Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Fly

Gravel, Elise (Author/Illustrator)
Tundra Books 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2014
Series: Disgusting Creatures
ISBN: 9781770496361 (hardcover)
9781101918401 (paperback)
9781770496385 (e-book)
Original language: English
Dewey: 595.77
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

dialogue, point of view, structures and features

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Silver Birch Express Award Nominee – 2015

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Children are sure to enjoy this book’s combination of facts, fun and quirky drawings. Conversational language introduces information about the flies among us: “Thanks to little bubbles of liquid at the ends of his feet, the housefly can walk on walls or even on the ceiling.” Flamboyant, illustrative type makes for expressive reading.

Sweet and eccentric drawings incorporate funny pull-texts and dialogue, bringing the ideas conveyed by the science to a hilarious extreme. The spread that describes the fly’s food preferences shows a fly giving his meal order to a fly-waiter in black-tie, with serviette draped over one arm (leg?): “I’ll have the garbage juice soup for starters.” Another shows a girl-fly stuffed into a crop-top and mini-skirt: “Mom! I’m not a baby anymore. I’m six days old!” (Flies, the text explains, live between 15 and 30 days.)

The combination of fact and whimsy is ingenious for getting young readers to connect with—and remember—basic insect science. It also offers a model for having fun with students’ own projects. Finally, all science aside, this book offers a thoroughly amusing slant on storytelling: “So next time a fly wants to share your food, make sure he washes his hands.”

  •  

    After reading, discuss whether the book is fiction or non-fiction. How can you distinguish between the two? Why would the author-illustrator mix the two categories?

  •  Identify two (or more) facts that you did not know before. Share these with a partner.
  •  

    With a partner, re-create the story based on a different insect. Use facts, funny illustrations and speech bubbles to inform your reader, as this author has done.

  •  Prepare a menu card for The Fly Diner. Illustrate it in a fly-friendly manner. Don’t forget to add prices.
  •  

    Brainstorm what you already know about flies. Skim through the book to find the topics that will be discussed. Join in reading the speech bubbles. What makes this story funny?

  •  

    Find five fun facts about flies. Share with a partner. As a class, decide on the most interesting five facts.

  •  

    Make a poster about another disgusting critter. Illustrate it, write a few facts and personify your creature. Use the book as a model.

  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology