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A Fly Went by (Beginner Books(R)) Hardcover – September 12, 1958


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A Fly Went by (Beginner Books(R)) + Put Me in the Zoo  (I can read it all by myself' Beginner Books)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 270L (What's this?)
  • Series: Beginner Books(R)
  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 12, 1958)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394800036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394800035
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The writing is merry and the pictures are real fun. Recommended."--School Library Journal.  

From the Inside Flap

Illus. in color. A fly goes by, followed by a frog, who's chased by a cat, who's chased by a dog and a host of other frantic characters, in a humorous cumulative tale.

Customer Reviews

My three year old loves this book.
Francine Leavitt
They were all scared of the animal behind them, which were all scared of what was behind them. ... I did like this book it was a good book.
Johny
This was one of my favorite books growing up and now it is my boys' favorite.
Notso Smart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Pauline J. Alama on April 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"The fly ran away in fear of the frog

Who ran from the cat, who ran from the dog..."

This book reads like a kid's version of the cold war comedy "The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming," because everyone is afraid someone else is out to get them, and fear makes them do foolish things.

As an antidote to some of the past reviews I've seen, I want to point out that NO ACTUAL VIOLENCE occurs in this book. It is considerably less violent than classic children's tales like the Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. The characters are only AFRAID that someone is out to get them. That's the whole point of the story.

Only the child narrator is fearless enough to confront each animal in turn and get to the root of all the fear, which is a misunderstanding. This message is put across in catchy rhymes that repeat in longer and longer sequences of who runs from whom, in the "house that Jack built" sort of pattern that small children especially enjoy. My one-and-a-half-year-old son and I have had a lot of fun with this book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By T. Zamarron on November 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have a child development degree (in addition to a child of my own) and I feel this is a great book with good concepts. It uses simple, familiar words and repetition to help beginning readers become confident in their abilities. It rhymes and has a chain-effect/cause and effect story to help children start developing those concepts. It teaches a very important lesson and has a cute plot. I don't know why people think it's violent. If they think a hunter (who isn't even hunting, he's a big fraidy cat running away from a little lamb) is violent, I hope they don't let their children watch Bambi (Bambi's dad is shot), The Lion King (Mufasa is MURDERED and the hyenas talk about murder), Fox and the Hound (Again, a hunter kills...), etc. I also hope they don't let their children read How The Grinch Stole Christmas because if they believe this book is violent then I wonder what they think of the Grinch's identity theft, breaking and entering and grand larceny, even if it does teach a valuable lesson in the end. This book is all in good fun and has an ideal outcome. It isn't scary, and no one gets hurt. It teaches children to think critically and problem solve. It also encourages them to help others. In the end everyone realizes how silly they were for being afraid of the unknown and the whole thing was just a bunch of misunderstandings.It is true to life, a fly would be chased by a frog, a cat by a dog, etc. My entire family has loved it for three generations now, and I'm very glad my mom dug it out of a storage box for my little girl.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While in a neighborhood store I spotted a small boy carrying this book. I told him it was my favorite book when I was a child and we spent a wonderful 5 minutes in line discussing "which animal came next". Classics do stand the test of time.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Len on July 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my favorite children's book, and I recommend it to anyone, young or old, for the terrific story, memorable rhymes and important lesson. I disagree with the person who reviewer who suggested this story is violent. It's true the characters are fearful some harm will come to them, but we learn it's because they're missing some key information that isn't revealed until the end (when all is well). This book is about not leaping to conclusions, and not fearing what you don't understand.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Adam Shaw on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book has not aged well. It contains a use of the word "whip" to mean "beat," includes the word "kill" many times and features a man with a gun. So, if these are deal-breakers for you, do not buy this book for your child.

On the other hand, as a piece of poetry for kids, this is one of the very best books I have encountered -- a true masterpiece. It reminds me of Hopkins. The rhyming is remarkable. There are rhymes at the ends of lines, as usual, but also interior rhymes echoing asymmetrically throughout the text, achieving a sort of sonorous, joyful ringing. It's hard to put into words, but it's marvelous. The only other such musical language I've encountered in kids' books is that of Dr. Seuss.

As far as the subject matter goes, certain words and concepts notwithstanding, the book is essentially about not fearing fear itself -- a good and uncontroversial message.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Ransdell on December 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book offers those new readers the chance to read by themselves. This was the first book I read alone and without assistance. I later passed this along to my children. I most strongly recommend this book for parents and grandparents of pre-schoolers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best written and illustrated books for its age group. This is the first book I remember reading from my childhood and was one of the first books I purchased for my own children.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The child in this story plays a miniature Sherlock Holmes is discovering the zany misunderstanding which affects all of these familiar animals. Superb book you're children will love!
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