Friday, October 12, 2007

New Release Spotlight: Diary of a Fly

Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss

I have a background in the science field and have always enjoyed learning about plant and animal life, even those creatures that seem a bit “gross.” This is not true for everyone, but a new picture book by Doreen Cronin helps an insect usually considered to be disgusting to become just a little bit cuddlier, even for those kids and adults who find bugs to be creepy. In Diary of a Fly, Cronin takes a humorous approach to learning and teaches kids little known facts about houseflies. Following the day to day life of a young fly, the reader learns that flies leap backward when taking off and can flap their wings 200 times per second, while giving them a new miniature viewpoint of the world. Adults will find this book humorous; while children will love the fun atmosphere created in Cronin’s text. Personally, I laughed out loud at such lines as “Mom says we were a lot easier to watch before we grew heads” (when the fly and her siblings torment the babysitter) and “I visited my aunt Rita today. She’s been trapped on the wrong side of a screen for a week.”

The illustrations by Harry Bliss are equally important and creative. Colorful and cartooney, Bliss manages to give even a little fly expression and personality. Tiny details fill the pages, giving kids the chance to discover new things with each reading of the book. Bliss worked in perfect concert with Cronin’s text to create a lively and interesting book.

And, Diary of a Fly has more to it than scientific facts about tiny bugs. By looking through the eyes of this tiny creature, a fly that wants to be a superhero, children can learn that everyone, human and animal, have certain talents and abilities. Everyone has a niche to fill in the world. When even a tiny fly can realize the good aspects of her existence, children can learn from her example, and parents can use this lesson to help kids see their own talents and valuable gifts. All in all, this book provides a fun reading experience for parents and kids, while teaching a few trivia facts in the process.

Review by Katrina Hill, Indigo Editing, LLC.

Diary of a Fly
Publisher: Joanna Cotler
ISBN: 978-0060001568
Hardcover, $10.87 (Amazon)

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