Graphic Novel Review: Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds by Elise Gravel

Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds by Elise Gravel. HarperAlley, 2020. 9780062982223. 64pp.

Arlo (a crow) and Pips (a small, yellow bird) look for food and shiny things. As they chat, Arlo reveals (as he brags about and shows off) facts about crows. Basically Arlo thinks he’s the greatest, cleverest, most beautiful kind of bird in the world. Even though Pip tries to set him straight, Arlo won’t even admit that any aspect of being a crow is anything less than great. This includes his harsh singing voice (caw!), though it is amazing how Arlo and other crows can imitate sounds though, including voices and even car horns.

This is different in format from Gravel’s nonfiction Disgusting Critters series, but equally enjoyable and a little more silly. In 2020 she also produced four new books in that series: The Bat, The Toad, The Cockroach, and The Mosquito. If I’d read these books as a kid, I’d probably have become a biologist.


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