The King of the Birds

The King of the Birds

Written by: Macam, Acree Graham
Illustrated by: Nelson, Natalie
ages 4 to 7 / grades K to 2

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A young girl brings home a peacock, but he refuses to show off his colorful tail! Inspired by the life of Flannery O'Connor.

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.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5
Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

A young girl brings home a peacock, but he refuses to show off his colorful tail! Inspired by the life of Flannery O'Connor.

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.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5
Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Sep 1, 2016
Specifications 32 pages | 8.5 in x 10 in
Written By

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.

Illustrated by

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 by Acree Graham Macam, which Booklist proclaimed “nothing short of charming.” She has also illustrated A Storytelling of Ravens by Kyle Lukoff, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Foreword, and Uncle Holland by JonArno Lawson, described by School Library Journal as “sophisticated yet playful.” Natalie lives in Atlanta.

Written By

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.

Illustrated by

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 by Acree Graham Macam, which Booklist proclaimed “nothing short of charming.” She has also illustrated A Storytelling of Ravens by Kyle Lukoff, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Foreword, and Uncle Holland by JonArno Lawson, described by School Library Journal as “sophisticated yet playful.” Natalie lives in Atlanta.

Audience ages 4 to 7 / grades K to 2
Reading Levels Reading Recovery 18
Guided Reading K
Lexile AD540L
Key Text Features author's note; historical context
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7

Commended, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick, 2016

Commended, A Children's Book All Young Georgians Should Read, 2017

“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

“Delightful illustrations lend humor and charm to an already wonderful story.” —Midwest Book Review

“The story and art are lighthearted and whimsical…” —The Horn Book

“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