Usually we feature photographs of the Bug of the Week on Wednesdays, but this week for a change of pace we have a new children's picture book about house flies. It is a nominee for a 2015 Cybils award in the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category.
The premise of I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Jennifer Plecas is that house flies deserve to be studied even though they aren't as attractive or iconic as butterflies.
At first glance this book does not look like typical nonfiction. The illustrations are cartoons, complete with speech bubbles. The narrator is a stylized fly "speaking" in first person about his mom, brothers and sisters, as well as doing a bit of "trash-talking" about butterflies. Even the yucky/gross aspects are covered with a humorous touch.
Don't let the fun facade fool you, however. The text is full of carefully organized and well-researched facts about house flies. Readers will learn that house flies go through complete metamorphosis like butterflies, but that their larvae and pupae look very different. Heos slips in facts about house fly flight, anatomy, other flies that are relatives (mosquito, blow fly and fruit fly), and even some problems with flies (they carry disease-causing bacteria). Is it true that house flies throw up on our food? Yes, but only solids and it is more like spitting up.
I, Fly will be highly appealing to children (of that certain age) who are enthralled with all things gross and disgusting. The lighthearted approach will make it palatable to parents, teachers and librarians, as well.
Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (March 10, 2015)
(Image of house fly in Public domain from Wikimedia)
This book would pair well with the fictional picture book Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss. In fact, the pair could be used to compare nonfiction and fiction.
Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (January 8, 2013)
For more, see our insect-related lists of children's books at Science Books for Kids, including:
Disclosure: The books were provided by my local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.