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“A well-camouflaged crab spider waits, motionless in a flower. When an unsuspecting fly lands—pounce! The spider grabs the fly with its powerful front legs and sinks its fangs into the fly’s head.” –13 Ways to Eat a Fly
13 Ways to Eat a Fly
by Sue Heavenrich
4 – 8
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. The story includes a guide to eating bugs, complete with nutritional information for a single serving of flies.
Each two-page spread shows how a different predator finds a fly to snack on. While the descriptions are not gory, squeamish readers may find the flies’ deaths disturbing. When a fly gets too close to a Venus flytrap, for instance, “Snap! Bye-bye, fly! Digestive juices inside the leaf dissolve the meaty parts of the fly.” The accompanying illustration shows a fly trying to escape from the plant.
13 Ways to Eat a Fly introduces readers to the cycle of life through rhyming lines and illustrations. The story begins with illustrations of different types of flies. Each page has an oversized number with one keyword, such as zapped and wrapped. Even though each page only has 2 to 4 sentences, the book is intended to be read aloud to a child, rather than for the child to read it for the first time independently. The illustrations use natural colors with pops of brighter colors. In many of the illustrations, the fly’s common name and scientific name appear underneath the fly.
Curious readers will love learning about the many animals, including humans, that rely on flies for food. Any reader who is interested in science and nature will enjoy 13 Ways to Eat a Fly. Readers will even learn about the nutritional value of flies and how humans can use them in their own meals. Readers who enjoy 13 Ways to Eat a Fly, may want to add the Fly Guy Series to their reading list.
- The story shows the ways flies die. For example, a wasp “stings a fly, carries it home, and drags it down into a nest.”
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