Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold

Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold (Author and Illustrator), Skip Hinnant (Narrator)
Publisher: Scholastic Audio, Cartwheel Books; Illustrated edition
Genre: Contemporary, Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Middle Grade (8 – 12 y.o.)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xerantheumum

Tedd Arnold’s hilarious HI! FLY GUY, originally published in 2005, is now available in paperback with foil on the cover!

Boy and fly meet and so begins a beautiful friendship. Er, and so begins a very funny friendship. Using hyperbole, puns, slapstick, and silly drawings, bestselling author/illustrator Tedd Arnold creates an easy reader that is full of fun.This book is a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor book!

This cutie-patootie short story about a pet fly is unusual, clever and fun. This little audio book is filled with music, laugh tracks and sound effects. The narrator, Mr. Hinnant, has an expressive voice and does a convincing buzz and burp. I got a peek of the illustrations of the paperback version and they’re quirky and amusing.
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I liked the basis of the theme – friendship contrary to grown-up norms. All the adults say flies are pests, not pets. Buzz, the boy and hero of the story, saw no reason why a fly couldn’t be a pet, especially since his fly was actually Smart! Amazing enough to be taken to a pet show competition to show his stuff kind of smart.

Fly Guy was clever because he understood that his friendship with Buzz was worth fighting for, so he did things only a fly can do to prove to the grownups how right Buzz was to call him his pet. It has a happy ending and Fly Guy has a new home.

I didn’t know what to expect when I chose this story but I am delighted to say that it’s humorous, silly and fun. I think the moral is that friendships should be based on who you are, not what you are. Fly Guy proved he was pet-worthy, even if he was a fly. Buzz gave him a chance, believed in him and the rest is history – a pet for Buzz, and friend for Fly Guy. What’s not to like?

Because this audio version of Hi! Fly Guy is chock full of music that underscores plot points, action and transition, sound effects that charm and entertain, and a narrator who really gets into character, I believe the audio version is probably a lot more fun than the print version – although I’d recommend looking at the pages of the paperback along with listening because the illustrations are cute and funny too.

All in all, I think kids will get a chuckle out of Buzz and his pet, Fly Guy. It’s whimsy at its best.

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