A Fly Went By
By Mike McClintock
Illustrated by Fritz Siebel
A Fly Went By is another old (1958) favorite picture book in the “I Can Read It All By Myself” series. I loved reading it all by myself when I was learning to read. My kids loved it, and now I’m using it with my students and grandkids. Because it’s cute and fun!
Not only is this fly adorable, but I can feel and empathize with his terror.
An unnamed boy is lazing away the morning, little suspecting that one small fly is going to turn his day upside down.
But it isn’t just the fly. A frog, a cat, a dog, a pig, a cow, a fox, and a man pass the boy in succession, each running headlong in fear of the predator behind that appears to be in pursuit.
The boy wants to help, but the creatures are too terrified to stop long enough to find out what the real problem is.
Finally, the boy is able to convince the man to explain what started him on this mad career. It turns out to be something harmless, but how can the boy get the animals to stop long enough for him to explain?
That does it! Now the boy can finish his day the way he had started it, knowing he has done a good deed.
If there is a moral to the story, I suppose it is that knowledge conquers fear, so don’t start running until you know if something really is after you. But I just like to enjoy the rhyming text, chant the chorus of the increasing queue of characters, and revel in the imaginative pictures.