Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story

Alex the Parrot No Ordinary Bird A True Story In graduate student Irene Pepperberg walked into a pet store and bought a year old African grey parrot Because she was going to study him she decided to call him Alex short for Avian Learning E

  • Title: Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story
  • Author: Stephanie Spinner Meilo So
  • ISBN: 9780375868467
  • Page: 119
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In 1977, graduate student Irene Pepperberg walked into a pet store and bought a year old African grey parrot Because she was going to study him, she decided to call him Alex short for Avian Learning EXperiment At that time, most scientists thought that the bigger the brain, the smarter the creature they studied great apes and dolphins African greys, with their walnut In 1977, graduate student Irene Pepperberg walked into a pet store and bought a year old African grey parrot Because she was going to study him, she decided to call him Alex short for Avian Learning EXperiment At that time, most scientists thought that the bigger the brain, the smarter the creature they studied great apes and dolphins African greys, with their walnut sized birdbrains, were pretty much ignored until Alex His intelligence surprised everyone, including Irene He learned to count, add, and subtract to recognize shapes, sizes, and colors and to speak, and understand, hundreds of words These were things no other animal could do Alex wasn t supposed to have the brainpower to do them, either But he did them anyway.Accompanied by Meilo So s stunning illustrations, Alex and Irene s story is one of groundbreaking discoveries about animal intelligence, hard work, and the loving bonds of a unique friendship.

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      Published :2020-04-15T21:32:54+00:00

    2 thoughts on “Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story

    1. I was born in Davenport, Iowa, and grew up in Rockaway Beach, New York I read straight through my childhood, with breaks for food, sleep, and the bathroom I went to college in Bennington, Vermont, moved to New York City, and took a job in publishing so I could get paid for reading I read so much bad fiction that I needed a break, so I moved to London, and from there I traveled to Morocco, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan India, Nepal, and Ceylon I came back to America, wandered around some to Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize and on returning to New York decided to study Tibetan Buddhist painting called thangka painting in Boulder, Colorado.I painted thangkas for many years Each one took anywhere from several weeks to a few months to complete, and at long last I understood that this was not the ideal way for me to make a living Only a few hundred Americans collected thangkas, and they wanted old ones, painted by Tibetan monks It was time to make a change.So I took another publishing job, this time in children s books I found that I liked children s books a lot, and before long, I became an editor.Years passed I was encouraged to write I scoffed at the idea that I had anything to write about I edited some wonderfully talented authors Virginia Hamilton, Philip Isaacson, Clyde Robert Bulla, Gloria Whelan, Robin McKinley, Joan Vinge, Garth Nix, and Chris Lynch, among others with great enjoyment Writing seemed like torture by comparison.Then, to my amazement, I found myself writing a book and having a good time simultaneously The book was ALIENS FOR BREAKFAST, and I enjoyed writing it because my co author was Jonathan Etra Jon who died of heart disease in 1990 was a close friend with a wild sense of humor, and collaborating with him changed my opinion of writing forever After ALIENS FOR BREAKFAST, and ALIENS FOR LUNCH, which we also co wrote, I began to think that writing could be interesting fun.And now that I ve been doing it full time for than ten years, I can tell you why I like it better than a job First, I can work in my bathrobe To the FedEx man and the UPS man, I am the woman in the plaid flannel robe Second, I can eat when I m hungry, choose when to take phone calls, and walk my dogs any time Third, the only meetings I have and they re short are with the dry cleaner and the post office ladies Fourth, I can read whatever I please I may tell people I m doing research when I read about horse trekking, or hunting in ancient Greece, or 16 ways to better compost, but the truth is, I m not doing research, I m having a good time Which I think is still allowed.

    2. This is a children's book about Dr. Pepperberg's very famous talking parrot, Alexwbose last words were, "Be good. I love you." It made a point that made me think that how we learn is definitely down to evolutionary psychology. The book itself is beautifully illustrated and covers the main points about the difference between all other animal speech and Alex's in a simplified, but scientific way. Alex apparently needed a great deal of repetitive training in order to be able to say that an item was [...]

    3. Cried as I read this one At work This is a great description of the scientific process, as well as the story of an amazing animal, and a special friendship. Alex was more than just his name: Avian Learning EXperiment. He was a friend; an intelligent being. My personal experience with pets and animals in general places me in the school of thought shared by the scientists mentioned in this book. I loved it! Love the message

    4. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this book or how much I recommend it for kids of any age, whether read aloud to a younger child or independently by an older one. It tells a story of something all kids love - talking animals - and the best part is that it all REALLY happened! Kids will laugh at Alex's silly antics, marvel at his intelligence and maybe even shed a tear or two at his untimely passing. I know I did. The illustrations are watercolor and colored pencil, simple but very vivid and [...]

    5. 3.5 stars, not because the writing wasn't good, or the illustrations were lacking, but rather because I'm confused about the audience. I actually had trouble finding it when I went to pick it up because I was expecting a chapter book - and, well, it does have chapters, but it's really more of a picture book. The text sounds like it is aimed at a younger audience, but there's too much of it for a little person to get through by themselves. I guess maybe it could be a good read-aloud for an adult [...]

