K-Gr 3-Tired of flying around all the time, the dark fly builds himself a home and holds a housewarming with a freshly baked blackberry cake. Lured by the smell, his guests begin to arrive one by one-the beetle, the bat, the toad, the owl, the vixen, and the wolf. All the creatures have rhyming Dr. Seussian names. The ongoing recitation creates musicality and the sort of chain-of-events tension contained in such cumulative tales as The House That Jack Built. At last, the table is full and the animals are ready to celebrate. But a bear arrives and wants the entire cake for himself. The jingly levity of the rhymes is matched by the almost eye-popping color of the illustrations, similar in some ways to the wacky and outrageous drawings of Lane Smith. Once again, Kalandraka has produced a marvelous new retelling, this time from a Russian source, which is sure to please young readers. Recommended for bookstores and libraries alike.
Coop Renner, Blackshear Elementary, Austin, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.