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I would have given it 5 stars for it's unique value, after all there aren't that many children's books that discuss the value of houseflies. However, and I know this is a bit of a quibble, but the flies talk about how awesome they are by (mildly) putting down butterflies (calling them lazy and clumsy), so for me it means remembering to change a few words when reading it with little kids and it's really not a message I want alluded to in my children's books (that to be valuable it comes at the expense of others). Not a huge deal, but it keeps me from giving the highest possible rating. I do appreciate the overall message that even houseflies have their place in the world. We need more kids to start valuing life in all of its varied forms if we are to keep our planet healthy and safe.
I particularly liked the glossary and other fun words to know at the end. Words included were halteres, setae, milkweed, and ptilinum, for example. Cool words that even some (many!?) adults will be able to add to their vocabularies. The book talks about how fast a fly beats its wings (200/second) and about a fly's metamorphosis, too. I think most kids will enjoy the story and the cartoon photos. A few real photographs would make this informative book even better. Nevertheless, I do recommend the book and am grateful the message is out that perhaps we should pause a moment before disparaging the little ole housefly.
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2016
I think flies are disgusting insects and after reading about in this book, I know they are but I did learn some interesting facts about them. I won’t tell you everything I learned inside this children’s book but this book did give me some positive and some negative aspects about flies. There was quite a bit of information inside and I enjoyed how the illustrator presented the information to me. It wasn’t all listed off in a list formation or loaded down with heavy words but rather it was told in narration form as a fly tried to show me what his life is like. I liked his quirky way of looking at his maggot- filled days waiting to be born, and then listening to him do the calculations as he figured out how many family members he had. Think about this: he had 500 babies at one time which then grew up in 10 days. His daughters then each had 500 babies, wow……he had a lot of grandmaggots! I know a hummingbird flaps their wings a lot but a fly flaps their wings 200 times per second, I think that’s a lot. He talks about some gross but interesting subjects, things you might have wondered about or thought you knew the answer to but he answers a few of the questions so now you know the facts. I enjoyed this book, I think kids will too if they are into the this subject or just want to know.
A humorous look at the life a fly by a fly and why we humans need them even though we think we don't! Author Bridget Heos and illustrator Jennifer Plecas are brilliant with this non-fiction picture book. Published by Henry Holt and Company.