Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fly Guy Series by Tedd Arnold - Fly Swatter Bubble Blowing Activity

Buzzzzz! Want to know a sure sign of late summer? Houseflies. Every time we open our doors an army of flies enters our home. Our flyswatter is in constant use, waging a seemingly unending battle against the pesky invaders. Honestly, if I was going to pick a creature to write a children's book about, the common housefly would be on the bottom of my list. But Tedd Arnold has managed to create a humorous and very popular early reader series about a special fly, a pet fly -- Fly Guy!

"A boy had a pet fly. The fly was named Fly Guy. Fly Guy could say the boy's name -- BUZZ!"

Despite the shiny, flashy covers, when I first saw the Fly Guy books I just could not understand the appeal. That bug-eyed, hairy Fly Guy character is anything but cute and cuddly. In fact, he borders on disgusting. But the disgusting, yucky aspect is part of his appeal. See, kids love him, particularly boys (even my girly-girl has been charmed by the flying pet). But, it took a recommendation from one of my friends for me to even crack one of the Fly Guy covers open. I'm so glad I gave Fly Guy a chance. The duo of the little boy named Buzz and his pet fly make a rather amusing team and both my kids are now devoted fans.

The first book in the series, Hi, Fly Guy! came out in 2005 and received the prestigious ALA Theodore Geisel Honor Award the next year. Tedd Arnold received the award again in 2010 for another book in the series, I Spy Fly Guy! The Fly Guy series is still going strong. This month, Scholastic released the tenth book in the series, Fly Guy vs. the Flyswatter! We're looking forward to reading that one soon.

Fly Guy Series List:
Hi! Fly Guy (Fly Guy, Book # 1)
Super Fly Guy (Fly Guy, Book # 2)
Shoo, Fly Guy! (Fly Guy, Book # 3)
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Fly Guy (Fly Guy, Book # 4)
Fly High, Fly Guy! (Fly Guy, Book # 5)
Hooray for Fly Guy! (Fly Guy, Book # 6)
I Spy Fly Guy! (Fly Guy, Book # 7)
Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl (Fly Guy, Book # 8)
Buzz Boy and Fly Guy (Fly Guy, Book # 9)
Fly Guy vs. the Flyswatter! (Fly Guy, Book # 10)

I'd love to review all the books in the series but I just don't have the time. Because we're in back-to-school mode, we picked Super Fly Guy (the second book in the series) to review this week.

Super Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold. Scholastic (March 2006); ISBN 978-0439639040
Book Source: Copy from our personal library

Fly Guy attends school with Buzz and meets the lunch lady, Rozz. At first Rozz and Fly Guy don't hit it off, but eventually Fly Guy wins her over setting up a chain of disastrous events in the lunchroom. Picture someone armed with a colorful array of flyswatters and you'll get an idea where the story is headed. All things stinky make an appearance in the book ... dirty dishes, smelly mops, garbage cans, even chicken bones and fish heads in sour milk. As expected for a series about a fly, the disgust level is high, and Arnold's illustrations showcase the stinky, rotting fly heaven in all its glory. Arnold's goofy looking human characters are cartoon-like and feature a similar bug-eyed look to Fly Guy.

One of the aspects I really like about this early chapter book series is the design of the books with large and readable text type. Not at all overwhelming, the type is perfect for kids learning to read in kindergarten on up. Scholastic has classified this series for Level 2 Developing Readers. We've found that the books aren't quite as challenging as others we've come across at that level.

Related Links and Fly Guy Activities:
Tedd Arnold - Author Website
Printable Fly Guy Activities []
Housefly Paper Airplanes for Kids - [Tutorial on ActivityTV]
Common Housefly Printout [Enchanted Learning]
Handprint Fly Craft [Free Kids]
Homemade Fly Guy Stuffed Dolls [Happy Birthday Author]
Nearly Flat Fly Guy Bulletin Board Craft [Primary Pallette]

▪ ▪ ▪ Fly Swatter Bubble Play / Housefly Paper Airplanes ▪ ▪ ▪

Fly Guy is pretty adept at avoiding fly swatters. I'm sure he'd much rather kids used fly swatters for other purposes, like bubble blowing, for instance. Seriously, for some extreme bubble fun, try using a fly swatter (preferably a new one, not one covered in squashed fly guts). We purchased a set of two swatters at Wal-Mart for $1. The fly swatters use up the bubble solution pretty quickly, but the output of bubbles from all those tiny holes is impressive. My daughter likes to twirl with her wand, creating a circular trail of little bubbles. Make sure the kids away from others just in case they get a little swat happy with their wands!

We also made and decorated housefly paper airplanes. ActivityTV has a great tutorial on how to fold this paper airplane that looks like a fly!

Shibley Smiles

Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Join in Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word. Wrote a post about play? Join the It's Playtime party! Find more great book tie-ins at JDaniel4's Mom Read, Explore, Learn link-up. Browse more book posts at Little Sprout Books' Feed Me Books Friday.

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I think Anna read one book in these series - I am not exactly sure what she thought of it except that she didn't ask for more. I can see boy appeal though :) A neat idea to use fly swatters as bubble wands!

Shannon said...

Yeah, this is the type of book I usually avoid, but you've made it seem a little more appealing. Love the bubble activity, too!

MaDonna Maurer said...

Yep, my son loved these when he first started reading...and my daughter is bringing them home from the library now. Liked your activities to go with them...thanks. I'll probably do the airplane fly with the kiddos. Then they can have a flying contest. =)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

JDaniel would love to swat bubbles. What a great idea!

The boooks look great too. We have so many flies here.

Thanks for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.

maggy, red ted art said...

The books look wonderfully fun!

And I love your "fly swatter" craft - what a fun way to make bubbles!! brilliant!

And your little plane is super cute!

Thank you for joining in at Kids Get Crafty!


Jackie Higgins said...

I haven't read that series yet. What's the age range on them? I love the bubbles with the flyswatter idea.

Little Wonders' Days said...

You're right, this has been a series that unless someone suggested it, I probably wouldn't go looking. Now you have me curious and we'll have to check one out. Great idea about the bubble wand, that looks fun.

Ticia said...

I agree with everyone else a bubble wand fly swatter is a great idea.