A children's book called 'P is for Pterodactyl' features the most bizarre words in the English language

Courtesy of Sourcebooks‘The Worst Alphabet Book Ever.’
  • Some English words are spelled in complicated, counterintuitive ways.
  • Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter wrote a children’s book called “P is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever” to explore some of these words.
  • Here’s a selection of pages from the book.

No matter how old you are, unusual words can trip up even the biggest of spelling nerds.

A new children’s book called “P is for Pterodactyl” pokes fun at English words with silent letters and bizarre spellings.

Written by Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter and illustrated by Maria Tina Beddia, it debuted as the second bestselling book on Amazon behind Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming.” and is now a New York Times bestseller.

Here are seven pages from the book that show just how strange the English language can be.


The new children’s book “P is for Pterodactyl” explores words that are spelled in ridiculous ways.

Courtesy of Sourcebooks‘P is for Pterodactyl.’

It pays tribute to “letters that misbehanve and make words nearly impossible to pronounce.”


With advanced words that can be hard to say and spell, it’s a different take on an alphabet book for kids.

Courtesy of Sourcebooks‘C is for Czar.’

It might not teach them to read, but it will teach them lots of new words.


The lighthearted illustrations fit with the book’s playful tone.

Courtesy of Sourcebooks‘E iw for Ewe.’

Even ewes giving eulogies are adorable.


“The book was born out of a casual conversation between friends, wondering at first if we could find silent first letter words for every letter in the alphabet,” co-author Raj Haldar said.

Courtesy of Sourcebooks‘K is for Knight.’

Haldar is also a rapper known as Lushlife.


“Chris and I were immediately struck by the fantastically diverse world they implied for a children’s book.”

Courtesy of Sourcebooks‘M is for Mnemonic.’

Why is “mnemonic” spelled with an “m?” It’s anyone’s guess.


It’s not every children’s book that includes sentences like “The charging tsunami washed away of of Tchaikovsky’s tchotchkes.”

Courtesy of Sourcebooks‘T is for Tsunami.’

It’s a tongue-twister.


“Ewe” are sure to enjoy reading it.

Courtesy of Sourcebooks‘U is not for You.’

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