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.Arlo & Pips is the HarperCollins Canada Kids' Top Pick for this fall!
Gr 1-4--When Arlo the crow claims that crows are the greatest birds in the world, his diminutive bird buddy Pips is skeptical--there are much prettier birds out there, after all--but Arlo is loaded with information about crows' talents, such as their ability to count and use tools. A red star appears in dialogue bubbles to lead readers to footnotes explaining how Arlo's claims are based in truth (a caption stating that crows are thought to be as intelligent as a seven-year-old child is likely to stir readers at or approaching that age to draw comparisons). Arlo pretends to keel over to dissuade another crow from eating his fries ("Some crows have been seen playing dead to fool other crows and keep food for themselves"), and he becomes elated when he discovers a sharp nail, grabbing it in his beak and flying off ("Crows have a reputation for liking and collecting shiny objects"). Gravel's simple, thick-lined cartoons have a childlike appeal. Panel layouts range from page-filling images to three wide panels stacked together to a six-panel grid. Bright background colors--mostly yellow, red, and blue--provide variety during prolonged exchanges. Though Arlo loves to boast, he's not mean-spirited so much as exuberantly confident; he's also appreciative of Pips's friendship, and the book concludes with the crow offering the little bird a gift. VERDICT Crows get their day in the sun, both as protagonist and subject. Give this to readers who enjoy animal friendships and learning a thing or two along the way.--Thomas Maluck, Richland Lib., SCCopyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.