Monday, May 18, 2015

Nonfiction Monday: I, Fly: The Buzz about flies and how awesome they are by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas

I'm a big fan of nonfiction picture books that can be easily adapted to read aloud and that tackle unique animals or subjects, especially if they're gross. Kids love this stuff, even if it makes teachers and parents groan! This one hits all my requirements and although at first glance it might seem a little bit of a knock-off of Diary of a Fly, it's really its own unique book.

The titular fly zips into a classroom and is discouraged to find that all the kids are studying, yet again, butterflies. But flies are pretty cool too and he is going to tell his audience exactly why. Like butterflies, flies metamorphose. They have cool body parts that butterflies don't have, like halteres and a unique flight pattern and setae. Ok, yes, it is true that they throw up on their food, but only some of it! And yes, they do carry diseases, but they're not mosquitoes! In a humorous about face, Fly convinces the kids to study him instead of a butterfly...only to find out that this "being studied" thing isn't quite what he expected! Fly finishes up with talking about how flies fit into life all over the world and are used in scientific study.

Back matter includes a child-friendly glossary, bibliography that includes multiple websites, and acknowledgement of three experts. The illustrations are cheerful cartoons, mainly focusing on the fly and children in different settings, but they also do a good job of clearly setting out the fly's habitat and habits. The text is a little long to work as a straight read-aloud, but it would be fine if you pick and choose sections as you go through the book.

Verdict: This was a very funny and informative look at a fly, a creature that usually doesn't get much attention. It will get plenty of laughs and "that's so gross!" exclamations from your audience, while informing them about flies. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780805094695; Published 2015 by Henry Holt; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

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