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Shoo, fly

It seems that the insect-of-the-moment is… the fly (and I don’t know why; maybe butterflies were too pretty). Here are five recent books starring those pests, plus reviews of a few more favorites below. Could that Old Lady who swallowed one have been on to something?

doodler_superfly  edwards_fly  heos_ifly    jonsson_astrid
Super Fly: The World’s Smallest Superhero! by Todd H. Doodler (Bloomsbury, May 2015)
Fly! by Karl Newsom Edwards (Knopf, March 2015)
I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are by Bridget Heos; illus. by Jennifer Plecas (Holt, March 2015)
The Fly by Petr Horáček (Candlewick, May 2015)
Astrid the Fly by Maria Jönsson (Holiday, May 2015)

arnold_petArnold, Tedd A Pet for Fly Guy
32 pp. Scholastic/Orchard 2014. ISBN 978-0-545-31615-6

(3) K-3 In his first picture book outing, easy-reader star Fly Guy wants his own pet. He and (boy) Buzz are excited, then frustrated, then disappointed when each choice (dog, frog, worm) is unsuitable. The two realize that Fly Guy needs “a pet with a cool name.” Buzz? “YEZZ! BUZZ!” Arnold’s lively illustrations make the most of the characters’ special friendship; the final page is especially satisfying.

cronin_Diary of a fly book coverCronin, Doreen Diary of a Fly
40 pp. HarperCollins/Cotler 2007. ISBN 978-0-06-000156-8
Library binding ISBN 978-0-06-000157-5

(2) K-3 Illustrated by Harry Bliss. Like Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Spider, this book relays real-life information through Cronin’s impeccable comedic timing in a way that makes the facts memorable. Bliss’s illustrations, including additional pictures on the endpapers, incorporate many witty details. The short sentences and visual jokes make this a great selection for listeners and new readers alike.

gravel_flyGravel, Elise The Fly
32 pp. Tundra 2014. ISBN 978-1-77049-636-1
Ebook ISBN 978-1-77049-638-5

(3) K-3 Disgusting Critters series. This humorous, informative volume gives basic facts about the title creature. Cartoon illustrations and speech-bubble text play up the kid-friendly silliness: “The housefly is a member of the Muscidae family. Mom Muscidae, Dad Muscidae…Teenager Muscidae: ‘Yo!'” The familiar subject and friendly presentation give this book broad appeal.

howitt_flyHowitt, Mary The Spider and the Fly
40 pp. Simon 2010. ISBN 978-1-4424-1664-2

(3) K-3 Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. New ed., 2002. Inspired by Gorey, Addams, and film noir, DiTerlizzi spins his own stylish version of Howitt’s cautionary 1829 poem. As a debonair spider lures a doe-eyed fly to his lair, ghosts of the spider’s prey flit about. Black-and-white illustrations with a silvery sheen capture the dance with cinematic flair. This paper-over-board edition of the Caldecott Honor Book is notable for its bargain price.

mack_frog-and-flyMack, Jeff Frog and Fly: Six Slurpy Stories
40 pp. Philomel 2012. ISBN 978-0-399-25617-2

(3) PS It’s survival of the cleverest in these six short stories. Laid out in easy-to-read comic-book panels, the simple text focuses on several scenarios between a fly and the hungry frog that wants to slurp him up. Just when you think the fly is doomed every time, the frog gets his comeuppance in the final story and readers get a good laugh. Multi-media cartoons amusingly depict the conflicts.

reynolds_bighairydramaReynolds, Aaron Big Hairy Drama
128 pp. Holt 2010. ISBN 978-0-8050-8243-2
Paperback ISBN 978-0-8050-9110-6

(3) 1-3 Illustrated by Neil Numberman. Joey Fly, Private Eye series. In his second graphic novel, private investigator Joey Fly looks into another crime in the “bug city.” Butterfly actress Greta Divawing has disappeared on the eve of her opening-night performance of Bugliacci; the suspects are other members of the cast. Varied cartoon-panel illustrations feature details of bug life that add interest and humor to the mystery.

rosen_tinylittleflyRosen, Michael Tiny Little Fly
32 pp. Candlewick 2010. ISBN 978-0-7636-4681-3

(2) PS Illustrated by Kevin Waldron. “Tiny Little Fly / sees great big toes… / Tiny Little Fly / sits on Elephant’s nose.” Fly first bugs–then escapes from–Elephant, Hippo, and Tiger, even when they unite. In Waldron’s arresting digitally enhanced gouache and pencil illustrations, bold lines and a vivid palette command attention. With a pesky antihero and catchy repetitive verse, the story will captivate listeners.

 

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.

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