Book Review: “13 Ways to Eat a Fly”

“13 Ways to Eat a Fly”
By Sue Heavenrich; Illustrated by David Clark
Charlesbridge, 2021
32 pages, hardcover, $16.99

Step aside beloved beauties of the bug world. The time has arrived for the oft maligned fly’s moment in the spotlight. Leave your butterfly and honeybee love at the door: it’s all flesh flies and fungus gnats in the pages ahead. “13 Ways to Eat a Fly” is a reverse counting book for little ones that dives into the gooey-gory, nitty-gritty details of — you guessed it! — 13 unique flies’ demises brought to you by 13 of their clever (and hungry) predators.

Whether you want your flies zapped or wrapped, liquefied or zombified, water bound or underground, or, worse yet, by mistake and baked into your cake, “13 Ways to Eat a Fly” delivers a smorgasbord of dipterans just the way you like them. And lest you think this book a strictly fly-centric mental meal, rest assured a fascinating fact feast of predator particulars awaits you as well. Yum!

Brightly colored playful illustrations fill up the pages while easy to digest written morsels are sprinkled throughout this delightfully icky picture book. At the end of “13 Ways to Eat a Fly” if you find your appetite merely whetted, fret not! A list of books and online learning resources awaits to feed that insatiable hunger of yours. Additionally, you’ll find a familiar food sight in the form of a nutritional label — only a single calorie per 80 flies. It might take thousands to fill up, but I bet our littlest bug enthusiasts can do it. Happy snacking!

Julie Letowski

Washington, Maine

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