About this book
The King of the Birds
Acree Macam • Natalie Nelson
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:
Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.
About the Creators
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’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.” This is the first book she has written and illustrated. Natalie lives in Atlanta.
Awards and Praise
Praise for Acree Graham Macam and The King of the Birds:
"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
"This quirky-but-true story is nothing short of charming." — Booklist
"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
- Commended Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick, 2016
- Commended A Children's Book All Young Georgians Should Read, 2017