Arlo and Pips Book 1: King of the Birds

king of the birds

Perfect for fans of Narwhal and Jelly, Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds is the first in a new early graphic chapter book series about the friendship between Arlo, an arrogant crow, and a sarcastic little bird named Pips. 

Like most crows, Arlo has a big brain. But Arlo has something else: a little pal who’s not afraid to tell him when he’s being insufferable!

In the first of three episodes, a battle of the brains and bird-to-bird banter soon turns into an unexpected friendship. Arlo and Pips' adventures include a visit the big city and the beach on their hunt for shiny things and French fries. Cool crow facts are included throughout the book.---from the publisher

64 pages                          978-0062982216                        Ages 6-10

Keywords:  graphic novel, crow, birds, information, humor, friends, friendship, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, part of a series


"On the highest mountains, in the deepest forests, in the whole universe, no bird is greater than Arlo."   At least so thinks Arlo, a crow who thinks very highly of himself.  Arlo has just met Pips, a small yellow bird who isn't exactly convinced that Arlo is the king of birds. After all, Pip can think of a lot prettier birds and birds who are better singers, and ......

Arlo is not to be denied.  He launches into his best song and then starts honking like a car.

Told in three chapters this story of two birds, one with a larger brain than the other, getting to know each other and finding themselves off on some great bird adventures.

The humor flits through the story and occasionally offers up a nugget of great info about crows.  Turns out they just might have something to brag about.  Great fun!

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


“It’s the same story the crow told me, it’s the only one he knows

Like the morning sun you come and like the wind you go.”

-- Grateful Dead, “Uncle John’s Band” (1970)

“By measuring brain activity in crows performing a visual task, the researchers found that on top of the crows’ basic sensory experience, the birds have another layer of awareness. In the journal Science, the authors argue that these two layers of perception constitute a form of what humans call subjective experience.”

-- Alex Fox in Smithsonian Magazine, “Do Crows Possess a Sense of Consciousness?” (9/30/20)

Did you know that a French theme park trained a team of crows to pick up trash?


Must protect my snack.’

URK! (the crow grabs his throat and his tongue sticks out)

BONK! (the crow falls on his back and looks dead)


Are you okay?


[Another crow lands nearby.]

‘Ooooh, yeah, Fries!

But wait! This other crow ate some and now he’s DEAD! They must be poisonous.

I’m not taking any chances.

Tsk. Such a shame.’



‘Is he gone?’


‘Wait. You’re alive?’

“Of course!’

‘You scared me!

But it worked, right? My brilliant strategy fooled that fry thief.

And now I have ALL the fries to myself.

I mean, unless you want some.

Do you?’


‘No thanks. I only eat berries and seeds.’

Some crows have been seen playing dead to fool other crows and keep food for themselves.”

KING OF THE BIRDS, the first in a graphic novel beginning reader-level series, features a crow and a little yellow bird. It’s a ton of fun and is chock-full of fascinating factoids about crows.

The crow, Arlo, is a crack-up. He’s very expressive. The little yellow bird is also filled with personality. Together, these two friends hang out, first in the big city and then at the beach. Arlo, like crows everywhere, is fond of shiny things. He even has the smarts and dexterity to utilize a tool in order to get into a hard-to-reach place.

KING OF THE BIRDS is quite fun and very enlightening. You will have newfound respect for these common birds. The book makes me wonder what crows really think of scarecrows.

Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA

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