The Fly, by Petr Horáček; Candlewick Press, $14.99, 32 pages, ages 3-6.
In Petr Horáček’s latest addition to the world of children’s picture books, a rather good-natured, big-eyed housefly laments his lack of friends. The hairy-legged insect navigates his day, buzzing from breakfast to flying laps around the ceiling lamp while avoiding a large blue flyswatter, which little ones will adore flipping from side to side in attempts to crush the misunderstood and maligned insect. This poor creature just doesn’t understand why nobody likes him – he likes to share food, after all. The last page gives kids the opportunity to play God, and depending on one’s mood, the fly lives to see another day, or is squashed by the hard covers. (Can you hear the squeals now?) Like all of Horáček’s books (The Mous Who Ate The Moon; Puffin Peter), The Fly is interactive and engaging, with beautiful illustrations that belie the work that goes into them. The endpapers showcase the fly in repetition, and could inspire (adult) readers to scan the pages to create a unique PC background – literally putting flies the wall.