Look out, grumpy fly!
Plenty of dangers await...
It's a grey old rainy day and a grumpy fly wends his way through raindrops and lilypads, past crocodiles and tigers, escaping death by the skin of his teeth!
When I presented the children with the book and showed them the cover, the first question I was asked was "Why is the fly grumpy?" And I had to reply that this was something I had never before considered. Do insects get grumpy? Do they feel happy sometimes? I found myself in the middle of a discussion with five pre-schoolers before I had so much as opened the book! The cover illustration makes the fly look puzzled rather than grumpy; the frog on the cover looks delighted; the tiger looks mildly interested; and the crocodile looks as though he is deciding what is for dinner. But grumpy? Not really!
The illustrations in this book are quite intricate so we spent a long time looking at each page and deciding what was happening. The first double spread has no words at all - it features the somewhat wobbly flight of the fly, still looking bemused, and the eyes of another creature (which could be either a frog or a crocodile) peering up at the fly from the long grass. The children all insisted on tracing the fly's journey across the page with their fingers before I was permitted to turn over!
The rest of the story features Fly's adventures with an assortment of creatures who all want to eat him. The drawings are delightful, very colourful, and with strong kid appeal. The words are almost secondary to the pictures; they do not intrude upon the story, but rather provide lots of sound effects and other words that are fun for children to roll around their tongues. We decided that perhaps Fly was grumpy because everybody wanted to eat him. The children thought that was pretty gross and declared unanimously that none of them would ever eat a fly, although Mr Three (who was the youngest) told us that his dog catches flies and eats them all the time.
The author has used simple but effective language techniques to help the children to remember the story. Little ones always respond well to rhymes, and my group of five all joined in enthusiastically with the last word on each page when we read it through for the second time. They also enjoyed saying the fun sounds like "zap!", "h-o-w-l" and "licky sticky" along with me. They all thought it was hilarious that tiger had a "wet bum". That sent them all into fits of giggles as "bum" is a rude word.
This book is more suited to younger children. I tried it another day on Mr Six and he thought it was a bit childish. Clearly he has grown past the silliness that is displayed so charmingly by pre-schoolers. There again, he thought some of the individual pictures were quite cool so it was not all baby stuff! Personally, I thought it was a lot of fun.
When Paper Plus had a sale on a couple of weeks ago where you could buy 1 book and get another for 50% off, I told Miss nearly 3 that she could choose a couple of new books, to give us a bit of a change from the current favourite's which have to be read over and over on a daily basis. When she spotted 'Bye-Bye Grumpy Fly' on the book stand she was immediately drawn to the cover which had illustrations of different animals a tiger, a crocodile, a frog and a fly, as soon as I saw the frog I knew we were going to have to buy this book as one of the books as she has a bit of a thing about frogs at the moment due to having a pet from at daycare. I didn't bother to flick through the pages and check the book out before buying it, but I saw it was written by Ruth Paul so thought it would surely be good as her book about Dinosaurs 'Stomp' is a sure favourite of ours.
Upon opening up the first page I immediately noticed that the book was written in a different way than books usually are, rather than being in sentence form it was written in pose, which is similar to a poem, with short groupings of words per page. It took a little while to get my head around this, and kind of required me to read the words to myself before reading to Miss 2 just to be sure I had them right and in the right sequence. Miss 2 actually really liked this book and thought that the words and pictures were rather funny, after a few days of reading the book she also started to pick up some of the words and would say them herself as we read along the story, pointing at the pictures of the frog on each page and making her finger jump from frog to frog, on the last page she loves to say in a big, loud voice "and DON"T COME BACK".
The pictures are quite well illustrated and match the words and story line well, it definitely does a good job at telling the story of a grump fly. I think that this book would be made even more fun if it had a CD with it, which made sound effects and noises to capture those of the descriptive words and actions of the animals, as a preschool teacher I would say that this would probably be a good book for new entrants classes where they are learning the basics of poems and descriptive words to use in their own stories.
