Read Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story by Stephanie Spinner Free Online
Book Title: Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story|
The author of the book: Stephanie Spinner
ISBN 13: 9780375868467
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 585 KB
Edition: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date of issue: October 9th 2012
Reader ratings: 8.3
Loaded: 414 times
Read full description of the books Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story:
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.
Read information about the authorI 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 more -- 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 more 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.
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