Alex the Parrot by Stephanie Spinner
No Ordinary Bird: A True Story

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



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.

About Stephanie Spinner

See more books from this Author
Stephanie Spinner is the bestselling author of many books for young readers, including Aliens for Breakfast (with Jonathan Etra) and Expiration Date: Never (with Terry Bisson).From the Hardcover edition.
Published October 9, 2012 by Alfred A. Knopf BFYR. 48 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Alex the Parrot

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Irene Pepperberg's African gray parrot learned to speak and understand English so well he changed both public and scientific beliefs about animal communication and cognition.

Sep 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

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;

Sep 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary ...

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

The arch narrator of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is back in a pre-teen noir. Meghan Cox Gurdon reviews Daniel Handler's "Who Could That Be at This Hour?," Stephanie Spinner's "Alex the Parrot," Ramona Badescu's "Pomelo Explores Color," "Pantone Box of Color" and Pamela Zagarenski's "Sleep Li...

Oct 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary ...

City Book Review

Although Alex only lived to the age of thirty-one (grey parrots often live to sixty), he made quite an impression on the scientific community and especially his trainers.

Dec 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary ...

Rate this book!

Add Review