A buzzy fly and a mischievous kitten make a mess on the farm in this contemporary twist on a classic rhyme. This is the fly that buzzed on by over the house that Zack built . . . Readers in the know may recognize Zack and his trusty dog, Rufus, from Alison Murrays Hickory Dickory Dog. Now Zack is enjoying a day on the farm, building an amazing house with his blocks. But nearby, a wandering fly has attracted the attention of an inquisitive and determined feline. Stalking and chasing through stylish illustrations, the cat unintentionally creates havoc. Sleeping dog and serene lambs scatter, and the fly lands precariously on top of Zacks house. What will Zack do? Children will buzz over this delightful read-aloud and parents and teachers will appreciate Zacks commonsense clean-up.
Preschool-Grade 1. In this version of the oft-parodied Mother Goose cumulative rhyme, young Zack is building with blocks near a barnyard when a fly buzzes by, setting off a chain reaction that trashes the farm. A cat stalks the fly, knocking over a jug of cream that splashes on a dog, who then races around disturbing the farm’s tranquility. Oblivious to the chaos, Zack completes his structure, then notices the mess, and puts everything back in place. To make this story work, the text veers away from the true repetitive cumulative form. One phrase is repeated verbatim (“the fly that BUZZED on by, over the house that Zack built”), while wording is changed for the others with each repetition. When Zack finally discovers the jumble, the form is dropped altogether, and the ending is told in regular verse. Despite the departure from the traditional, this makes a fun, albeit slightly tricky, read-aloud. With the large-sized digital illustrations and clearly defined forms—less chaotic than the text claims—sizable groups could be accommodated.