her having found another bird story (after 2008’s Pale Male) that’s a perfect match for her artistry. Together they dive into the details of Alex and Pepperberg’s work, giving Alex’s larger than-life personality its full due (“He let everybody know what he wanted, pretty much all the time”), and showing, with admirable restraint, how an experiment also became an expression of love and deepest respect. It’s a remarkable story with a sad ending—but it’s a good kind of sad. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/24/2012
Release date: 10/09/2012
Show other formats
FORMATS
Library Binding - 48 pages - 978-0-375-96846-4
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.