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  • List Price: $7.99
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Old Black Fly Paperback – March 15, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

PW dubbed this rhythmic journey through the alphabet on the back of a pesky housefly an "ebullient picture-book romp," lauding the "waggish presentation of a basic concept." Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-- A pesky fly turns a household inside out in this rollicking tale. ``He ate on the crust of the A pple pie./He bothered the B aby and made her cry./ Shoo fly! Shoo fly! Shooo.'' This fly is on an alphabetical rampage through the house, leaving destruction in his wake as he flits from the C ookie to the D og to the E ggs to the F rosting, and so on to a final, satisfying ``Swat!'' Aylesworth's funny, rhythmic chant is strong enough to stand alone. Add Gammell's spattery, jumpy illustrations, splashed with color, alive with movement, line, and humor, and what emerges is a book that's sure to become a classic. To be enjoyed at home as a lapbook, to be read aloud with relish at story times, to be chanted again and again and again! --Gail C. Ross, Baltimore County Public Library
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 400L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company; Reprint edition (March 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805039244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805039245
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Board book
This book is just plain fun to read -- over and over again! It was one of the first books that my toddler would actually sit and listen to, and now at 18 months he's an active participant -- searching for the old black fly on each page and giving him a playful SWAT! I definitely recommend purchasing this book in hardcover, as the soft binding is simply no match for its popularity.
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By L. Swain on September 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I think the most wonderful part of this book (in response to a 2 star review) is that, after reading it, you feel like there are "fly germs everywhere!" When we read this aloud in my preschool class, the kids loved pointing out the yucky stuff on every page and when I banged the book shut to "squash" the fly and quietly opened up the book, hysterical giggles abounded. This book is great for eliciting student participation (repetition in "Shoo fly...") and for developing inference abilities at a VERY early age ("What do you think happened to the fly?" after I slam the book shut).

Whether you happen to "like" the words, flow, or illustrations, in my experience, young children do and gain a lot of out reading this book together.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I took a children's literature class in college (back in the 90s) and author Jim Aylesworth was the instructor. What a great teacher and author he is! Old Black Fly is so much fun to read to children. You follow a mischievous black fly as he buzzes through the alphabet. The illustrations are beautiful, too! I gladly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved reading this book to my granddaughter. It was a gift from her step grandmother at the time 18 years ago, she is now 21 years old. We lost track of the book so I decided to go on Amazon to find it, and it was there. I couldn't wait to receive it, I've read it several times now. She is unaware of me ordering it because it's mine, lol.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a retired childhood / elementary teacher , I left this book for my niece to use in her classroom. Then when my grandson became excited about books , I knew I had to order him one. Wish I had kept mind lol
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anything illustrated by Stephen Gammell is an adventure to discover. The story itself is a bit disturbing for a very young child but by elementary age children love love love being grossed out and find this book super funny.
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Format: Hardcover
We are a kindergarten class, and we loved this book. We especially liked when Old Black Fly gets swatted at the end of the story. We liked when we could read along with "shoo fly, shoo fly, shoo!" The pictures were funny too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful, fun and educational book. It covers the alphabet, rhyming and a repeating line as well. My special needs students love this book. One student can "read"it by memory because of the rhymes and another non verbal student can grunt a rhythm to the repeating line. Both get excited when I mention the book. On the other hand, my own healthy children love it as well. It has brought me much joy at work and home.
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