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The busy, buzzy beastie introduced in Hi! Fly Guy (2005) accompanies his best bud Buzz to school, and enters fly heaven. Which is to say, he discovers the lunchroom run by the esteemed Roz, a fine cook who isn't above rewarding a bug who can say her name with a delicious cup of chicken bones and fish heads in sour milk. But when Roz is fired in favor of Miss Muzzle—whose idea of a nourishing lunch is burnt peas and turnips—it's up to the resourceful Fly Guy to return the favor. Arnold's pop-eyed, big-headed cartoon figures provide the proper comedic air for this brief episode, which is arranged in chapters and wrapped in an eye-catching, glittery cover. Fledgling readers will cheer the intrepid insect on as he engineers Roz's return, and is last seen basking in a redolent bowl of garbage soup. Keep on buzzing, Fly Guy. (Easy reader. 6-8)
K-Gr 2In this easy chapter book, Buzz's pet fly attends school with him. When the lunch lady allows the insect to live in the lunchroom, she is fired. Fly Guy is subsequently banned from the room by her replacement, who is a terrible cook. Finally, Buzz comes up with a plan, Roz is reinstated, and Fly Guy gets to stay in the lunchroom. The writing is fast paced, the plot is interesting, and many of the humorous and mildly “gross” details will appeal to children. The cartoon illustrations are funny and action-packed and the layout is appropriate for beginning readers, with one or two sentences per page. The text has suitable repetitive phrases to aid the developing fluency of students beginning to read independently. It could also serve slightly older reluctant and struggling readers.Bobbee Pennington, Bryan Public Library, TX
BooklistArnold, Tedd. Super Fly Guy. 2006. 32p. illus. Scholastic, paper, $5.99 (0-439-63904-2).
KGr. 3. There's definitely a “buzz” in the school lunchroom. It's Fly Guy, Buzz's pet fly. Fly Guy loves the dirty dishes, the smelly mop, and the garbage cans. When he meets Roz, the lunch lady, she pronounces, “No flies in the lunchroom!” Then Fly Guy endears himself to her by saying her name, “Rozzz,” and she feeds him treats (fish heads in sour milk). Sadly, Roz is fired after her boss demands that the lunchroom be fly-free. She is replaced by Miss Muzzle, who makes burnt peas and turnips. Everyone misses Roz, and Buzz makes a plan. After Fly Guy boinks Miss Muzzle on the nose, she tries to swat him and makes such a mess that she is fired, and Roz returns the next day. Arnold's golf balleyed kids and fly are amusingly and comically exaggerated. Together with the zippy metallic cover and short, simple text, which is divided into three short chapters, they add up to a fly-by delight. Julie Cummins
Tedd Arnold Super Fly Guy; illus. by the author
32 pp. Cartwheel/Scholastic 3/06 ISBN 0-439-63904-2 $5.99
How's this for a backstory? "A boy had a pet fly. The fly was named Fly Guy. Fly Guy could say the boy's name -- Buzz!" And, with that, Arnold zooms right into this sequel to the 2006 Geisel Honor Book Hi! Fly Guy. This time, Fly Guy and Buzz go to school, where Fly Guy shows off more of his genius by not only learning phonics (does, fuzz, and was) but also moving right up to the application level when he goes to the lunchroom and addresses Roz, the cook. Roz's small act of kindness (she lets Fly Guy eat chicken bones and fish heads in sour milk) is unrewarded when she's fired. But Fly Guy, with Buzz's help, gets his revenge (and more practice in phonics) by outwitting her replacement, Miss Muzzle, known in flyspeak as "Mizz Muzz." The cartoon illustrations of Fly Guy, with his, well, bug eyes, are a welcome departure from the sweet and fuzzy animals that populate so many beginning readers, and this manic story, told in three chapters with simple vocabulary and repetitive phrases, creates an energy for reading. Expect a lot of buzz over this one. B.