Review: Moo Bird

The Basics

Title: Moo Bird
Author: David Milgrim
ISBN: 9781518204005
Copyright Date: 2016
Publisher: Scholastic
Reader Brand: Scholastic Reader
Level: Level 1
Series: N/A


Moo Bird is kicked out of the bird’s nest when he says “Moo” instead of “Tweet”. Can Moo Bird find someone who will understand and appreciate him?

About half of Moo Bird‘s story in told in comic book style panels. Other page spreads do not have any panels and are more akin to the typical beginning reader/picture book. Milgrim uses dialog clouds/speech bubbles to show which character is speaking. Words are also occasionally emphasized by underlines or bold font. The illustrations support the text and the story has a predictable pattern for beginning readers to follow.

Beginning readers will find a friend in Moo Bird. I am hugely supportive of readers that use animal sounds since they are easier words for readers to decode once they understand that animal sounds are being used. But I think that Milgrim’s illustrations will also help readers to decode. I really enjoyed watching the evolution of the puppy from the background to the foreground before he approached Moo Bird.

A worthwhile purchase for libraries looking to increase easy beginning readers or graphic readers.

Review: Prince Fly Guy

The Basics

Title: Prince Fly Guy
Author: Tedd Arnold
ISBN: 9780545662758
Copyright Date: 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
Reader Brand: N/A
Level: N/A
Series: Fly Guy


Buzz is writing a fairy tale with the help of Fly Guy who has his own opinions about how the story should go. Fly Guy imagines himself as the handsome prince in Buzz’s story. But will they both get their happily ever after?

Funny, imaginative, and another fabulous addition to this series. Fly Guy’s interpretation of the story is told in thought bubbles as Buzz writes the story. Fly Guy is very expressive when he doesn’t like where the story is headed and I think that will help readers looking for context clues. I really enjoyed when Fly Guy got so caught up in the story that he didn’t offer any more suggestions to Buzz.

A definite buy if you’ve got Fly Guy fans!

Review: The Lost Kitten

The Basics

Title: The Lost Kitten
Author: Katherine Cox
ISBN: 9781480677517
Copyright Date: 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
Reader Brand: N/A
Level: Level 2
Series: Katie Fry, Private Eye (upcoming: The Missing Fox)


Katie Fry has solved all the mysteries in her house and is looking for her new task. When she opens a booth to solve mysteries, a lost kitten is in the park. Can Katie help the kitten — Sherlock — find his home?

I am so pleased with this new series! Katie is such a dynamic character. My favorite line in the book was Katie’s introduction: “This is Katie. Katie is little, but has a big brain.” (I’m trying not to be biased that I am also a Katie and also little at only 5’3″.)

The illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton pop off the page and really give the series life. I feel that the text is the text of an upper-level reader with multiple chapters and harder vocabulary. But the text is well-supported by illustrations for those working up.

My only issue is that the text is smaller than most beginning readers and is almost italicized. I wish the publishers had kept the text more simplistic which is easier for beginning readers.

Give this series to fans of mysteries and readers looking for a little girl power.

Review: Fly Guy Presents Insects

The Basics

Title: Fly Guy Presents Insects
Author: Tedd Arnold
ISBN: 9781480671782
Copyright Date: 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
Reader Brand: N/A
Level: Level 2 (on the back of the book it says it appeals to K-2nd grade but is a 2nd grade level)
Series: Fly Guy


An upper level, informative, non-fiction reader. Buzz and Fly Guy learn all about insects in this volume.

The book is presented in a classic throwback style to the Magic School Bus. There are photographs mixed with the story, hand-drawn journal entries, labels, dialogue bubbles, etc. The layout could potentially be distracting to a young reader, but will draw in older readers. It measures at a 570 Lexile level.

Difficult words have phonetic pronunciation guides embedded in the text. I think they could have been a few more pronunciation guides — words like thorax and abdomen are not words that have a guide — and I wish that a lot more of the insect names would have had guides.

