Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds by Elise Gravel, 64 pp, RL 1.5
Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds is the ninth book I have reviewed by the amazing Elise Gravel and her work never fails to engage and delight me. Part buddy story, part non-fiction, King of the Birds finds friends Arlo, a crow, and Pips, a little, yellow bird, getting to know each other. Well, really, it's more about Pips getting to know Arlo, who refers to himself as "King of the Feathered World." Arlo shows off, while also demonstrating why he just might deserve the title he has given himself. Every time Arlo shares a fact about crows, Gravel includes a red star in his word bubble, alerting readers to visit a fact box at the bottom of the page. And the fact! I learned so many cool things about crows, including the fact that they are able to count as high as six, maybe more, and they might even be able to add (it's really funny when Pips tries to count) and that crows will play dead to keep a juicy food find all to themselves.
One thing I did know about crows before reading King of the Birds is their penchant for shiny things, and of course, Arlo comes across something shiny as he and Pips explore the beach. This is also an opportunity for Gravel to include a few more fascinating facts about crows while Arlo geeks out over a fork - that he also uses as a tool! As their book draws to a close, Arlo offers Pips a gift - something crows do in real life! Happily, Arlo and Pips will return for another fantastic graphic novel feathered with facts very soon.