Review Blog

May 13 2011

Buzz off! by Randa Abdel-Fattah

cover image

Ill. by Dan McGuiness. Series: Mates: Great Australian yarns. Scholastic, 2011. ISBN 9781862918481.
(Ages: 8+) Warmly recommended. Lying in bed one night, trying vainly to get to sleep, Noor finds himself unable to swat the pesky flies which keep dive bombing him. Suddenly aware that he can hear them he is appalled when he realises that they are targetting him because he is so bad at killing them. He decides to take action.
It is the Eid Festival, celebrating the end of Ramadan, so food is being prepared in earnest. The kitchen is full of food, and when they sit down to eat, flies appear from all over the place. Getting the fly spray, Noor overhears the flies telling each other about banana smeared with toothpaste and garlic, and how that is far worse than any fly spray. So Noor sets to work.
A funny story of just what the fly is useful for and showcasing the extent of the problem, this is sure to have younger readers laughing out loud at the flies and their antics, and Noor and his solution to the problem.
The cute story is beautifully complimented by Dan McGuiness' zany drawings of Noor and his family (checkout Mum with her headscarf and cork hat!) as well as the header and footer drawings of stale food, and his wonderful flies! This series of books does not talk down to the student. It is to be commended that words are not simplified, meanings are not given in a glossary and settings are given which although unfamiliar require the student to ask questions or look something up, which is refreshing to see.
Fran Knight

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