    6. This was a very informative book about a woman named Irene and her parrot ALEX (Avian Learning EXperiment). The story takes you through there growth together and Alex's learning abilities as a parrot. I knew before reading this book that parrots could learn many words but this parrot far outweighed anything that I thought was possible for a parrot to do. The illustrations are very simple and there are quite a few words on each page but in about 40 pages you learn the entire story of Alex and Ire [...]

    7. Alex the Parrot is the story of a bird who revolutionized the way scientists think about brain size. The Avian Learning Experiment was based on the fact that scientist believed the bigger the brain, the smarter the creature. Alex was an African parrot and had the brain size comparable to a walnut. Although his brain was small, the bird was extraordinarily intelligent. This book can be used in literacy to teach recounting a story. Students can read this book either independently or aloud and eith [...]

    8. This is a wonderful, colorful book that will introduce youngsters to Alex, an African gray parrot who helped change everything we know about bird intelligence and animal cognition. Thanks to Alex, we no longer are unaware that feathered friends aren't "bird brains." His relationship to the people around him is also touching and a fine example of interspecies friendship.

    9. I had many parakeets when I grew up and Alex makes me want one again. Birds are amazing creatures with as much attitude as cats. Geez, I'm going to have to go to the pet store!

    10. Richie’s Picks: ALEX THE PARROT: NO ORDINARY BIRD by Stephanie Spinner and Meilo So, ill Knopf, October 2012, 48p ISBN: 978-0-375-86846-7“A-well-a bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the wordA-well-a bird, bird, bird, well the bird is the wordA-well-a bird, bird, b-bird's the wordA-well-a don't you know about the bird?Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word!A-well-a bird, bird, b-bird's the word”--The Trashmen (1963)Alex was a bird who knew words. In 1977, grad student Irene Pepperberg purc [...]

    11. Twin Text: Zeno and Alya by Jane Kelley (Copyright 2013)Stephanie Spinner tells the story of Alex, an African grey parrot. Chosen for a research project, Alex was studied to determine how much parrots could learn and understand language. His remarkable ability helped change the world’s view of animal intellect. With the exception of a brief flashback, the book is written in chronological sequence. It begins with Alex as a one-year-old and ends with his death at 31. The author uses descriptive [...]

    12. Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird, written by Stephanie Spinner and illustrated by Meilo So, is a nominee for the 14-15 South Carolina Children's Book Award.Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird is a true story of an extraordinary animal. This book tells the tale of Irene Pepperberg and her work with Alex, a truly phenomenal African grey parrot. Irene believed that birds could learn language and communicate with the world around them, and she set out to prove just that. She patiently taught words an [...]

    13. I remember when Alex and Me came out in 2008. The story of the smartest bird in the world was bound to be rewritten for children and I think Stephanie Spinner has done a good job of it, especially for a 2nd to 5th grade audience and reluctant readers. With lots of colorful illustrations and a short, clear narrative, this story has major appeal for animal lovers and kids who only want TRUE stories. It might be interesting to compare this to The One and Only Ivan in terms of how animal intelligenc [...]

    14. Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird By: Stephanie Spinner 2012Meaghan G Spring 2015*NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for 2015*This was a very informative as well as a fun read! I really enjoyed reading Alex the Parrot. This story is about a bird that changed the way of science and research. Alex is an African Parrot and he gets purchased by a graduate student named Irene. Irene called the parrot Alex because she was going to research him and the research being conducted stood for Avian Learnin [...]

    15. After reading Koko's Kitten yesterday, I was pretty hesitant about this one--I really didn't want it to be full of the same issues. From a bit of outside research, it doesn't look like it is, which I'm happy about.Anyway, the art for this book is colourful and vividly gets across the life of Alex the African grey parrot. The text is rather long, which makes it a little harder to imagine a reader for the book. Most of the kids who come to my bookshop, by the time they'd be able to read this on th [...]

    16. Reviewed at: teachmentortexts/2012/Through my fascination with apes, I have learned quite a bit about language acquisition, intelligence and apes. This nonfiction picture book takes a look at these topics from a whole different direction- parrots. Growing up my father always wanted a parrot and specifically an African Grey because of its intelligence. This was my extent of knowledge of these animals until picking up this book and I will say that I am now so intrigued by African Grey Parrots and [...]

    17. Spinner, S. (2012). Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. Additional Information: Primary (K-3) Summary: When Irene Pepperberg bought Alex the parrot for research in 1977, she had no idea that he would surpass expectations and learn more than 100 words. This book details this true story in five sections and alternates between the research science, the relationship between pet and owner, and Alex's strength to beat the odds.Notable Awards/Reviews: Booklist 10/01/12 (Vo [...]

