21 December 2020 13 WAYS TO EAT A FLY by Sue Heavenrich and David Clark, ill., Charlesbridge, February 2021, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-58089-890-4


“Help me! Help me!” 

-- from the film, “The Fly” (1952)


“A fly went flying.

He was looking for something to eat--something tasty, something slimy.

A boy went walking.

He was looking for something to catch--something smart, something for The Amazing Pet Show.

They met. 


-- beginning of HI! FLY GUY (FLY GUY #1) by Tedd Arnold (2005)


“She swallowed the fly to catch the goat,

She swallowed the goat to catch the dog,

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,

That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her!

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly-- Perhaps she’ll die.”

-- Rose Bonne and Alan Miller, “I Know an Old Lady” (1952)


13  Zapped

In the blink of an eye, a wood frog snaps out its tongue and catches a fly. The frog closes its eyes and swallows, using its eyeballs to push the fly down its throat.

12 Wrapped

A fly struggles to escape from sticky threads, sending vibrations along the web. Those vibrations mean dinner to a garden spider. The spider races to the fly and bites it, injecting venom to kill it. Then the spider rolls the fly, wrapping it in silk until it looks like a burrito.”


13 WAYS TO EAT A FLY is a fascinating introduction for little kids to entomology, food chains, and the life cycle of flies. It depicts the strategies employed by a variety of predators to catch and consume their favorite fly species. The hungry critters include spiders, water striders, sand wasps, crab spiders, trout, flycatchers, brown bats, sandpipers, six-spotted fishing spiders, Venus flytraps, and fly-eating fung. Not-necessarily hungry humans sometimes accidentally eat them, too.


David Clark’s eye-catching, fly-catching, pen and ink illustrations really make this book fun and exciting. There are crisp and colorful spreads. Young audiences will find the large close-ups of flies and fly-eating creatures to be gloriously gross. Each species of fly is labeled with its Latin family name. 


I particularly enjoyed the discussion of zombie flies, their brains dissolved by fungi. And the thought of frogs using their eyeballs to get their food down their gullets. Weird and very fun stuff!


Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Pickshttp://richiespicks.pbworks.com