A Fly Went By

A Fly Went By


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A fly is followed by a menagerie of characters in this humorous cumulative tale edited by Dr. Seuss. When a young boy sees a frantic fly buzzing past, he asks where the fly is headed—and with that, a chase begins. The fly and the frog, the cat and the dog, the pig and the cow, the fox and the hunter . . . who is causing all the fuss? A Fly Went By will have young readers buzzing with excitement!

Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

"The writing is merry and the pictures are real fun. Recommended."—School Library Journal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394800035
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 09/28/1958
Series: I Can Read It All By Myself Beginner Books Series
Pages: 72
Sales rank: 50,228
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.35(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile: 430L (what's this?)
Age Range: 3 - 7 Years

About the Author

Mike McClintock is the author of the Beginner Books classics Stop That Ball! and A Fly Went by, which was edited by Dr. Seuss. 

Fritz Siebel was born in 1913 in Vienna, Austria. He studied illustration at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna and immigrated to the United States in 1936, where he served in the US Army during World War II. In America, he worked on movie posters for Paramount Pictures. His most well-known poster was an entry in a national competition to create a warning to protect national security. His entry was the famous “Someone Talked” poster, which has won numerous awards. Siebel began to find work in advertising agencies and magazines, illustrating for Colliers, Holiday, and the Saturday Evening Post, and creating the now iconic advertising character Mr. Clean. He provided the illustrations for A Fly Went By with Beginner Books at Random House in 1959. He died in 1991.

Customer Reviews

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Fly Went by 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Marnie_Laurent More than 1 year ago
A FLY WENT BY is a delightful tale that addresses panic and fear of the unknown. The main character, a tousle-headed boy who looks like the kid next door, remains cool, calm, and collected while various animals pass him by with exclamations of fear. This is a cumulative tale in which each new animal is introduced and then all of the previous animals are listed. It's exciting to see what each animal is afraid of, and the young reader is encouraged to use his imagination to guess what comes next. The boy eventually solves the big mystery, and it's no surprise to adults that what all the animals is afraid of isn't really scary at all. For children, facing their fears is a good developmental step. A FLY WENT BY leads children to understand that not everything that seems scary really is scary. And the final "scary" thing is delightful. The boy is the problem solver and uses his wits and curiousity to solve the mystery. He also is the peacemaker and stops the hysteria and panic. The story lends itself to animated reading by an adult and encourages emerging readers to tackle words that might be harder. The repetition within the story reinforces learning new words. (I read this story as a young child and fell in love with it. It was my FIRST requested book for purchase. I still have the original.) Enjoy this treasure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my favorite book as a child. I am now 66 years old and I can still recite the entire story by heart! Love the illustrations and the very important message about resisting mob mentality and checking out information for your self (though that is my adult interpretation and certainly not what I would have said as a child). I love the story's resolution and the narrator's willingness to be a help to someone who needed it. I am now buying a copy of this for my grandsons, because I am not willing to part with my own, well-loved copy.
missbrandysue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A boy is relaxing at the lake when a fly goes by in a panic. Character after character is chasing each other, not knowing that the animal chasing them thinks they, too, are in danger. But when he finds that all the ruckus is started by a lamb that has gotten his foot in a tin can he tells all the characters to STOP and explains they really aren't being chased by anyone to fear. A good story when talking about cause and effect, point of view, and many more. The talking animals are good for fantasy units, too. A great book for beginning readers on a middle-late 1st grade or 2nd grade level.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The cutest fly you will ever see. A young boy follows a fly in an adventure of colossal misunderstanding.
whitneyw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is terrific because it shows this book misunderstanding between this animas and a human and how the small child investigates to solve the problem. This book is also great because it shows how fear can make us misunderstand things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this book for my grandson (age 5) and my granddaughter (age 3). They both enjoyed it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 2 1/2 year old son loves this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rayginc More than 1 year ago
Was my son's favorite book when he was a child. Recently bought for a friend's child so she can have as much fun reading it to her child as I did with mine when he was younger.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 1 1/2 yr old daughter loves this book! She enjoys pointing and naming all the animals chasing each others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a terrific story with great illustrations. It is a great way to teach the concept that things are not always what they seem. I think the previous reviewer who objected to the 'abject terror' in the story could not be further off base.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book came to our house courtesy one of our book clubs. I immediately recognized it as one I'd had as a child, but just as quickly had a sense that I'd not enjoyed it. Upon flipping through the pages, I remembered why. The simple fact is that most of this book's characters are in abject terror for most of this book. Some are even afraid for their lives, and in fact the word 'kill' is used. While in the end the book teaches a nice lesson about jumping to conclusions and overreacting, there must be a thousand more comforting ways to deliver that lesson. I'm not an extremely protective parent, but this is not one I care to share with my kids.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a psychotherapist and I often use this book as an illustration for children (and sometimes adults) of the relationship between what we think and what we feel and how simply changing our thinking can often change the way we feel about things. This book has a nice rhythm which is enjoyable and entertaining as well as therapeutic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I agree with the one-star rating below in that the word 'kill' is used and the end of the 'terror' chain is a man toting a rifle. I love this book for the lesson. And, for now, as I read it to my 2 1/2 yr old daughter, I replace 'kill' with 'get' and disregard lack of rhyming in the interest of protecting her from this concept until age appropriate.