Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW dubbed this rhythmic journey through the alphabet on the back of a pesky housefly an ``ebullient picture-book romp,'' lauding the ``waggish presentation of a basic concept.'' Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
What makes a good picture book? The answer: Begin with something common like the problem of a pesky fly inside the house. Twist and turn it into a rhyme scheme with an ABC base. Color it with wild dashes of exuberant paints that depict the helter skelter adventures of the fly and the effect of the fly on the family. Add a tuneful refrain and call it something simple like Old Black Fly and chant each line as though it were a song. What do you have? A sure-fire hit. 1995 (orig.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
A familiar and very popular book, Old Black Fly has also been issued as a board book. In this amusing story, a fly takes an alphabetical tour, landing on a variety of things he shouldn't until he meets with a most untidy end. Kids will enjoy the humor, repetition, the messy paintings that remind one of Jackson Pollack canvases and the very colorful and explosive ending. Rollicking fun for everyone. 1998 (orig.
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
In addition to a strong rhythm, young children often enjoy a certain playful subversiveness in the story. And in Aylesworth's lauded alphabet book, the author dishes up an annoying black fly that succeeds in pestering every member of a large household and finally meets his comeuppance. Children delight in shouting out the refrain of "Shoo fly!/Shoo fly!/Shoo!" as the fly buzzes through each letter of the alphabet. Gammell's illustrations render well the bright chaos wreaked by that one stubborn fly.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
With Stephen Gammell's exuberant paintings to look at and the melody of "Buffalo Girls won't you come out tonight...," to sing to, Jim Aylesworth's Old Black Fly is a jolly experience-even when insects aren't on the agenda!
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-- A pesky fly turns a household inside out in this rollicking tale. ``He ate on the crust of the A pple pie./He bothered the B aby and made her cry./ Shoo fly! Shoo fly! Shooo.'' This fly is on an alphabetical rampage through the house, leaving destruction in his wake as he flits from the C ookie to the D og to the E ggs to the F rosting, and so on to a final, satisfying ``Swat!'' Aylesworth's funny, rhythmic chant is strong enough to stand alone. Add Gammell's spattery, jumpy illustrations, splashed with color, alive with movement, line, and humor, and what emerges is a book that's sure to become a classic. To be enjoyed at home as a lapbook, to be read aloud with relish at story times, to be chanted again and again and again! --Gail C. Ross, Baltimore County Public Library
A wild, alphabetical romp.
starred review School Library Joumal
* Sure to become a classic.