Overall, I absolutely love this set of non-fiction readers and think that readers will too. Highly recommended for all libraries, but especially those with a Fly Guy fan base.

Series to Know: Fly Guy

Series Info

First five “Fly Guy” books.


  1. Hi! Fly Guy (2005)
  2. Super Fly Guy (2006)
  3. Shoo Fly Guy (2006)
  4. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Fly Guy (2007)
  5. Fly High, Fly Guy (2008)
  6. Hooray for Fly Guy (2008)
  7. I Spy Fly Guy! (2009)
  8. Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl(2010)
  9. Buzz Boy and Fly Guy(2010)
  10. Fly Guy Vs. the Flyswatter (2011)
  11. Ride, Fly Guy, Ride! (2012)
  12. There’s a Fly Guy In My Soup (2012)
  13. Fly Guy and Frankenfly (2013)
  14. Fly Guy’s Amazing Tricks (2014)

Publisher: Scholastic

Links: Parents Resource Guide || Author Website

Awards: 2006 Geisel Honor (for Hi, Fly Guy!), 2010 Geisel Honor (for I Spy Fly Guy), 2008 Cybils Finalist (for Fly Girl Meets Fly Girl), 2008 Monarch Nominee (for Hi, Fly Guy).

Reviews: Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, Bulletin


Hi! Fly Guy is divided into three chapters. No more than four simple sentences are on each page. For example:

They met. The boy caught the fly in a jar. “A pet!” he said.

The text does a good job on building the reader’s knowledge. By the end of the book, most words have already been introduced so when the text does get longer, the reader will have already seen most of the words before. There are just over 100 unique words used in the text. Extra words in the illustrations bring the count to 113 unique words.

The rest of the series follows suit. Some books build on previous knowledg: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Fly Guy definitely works best for readers if they are familiar with the song while Buzz Boy and Fly Guy will be most appreciated by readers familiar with graphic novels/comics.

As with every series, the range of unique words and difficulty level can fluctuate, so I’ve provided the Lexile range and Accelerated Reader ranges. Series range for Lexile: 170-420 and Accelerated Reader: 1.3-2.1.


The adventures of Fly Guy and Buzz begin when Buzz is looking for a pet and finds Fly Guy. Once Fly Guy proves to The Amazing Pet Show judges that he is indeed a pet, Buzz and Fly Guy’s friendship is cemented. Their adventures take them to lots of places and new situations, but at its core, the Fly Guy series is about friendship.

While this series definitely has a male main character, I think that the series will absolutely be accessible for all kinds of readers. The shiny, pretty covers are definitely eye-catching and the content will keep readers coming back for more.

More Fly Guy?

flyguypresentsFly Guy has produced two spin-off series so far. The first is a non-fiction reader series which follows Buzz and Fly Guy as they learn about different non-fiction topics.

In Fly Guy Presents: Sharks, they visit an aquarium. Photography is well utilized and difficult vocabulary words have phonetic pronunciation guides embedded in the text. Readers already familiar with Fly Guy will definitely want to “grow up” with these non-fiction books.


  1. Fly Guy Presents: Sharks (2013)
  2. Fly Guy Presents: Space (2013)
  3. Fly Guy Presents: Dinosaurs (2014)
  4. Fly Guy Presents: Firefighters (2014)
  5. Fly Guy Presents: Insects (2015)

apetforflyguyAnd in 2014, Fly Guy also got a picture book treatment, even though he started as a reader first. I actually haven’t had the chance to re-read this one myself since it has seriously been checked out consistently since we purchased it. I’m glad that readers that connect with Fly Guy in the picture book arena will find him again in beginning readers.

Dates to Remember

Fly Guy Presents Bats (Fly Guy Presents #6) will be arriving on June 30, 2015!

Prince Fly Guy (Fly Guy #15) will be arriving on August 30, 2015!