The author of the rousingly revolting Day in the Office of Doctor Bugspit (2011) dishes out more dirt with this appetite-spoiling introduction to the ubiquitous fly clan.
Focusing particularly on houseflies (Muscidae), Gravel ties snippets of natural science—the fly “spits or vomits a bit of digestive fluid on his meal to soften it”—to humorous scenarios (“Jonathan! Did you spit on your food?” / “Yeeeesss, Mom.” / “There’s a good boy”). The black, blue, puce and red illustrations feature bulbous, anthropomorphic figures with limp wings and tubular noses, along with the occasional accessory (the “Teenager Muscidae” sports a slouch and a sideways baseball cap; the baby has a binky). Young readers will at least come away with a thorough understanding of how unsanitary these insects are and also, perhaps, clearer pictures of their physical makeup, life cycle and even some of the differences among fly species. Published simultaneously in the Disgusting Critters series, The Worm (978-1-77049-633-0) is equally edutaining.
Gross-out potential, for sure—but also likely to give larval entomologists a mild buzz. (Picture book. 5-7)