    18. Alex is an African grey parrot which is unique because he is a scientific project. Alex was studied around the time that many scientist were studying other animals and trying to get the animals to communicate with humans. Birds were not thought of being intelligent because they have smaller brains than most animals. Alex proves the other scientists wrong by not only using words to describe objects, but showing an actual understanding of language and concept of ideas such as adding and subtractin [...]

    19. A nicely written children's book about the life of Alex the Parrot, one of the most famous parrots in science who helped to show that some birds can be pretty intelligent.Starting with his life after being bought from a pet store, the book goes on to show his life as an experimental subject, being shown objects and what they are, gradually building up single word vocabularies. Eventually, Alex learns enough to form multiple word sentences and even to make up his own sentences. More importantly, [...]

    20. Alex the ParrotLexile: 680I liked this book because it is a true story about a parrot and his trainer. The parrot is an African gray parrot, who was named Alex by his trainer, Irene. The parrot’s name (Alex) stood for Avian Learning Experiment because Irene wanted to prove that birds are highly intelligent at a time that most people thought birds were dumb because they have small brains. I liked learning more about parrots, but the best part was reading about the relationship between Alex and [...]

    21. Although we cannot communicate directly with most animals I have always felt that they understood more than we give them credit for; I even feel this extends to plants, especially trees. If we took the time and made the effort we could have a much better relationship with our fellow sojourners here on planet earth. But we as a species are rather arrogant and close-minded when it comes to accepting the intelligence of other creatures. At least most of us are, and that probably counts doubly for t [...]

    22. I've been thinking a lot about what I learned from Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures. It really captured my imagination. So when I saw this book about Alex, who is featured in a whole chapter in Morell's book, I had to read it. "Alex the Parrot" is a fun introduction to Pepperberg's work on parrot intelligence and would work well for kids interested in either animals or what scientists do. The illustrations are playful and look a little retro, like they could have be [...]

    23. Irene Pepperberg's book Alex and Me, an adult memoir on the same subjects, is perfectly reconstructed for young readers and beautifully illustrated by Meilo So in this must-have narrative non-fiction picture book.I've never been a person fascinated by birds (don't tell my mother-in-law and nephew---one of which will likely read this review), but Pepperberg's story elevates our understanding of animal intelligence such that even folks like me are intrigued. A much needed addition to non-fiction p [...]

    24. Alex the Parrot may have a brain the size of a walnut, but that doesn't stop him from learning to understand and speak hundreds of words. This true story showcases this fabulous African grey parrot, who is charming and churlish by turns. Especially funny was a section describing his reaction to the "new parrot on the block" who is brought in by the scientist studying animal intelligence. The jealousy that Alex exhibits toward Griffin-- and its manifestations (at one point, he hastily spits out t [...]

    25. As an undergraduate I was fortunate to work for a short time with Dr. Roger Fouts and chimpanzees Lucy and Washoe at the Primate Center at the University of Oklahoma before they moved to Washington state. I found the research in animal language and communication fascinating and was especially interested in how the chimps combined the ASL signs they knew to create names for new things in their environment. As I read about Irene and her research with Alex I was reminded of those days. It's incredi [...]

    26. In the 1970s, a graduate student named Irene Pepperberg walked into a pet store to purchase an African grey bird, who was about 1 year old. She brought him back to her lab and called hime Alex--short for Avian Learning Experiment. Irene wanted to study the intelligence of birds and believed that birds like Alex were capable of learning concepts. This book chronicles their 30 year relationship, and shows how not only how intelligent Alex was, but also how emotionally complex he was as well. This [...]

    27. BLUESTEM NOMINEE 2015-2016. Science - Animals - Intelligence - TrainingTrue story of Alex the parrot raised from the age of 1 by Irene Pepperberg. Bought to study his intelligence she called him Alex, short for Avian Learning EXperiment. With his walnut-sized brain he was thought to not be very intelligent, though gray parrots are very vocal. The story is about her training and is quite good. Team this book that tells a lot about scientific principles with a video online of Alex. There are many. [...]

    28. Intriguing account of a biologist and her study of an African Grey parrot. Over the course of three decades, Alex the parrot learns enough words to communicate basic concepts (more words than chimpanzees, and spoken clearly). He also understands sophisticated concepts such as zero or nothingness, and demonstrates a fun personality. The book tells the story clearly, explaining the significance of this scientific research to children. One can't help wondering what other types of communication migh [...]

    29. I really enjoyed reading about graduate student Irene Pepperberg and her African grey parrot, Alex. She bought him in 1977 in order to study him in a time when most scientists thought birds were not at all intelligent. Alex and Irene set out to prove them wrong. I laughed out loud at Alex's personality. It's a fascinating and intriguing story. I think kids will be greatly interested. Now I want to read Irene's own book, Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Ani [...]

    30. Alex the parrot is so smart and children will enjoy reading about him. Alex was doubted and said to not be smart because the theory was that the bigger the brain the smarter the animal. It's a great educational book and it's making learning fun, but it's also relaying the message that it doesn't matter how big or small you are, you are incredible the way you are. The pictures in this book are so pretty too. It's definitely a great read and I would highly recommend reading this book to anyone jus [...]

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