Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Kevin Waldron

A rollicking rhythm and exuberant, large-scale illustrations make this a delightful addition to any storytime.

I read it quite a while ago and immediately added it to my order list. Then it got bumped off, then it got added on again...and so it goes. I finally ended up purchasing a copy last month and I've been trading it back and forth with Miss Pattie for use in toddler and preschool storytimes every since.

A tiny little fly, a plump black ink smear with big eyes, is zipping along, "My, oh my,/Tiny Little Fly!" he sees an elephant, takes a seat on the elephants trunk and "Great Big Elephant/winks one eye,/says to himself,/'I'm going to catch that fly!" but after some noisy tramping and crushing, away zips the fly.

Hippo and Tiger try as well, but just end up in a muddy mess on a huge fold-out spread and Tiny Little Fly swoops off on his way.

The ringing cadences of the rhymes and repetitive refrains make this a great story to read over and over again until your listeners can chant along with you. Michael Rosen (when he's not writing extremely depressing books for children about death) knows just how to catch a child's ear with his brisk text.

Waldron's art is bold and exuberant, with smashing elephant legs, rolling hippos, and swatting tigers. This book is appeals to sight and touch, with thick pages that look like brown recycled paper, swashes of browns and dabs of color, and background patterns faint enough to interest readers in looking color. Throughout it all, Tiny Little Fly athletically zips, avoiding every danger and coming out on top, despite her tiny size compared to the massive jungle creatures.

Verdict: I don't know how we survived without this book so long. How are you surviving without it? Go forth and purchase.

ISBN: 9780763646813; Published November 2010 by Candlewick Press; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

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