Monday, June 18, 2012


Tiny Little Fly

By: Michael Rosen

Illustrated by: Kevin Waldron

Your household may, like ours, have some pesky summer visitors--houseflies.  I find myself getting very annoyed with these small, buzzing creatures.  But then my kiddos and I found this fun book at the library that helped turn our frustration of flies into fun with flies. 

Read It
A little fly enters the story and buzzes his way into the day of several animals who try to catch the little fly--first an elephant, next a hippo, and then a tiger.  You will have a blast following the meddlesome path of the tiny little creature and seeing its effect on the three larger-than-life African animals.

Enjoy It
I love so many elements of this book.  First of all, the illustrations are perfect.  Kevin Waldron's mix of pencil, gouache, and digital tecniques visually entertain and flawlessly capture the futile attempts of the animals to catch the little fly.  Even the typeface chosen aids in telling this silly tale.  Waldron illustrates spunk and fun into each page--even the pesky fly, who leaves Elephant, Hippo, and Tiger in a tangled-up, muddy mess, winks his way into likeability because of the endearing illustrations.

Our local library emphasizes early literacy for young children through a program called Every Child Ready to Read.  The program includes toddler story hour, online resources, and a section in the library where librarians set aside great books that help to develop early literacy skills in children.  Through this program I have learned about six literacy skills to look for in the books I pick out for my kiddos and I to read: Print Motivation, Print Awareness, Vocabulary, Narrative Skills, Letter Knowledge, and Phonological Awareness.  You can read more about these six skills at the Johnson County Library website

When we read Tiny Little Fly together, I happily found many details that encouraged literacy.  For example, the story rhymes which develops Phonological Awareness; the story is fun, a part of Print Motivation; the story follows a pattern that is easy to catch on to, so little readers can help tell the story and develop Narrative Skills; the story introduces the names of the animals in the story, building Vocabulary; the story uses fun onomatopoeias like STOMP! and SWOOP! written in a different typeset which encourages Print Awareness.  We enjoyed this book so much, we are going to look for other books by Michael Rosen to add to our favorites list.       

Make It Come to Life
Another great feature of the book is that you can use it as a starting point for learning so many things!  After you read the book, you could check out more books about flies and bugs--one of my favorites from childhood is Golly Gump Swallowed a Fly.   You could also introduce some fun or silly songs to your children's reperatoire like: The Hollow Trees version of "Shoo Fly" on The Hollow Trees album.  Or what about going to your local zoo, and learning more about African animals like the tiger, hippo, and elephant in the story?  If it is a hot day perfect for crafts inside try this handprint elephant or maybe instead of this toilet paper roll bee, you could make a fly! 

Go read Tiny Little Fly today and share what ideas you come up with!

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