Review Detail

Reunion Time for Fly Guy
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Buzz wants to play, but Fly Guy is downcast and drawing pictures of his family. Buzz decides to host a family reunion for his pet. He puts up signs around town, and soon the guests begin to arrive. Once they are assured there are no fly swatters, the flies come in to Buzz's house and wait to surprise Fly Guy. Not only is Fly Guy surprised, but Buzz is amazed at how many relatives flies have, and his parents are a little concerned about how to deal with the swarm of guests. Never fear! Buzz has arranged for a garbage truck to cater the event, and soon the flies are reveling in the tasty garbage. Fly Guy's parents even bring his baby pictures. After the party, Buzz cleans up and gives Fly Guy frames for some of the drawings of his family.
Good Points
I can see why my students mention that this series was an enormous hit in their elementary schools. Buzz and Fly Guy seem to enjoy each other's company, and the two are thoughtful with each other's feelings. The plot is preposterous enough to be funny, but also somewhat realistic. What fly wouldn't miss his thousands of relatives if her were a house pet?

The pictures are vibrant and goofy, with fly guy's big eyes and enormous grin mirrored by Buzz and his family's Captain Crunch eyes (which go over their hair the way that Crunch's are somehow placed on his hat). A lot of emotion is conveyed by very simple lines, and the quality of the illustrations is much higher than on many early reader books.

Because this is an ongoing series, there is ample opportunity for character development. I'm half tempted to go pick up Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl and Fly Guy's Ninja Christmas just for fun! I can see fans of Arnie the Doughnut or Pete the Cat being very happy to get these books as gifts, because this strikes me as the kind of series that children want to collect, starting with Hi! Fly Guy (2005)

I've had a lot of struggling readers this year; Fly Guy would go over well with them, but I think the next too are strictly elementary. Also, I've never been a fan of the whole fairy/princess thing aimed at girls. Picky Reader was 4 when the tend started (2002), and although she got very into Malcolm's The Jewel Kingdom #1 series, there is only one picture of her in a princess costume!
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