Astrid the fly introduces readers to her (huge) family and their home behind the sofa in this Swedish import.
Astrid tells readers how she loves to fly and watch “what’s happening behind the warm window” (the oven) and, most of all, how she loves to eat. Her favorite thing to eat is Danish salami! Once, she ate so much that she fell asleep in the refrigerator—although of course she doesn’t really understand what the refrigerator is. Her aunt tries to school her into sensible behavior with stories of danger, most particularly of the HORRIBLE INHALING MACHINE (young readers will recognize the universality of the vacuum cleaner) that got Uncle Abe, but Astrid is intrepid in her desire for exploration and food. She is pretty cute and, frankly, not very flylike, with her topknot and rosy cheeks. Reds and yellows and a lively black line dominate the ink-and-watercolor illustrations; the pictures look appropriately (for a fly) dashed off but are carefully composed with an eye to pattern and shape. What flies really eat besides foodstuffs children will recognize remains unmentioned, although Astrid gives a nod to changing food choices in the end.
Not natural history by any means, but this slice of (fly) life is beguilingly, infectiously whimsical. (Picture book. 4-8)