“By that time all the children were waving their hands and saying, ‘Shoo, fly, you can’t eat here! Shoo, fly, you can’t eat here!’” Liller Hamilton writes in her children’s book, Shoo, Fly! You Can’t Eat Here.
This unnumbered twenty-four-page oversized paperback targets four to eight-year-olds and beginner readers. With no scary or awkward scenes, the book focuses on an annoying fly with undertones of eating healthy. Switzer’s colorful illustrations grace the entire left side of the pages and are easy to decipher with often repetition while written words are on the right sides in a black font against a white on yellow background.
After a repeat of the cover page, there is a place to write the book owner’s name before the short story begins. The tale involves a group of young students at school going to the cafeteria to have lunch when a fly constantly flies around each of them while they are eating.
Mary waves her hand when the fly tries to land on her brown rice, and Carlos tells it to shoo when it goes near his steamed broccoli. Chastity’s baked chicken is next in the fly’s path, flying to Brandon’s milk for a sip. As Betty whispers, asking it to stop trying to nibble on her whole wheat bread, the fly finally flees to taste Leah’s mixed fruit.
As each child says, “Shoo, fly, you can’t eat here,” the bothersome insect flies around them, being shooed away in the process. It is only when they next class enters the cafeteria that the hungry bug escapes, looking for its next meal. The final picture is a pile of healthy food, some not mentioned in the story.
Trying to promote eating wisely, the author weaves this simple story of a fly that bothers everyone. With all the food set on the table, it is not like cafeteria format, but children can recognize each item. Kids will enjoy looking at the pictures while reading the repeated words.
Working twenty years as a schoolteacher, author Hamilton taught preschool and won several prestigious awards. Having traveled abroad to foreign countries, she exchanged teaching methods and experiences. No information is available on illustrator Switzer.
Thanks to Outskirts for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reviewer’s honest opinion.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.