Bye-Bye Grumpy Fly is a book, I have decided, that needs to be read several times to be truly appreciated. It is written poetically which meant that the children (Miss 5.5 and Miss 7) were a bit confused as they were used to stories written in sentences. I also found myself getting muddled the first few times I read I which wouldn't have helped them. A few times they said to me "That doesn't make sense." There was also a lot of onomatopoeia which made it more difficult for them to read themselves but a good talking point.
The story, as the title suggests, is about a fly that has lots of near misses with other animal trying to catch him. For Miss 5.5 the favourite part was when the frog burped up the fly. Anything with burps or farts gets howling laughter from her. She was laughing so much and had to tell her father about it. For my elder daughter and myself it was when the crocodile snapped the tiger's tail which sent him into a spin. The illustrations for that were priceless.
This isn't a book my children have requested again but one they happily listened to when I did offer to read it. The illustrations are delightful and my preschoolers have enjoyed making up their own stories from the book. After my experience with the older children I didn't attempt reading it to the littlies as I thought it would go over their heads.
As a former junior school teacher I would use this book to demonstrate poetry or onomatopoeia with my class but don't think I would read it to them purely for enjoyment.
I have read this book seven times and I am still stuck for words. I got my husband to have a read last night and he also did not know what to make of it. His comments where 'its different and the pictures are good' but beyond that did not have much to say.
Originally I requested this to help my six year old daughters reading with the idea that she would read it to our three year old. The first time I passed her the book and basically she was getting stuck on most of the words and in the end I had to read it to the both of them. My six year old commented at the end that it was silly and I tended to agree with her. My three year old liked watching the fly movements on each page.
I found the pictures where really good and explained a lot of the story. Reading it more I have adapted to the flow of it and am enjoying it more but I am still a little confused by the whole thing. A fly is having a bad day made even worst as various animals decide they want to eat him. Both girls agree the tiger twirling is there favourite page and they liked how the animals were rather sad until they saw the fly and then they got excited of the prospect of eating it.
We will keep reading it and hopefully my eldest will be able to take over and read alone. Once she gets one word on the page the rest follow suite as it is told via rhyme which will help in her already developing reading skills. But all and all not a favourite.
Bye-Bye Grumpy Fly is a fun children's book which it quite different to your standard picture book with a storyline written in prose. It is written using short grouping of words, similar to a poem. The main character is a fly, who escapes being eaten by some very creatures who are much larger than him. His day ends much better than it started. Ever since the first reading with my children, it has been a favourite.
Mr 5 was very keen to read it to me and to his sister. While he was reading it, he came to me and told me that he wanted to tell me some things about the book. He had noticed that there was rhyme in the book and that he really liked it. He thought that children who are two and over would enjoy the book. He liked the pictures and thought that all children would enjoy them.
Miss 3 loved the book and laughed her way through it every time we read it together. She enjoyed the words and the sounds that they made. She also took delight in taking in the illustrations as I read the words. She traced the the path of the fly with her finger on each page as we read it.
As a teacher, I usually look at a book and the merit it would have for use with a group of children. There are lots of letter blends in the book and plenty of opportunities for young readers to sound out words. Currently, my Mr 5 is working on reading and spelling with blends and this book provided a perfect opportunity for him to use the skills he has learned to attempt to read a fun book full of interesting words. Miss 3 has difficulty saying words which begin with a blend and again this was an opportunity for her to practice saying words with a variety of letter blends at the beginning.
I could see an opportunity to create sound effects to go with the story. In fact, one of the classes I teach involves children reading a story and creating sound effects and background music to go with it. I think that that the this book could fit that task nicely.
It is a fun book, which as very few high frequency words. Most of the words are fun and exciting. I think that it would be fun and relevant to a range of children from preschool to upper primary school - it would depend on how it is used as to what age group it could be used with.
The illustrations are entertaining and fun. There is a mix of 2D and 3D looking images. My children spent quite a bit of time enjoying the illustrations as we read through the book. They liked the way that the words were intermingled with the illustrations too.
Since we received this book about a week ago, we have read it EVERY night and many times during the day as well. Miss 3 has decided that it is a current favourite and wants to hear it all the time.
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