Sonderbooks Stand-out

Sonderbooks Book Review of

I, Fly

The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are

by Bridget Heos

illustrated by Jennifer Plecas

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I, Fly

The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are

by Bridget Heos
illustrated by Jennifer Plecas
Review posted July 15, 2015.
Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2015. 44 pages.
Starred Review
2015 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #6 Picture Books

This nonfiction for early elementary age kids hits just the right note.

A fly buzzes into a classroom and finds the kids studying -- as usual -- butterflies.

Well, guess who else metamorphoses, can fly, and is beautiful (at least according to my mother).

The fly goes on to explain:

Here's how the story goes: My 500 brothers and sisters and I started out as eggs. Our mom tucked us into a warm, smelly bed of dog doo. When we hatched, we looked like short, greasy white worms. In other words, much cuter than caterpillars. Scientists called us larvae. Humans called us maggots. Our parents called us adorable.

He tells the kids all about the lifecycle of a fly and cool (or disgusting, depending on your viewpoint) facts about them as well.

My favorite bit is where a kid asks, "I heard that flies throw up on everything before they eat it. Is that true?"

No. We don't throw up on everything. Only solid foods.

See, we don't have any teeth, so we can't chew. I had to throw up on this apple core to turn it into a liquid. That way I could sop it up with my spongy mouth.

But if something's already a liquid, like the soup you're having for lunch, I don't throw up on it. I'll slurp that right out of the bowl.

Of course, when the kids decide the fly is right and he should be studied, he finds he doesn't actually want to be kept in a cage in the classroom. Then he tells them the facts about diseases flies carry so they'll let him go.

Fortunately, readers of this book can learn all the facts the friendly fly has to tell them without making contact with its germs.

This one's a natural for booktalking in the schools. Children will learn fly facts without even trying.