Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by NC Teacher Stuff.
For Nonfiction Monday -- "Alex the parrot no ordinary bird" written by Stephanie Spinner and illustrated by Meilo So.
The story of this remarkable African Grey parrot begins in 1977 when he was purchased in a pet store by Irene Pepperberg for her research into animal intelligence and communication. Named Alex for Avian Learning Experiment, the parrot would one day change many scientist's perceptions and beliefs that centered on the idea that the larger the brain the smarter the animal. Over the next thirty years, Pepperberg taught Alex over 100 words that Alex learned to combine into meaningful phrases he could use to communicate. He also learned to count, and recognize colors, shapes, and materials -- demonstrating the cognitive abilities of a four to five year old child.
Spinner's text is thoughtfully organized into short chapters that explain Pepperberg's study, demonstrate her deep affection and respect for Alex, and highlight his engaging personality. Spinner goes on to relate Pepperberg's work to the broader scope of Animal Communication Research such as that conducted with dolphins and Koko the gorilla.
So's colorful tropic-inspired illustrations keep Alex front and center and capture his personality.