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Flannel Friday: Tiny Little Fly


TGIFF Dudes!  This week, my #FlannelFriday (featuring a tiny bit of actual flannel…check out the fly’s wings!) was inspired by Mary’s There’s a Bug on the Teacher  and Mel’s Shoo Fly.  Their adorable little bugs got me thinking about Michael Rosen’s new book:

Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen

As tiny as he is, this Fly’s got moves! He can get away with anything. He walks all over the biggest animals in the jungle.  He flies from elephant’s toes, to hippo’s ear, and finally tiger’s claw. Each one tries to catch him and fails. Take Great Big Elephant; he winks one eye, says to himself, ‘I’m going to catch that fly!’ Despite his mighty stomping, fly escapes with a cheeky grin and wink to the reader.

I love this book, but it’s tough to read at storytime. It’s strange, both the text and illustrations of this book are top-notch; but the mechanics are problematic. They actually disrupt the flow when you read it aloud. The biggest problem comes at the climax of the story.  After the 3 big animals try and fail to catch this tiny little, Rosen repeats the big animal sounds with a 2-page spread in which both pages fold out. It’s actually quite difficult unfold and then refold them 1) gracefully and/or 2) without actually ripping one of the pages. And you have to do it quickly because the story isn’t actually over yet; There are still 4 pages left.

It’s a shame because a simple 2 page spread would have been more effective.  I don’t actually  see what the fold-out adds. To work around this problem, I decided to make this little fly wand:

Fly Wand


  • 1 chop stick
  • 1 black pom
  • 1 tiny piece of white felt cut into a wing shape
  • 2 dollops of super tacky craft glue
  • 1 strip of white duct tape (match the length of the chop stick)
I made this 2x, because the first one gave me a wicked splinter (hence the duct tape on fly wand #2)… Anyway… First, I glued the wings to the pom, and let it dry. Then I wrapped the chop stick in the duct tape. When the glue dried, I glued it to the tip of the chopstick.
Here’s a close up:

Fly close up

I gave it a test run at Rise & Shine Storytime yesterday. It was a huge success. I think the best part is that you can really demonstrate the craziness of fly flight patterns. I asked the kids to buzz along with me whenever the fly was zig-zagging through the air. We had a big group–about 65–so the sound of all that buzzing made the room feel like a hive. It was pretty awesome.

You’ll find more #FlannelFridays all over the internets! Be sure to check out Anne’s blog for the Flannel Friday round-up!

4 thoughts on “Flannel Friday: Tiny Little Fly

  1. You’re right about the open spread…I have read it a few times now and I have stopped reading that page, the noises don’t really work out loud. I just put the book in my lap and use both hands to open the pages on either side, channel Keanu and say, “Whoa!” I love your little fly, I love how you’ve captured how tiny they are. And with the chopstick instead of the bendy pipe cleaner you can really zip him around. Thanks for sharing this–seeing how everyone reinterprets someone else’s presentation is turning out to be a really valuable part of Flannel Friday for me–helps get my own thinking outside of the box.

    • seeing how everyone reinterprets someone else’s presentation is turning out to be a really valuable part of Flannel Friday for me–helps get my own thinking outside of the box.

      I KNOW! Before I started contributing to #FF, I was struggling to come up with good ideas for these types of activities for storytimes. Now, it’s like someone turned on a faucet. Plus, it’s not just flannels, but I’ve been posting to my blog so much more on all sorts of topics!

  2. I have had the same problem with reading this book at storytime before. I love your solution. I am definitely printing this out for my files next time I want to read this book.

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