Reviews /

Fly Flies

Authored by Ziggy Hanaor
Illustrated by Alice Bowsher
Published by Cicada Books Ltd

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The endpapers are brilliant and zany! Even before you start reading, the print plays with you.

Once you start reading, the clever wordplay jumps out at you straight away. This text lends itself to the teaching of phonics as the use of alternative graphemes is purposeful and playful. There are many possibilities to this text – as you carry on travelling through the pages with Fly, you can see its potential in EYS practice – mark making – emerging writers would be engaged and willing to follow the trail of Fly equipped with markers.

The text is simple but highly effective and malleable. The story structure lends itself to adaptation – using patterns of repetition, purposeful punctuation and characterisation. Fly Flies lends itself to studying nouns – from insects to birds… minibeasts and microhabitats. It’s a book that engages but leaves you the space to imagine further.

Philosophy is another thread that you could weave into teaching with this book. Without giving too much away, questions that came to my mind:

  • What is the best way to move forward?
  • How should you move forward?
  • Is it always possible to move forward in a straight line?

Fly Flies’ universal theme is to celebrate individuality. At the end, there was a feeling of a light coming on when you’ve been in the dark for a while. The clever use of a simple colour palette – white, yellow and black – is highly striking. The story ends at its brightest point – the Fly’s brightest point. She is empowered. She finds her way to take flight; find her light.

It’s a lovely, lovely book.