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The King of the Birds

Written by Acree Graham Macam

Illustrated by Natalie Nelson

  • 32 Pages
  • 9781554988518
  • 10" x 8.5"
  • from grade K to grade 2
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Pets
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Biographical / United States
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Girls & Women



Publication Date September 01, 2016

In this picture book, inspired by the life of Flannery O’Connor, a young fan of fowl brings home a peacock to be the king of her collection, but he refuses to show off his colorful tail. The girl goes to great lengths to encourage the peacock to display his plumage — she throws him a party, lets him play in the fig tree, feeds him flowers and stages a parade — all to no avail.

Then she finally stumbles on the perfect solution. When she introduces the queen of the birds — a peahen — to her collection, the peacock immediately displays his glorious shimmering tail.

This delightful story, full of humor and heart, celebrates the legacy of a great American writer.

Includes an author’s note about Flannery O’Connor.

Selected for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick 2016


Acree Graham Macam
Acree Graham Macam is an advertising copywriter and the winner of Emory University’s Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts for creative writing. This is her first picture book.

Natalie Nelson

Natalie Nelson's illustrations have appeared in many publications, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. She is the illustrator of The King of the Birds, a picture book written by Acree Graham Macam. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband.


"Readers with a taste for the quirky will flock to this tale . . . the unexpected antics of birds and child sustain interest whether O'Connor's name is familiar to readers or not." Kirkus Reviews

"The story and art are lighthearted and whimsical..." The Horn Book

"Delightful illustrations lend humor and charm to an already wonderful story." Midwest Book Review

"This quirky-but-true story is nothing short of charming." Booklist

"Nelson’s distinctive mixed-media art, fusing illustration with archival photographs, is the perfect visual counterpart to this imaginative interpretation of the facts of O’Connor’s life." Brain Pickings