A boy and his pet fly, Fly Guy, learn that being a friend has lots of similarities to being a pet.
Arnold, who has a knack for coaxing the best and the most unusual slant on friendship, brings back his old pal Fly Guy, the fly with really big eyes (even for a fly). Fly Guy and his chum, Buzz (“Fly Guy was the smartest pet in the whole world. He could say the boy’s name—‘BUZZ!’ ”—now that’s one smart fly), decide to go to the park one day. At the park, they have a picnic (Buzz has a wicker basket; Fly Guy prefers the smorgasbord in the park trash can); they play around, look at the clouds, watch the other kids and their pets. Fly Guy gets a little blue. He hasn’t got a pet of his own, so they go searching for one: cats and dogs (too big), frogs (maybe not), worms (slimy). Then a very little light bulb goes off in Fly Guy’s very little brain: Buzz! Buzz can be Fly Guy’s pet. Buzz is game, and if being someone’s pet sounds a bit sketchy, think of it: Pets need companionship (well, maybe not cats), care, respect, dignity and entertainment. Or just call it a friend. Arnold’s “Garfield”-like artwork is snappy, emotive and as colorful as a new car.
Readers will agree that being a pet isn’t a bad life, as long as you have a good pet keeper. (Picture book. 4-8)