Perfect Picture Book Friday: 13 WAYS TO EAT A FLY

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. Spring is definitely in the air…I’ve seen a few insects, here and there, stretching their gossamer wings in the sun, welcoming the warmer weather that is sure to be here any time soon in New England. But, in case you can’t wait for the warmer weather, I’ve got the perfect book for you today!


Written by Sue Heavenrich

Illustrated by David Clark

Published by Charlesbridge (2021)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Science, Math, Insect Facts

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Thirteen flies become tasty snacks in this clever reverse counting book about subtraction, predators, and prey.

Science meets subtraction in this fresh and funny STEM picture book with plenty of ewww factor to please young readers. A swarm of thirteen flies buzzes along, losing one member to each predator along the way. Whether the unfortunate insects are zapped or wrapped, liquefied or zombified, the science is real–and hilariously gross. Includes a guide to eating bugs, complete with nutritional information for a single serving of flies.

And I just had to include this STARRED review from Booklist:

♦ Guess who’s coming to dinner? Well stocked with easy-to-digest facts, from nature notes (“The frog closes its eyes and swallows, using its eyeballs to push the fly down its throat”) to the taxonomic names of the 13 different kinds of flies that Clark renders with distinguishing details (and deservedly anxious expressions) in his cartoon illustrations, this disquisition on flies as food will draw swarms of young readers. Following a countdown entrée in which the said baker’s dozen are, one by one, gobbled up by predators ranging from birds, bats, and a fly-eating fungus to an unwary skateboarder (gross but, claims Heavenrich, “harmless”), subsequent courses dish up observations on the insect’s importance as a food source, its real potential as a food additive, its nutritional content (with a table modeled after the one printed on cereal boxes), and a labeled chart of fly body parts, from the “soft and chewy” abdomen to antennae (“high in fiber”). Budding STEM-winders especially will relish meaty closing lists of print and web resources. Amplify the buzz by pairing this biological bounty with Brigit Heos’ introduction to another segment of the life cycle, What to Expect When You’re Expecting Larvae, illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch.
Booklist, starred review

Why I love this book:

  1. Look at the cover! And wait till you see the inside spreads! The illustrations are vivid, awesome, and oh so funny. They just about fly off the page!
  2. Read the text – Word Play and Rhyme. Sound Words and Humor. The language is so rich! The author engages and entertains the reader with every single word. And she also…
  3. EDUCATES! This book is totally filled with all types of info that kids LOVE to read about! Run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookseller and buy a copy! Your kids will eat it up (the info, not the flies…although many are edible!)


Photo courtesy:

WOW! 50 Bug Crafts for Kids…I’ll bet there are hours and hours of fun, right in this one website. For detailed instructions:

Sue Heavenrich and illustrator David Clark have really done a fabulous job on this book…please spread the word by reviewing the book, telling friends about it, and asking your local library to purchase copies for their collection.

And if you are looking for more wonderful picture book reviews and activities for kids, please check out Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Mine will be wonderful – reading hundreds of #50PreciousWords stories! I’m still hoping to have our winners’ announcement on March 31st.

20 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: 13 WAYS TO EAT A FLY

  1. I love the concept of this book! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy, it sounds… good enough to eat? Thanks for the review.


  2. I am so honored that you’ve shared my book today. And I love the activities you link to. Let’s remember, as we reach for those swatters this summer: flies are someone’s dinner. Not yours, I hope…


  3. This is first time I’ve seen Sue’s new book! What a great title! I love that it involves humor as well as important information in the fun STEM book. I have great grandsons that will love your book! Congratulations Sue!


  4. Love that this includes a baker’s dozen of ways to eat flies – they are, apparently, a healthy additive to baked goods (some folks even do it on purpose, or so I’ve heard).


  5. As a self-professed foodie, and picture book lover, I’m so looking forward to reading this book! 🙂 (But that doesn’t mean I’m going to eat a fly, or any other bug. I’ll leave that to my tween, who last birthday, convinced her friends to all try ‘bacon’ crickets. Um….nope!!)


  6. Magnificent book, must have taken a lot of time to research all that information. The fungus eating fly is very interesting. The Nutrition Facts, mind-blowing. Sue, I am very impressed.
    Thanks Vivian!


  7. “Zapped, wrapped, liquified or zombified” needs to be the refrain of a song. Congratulations on creating a funny and informative book!


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