Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series is an educational book for children written by Linda Smigaj and illustrated by Mark W. Adams. This historical tale is narrated by a Dutch cheese fly, named Anna, whose quest for adventure leads her to join forces with the Pilgrims on their 66-day journey aboard the Mayflower. Anna narrates how the Pilgrims and the other passengers bound for the New World had originally been scheduled to travel on another ship, but problems with its seaworthiness led to their voyage on the Mayflower, a merchant ship that had never carried passengers before. The daily life of those passengers was filled with hardships, as the ship had neither living quarters nor facilities and proper space for them. Storms and rough seas were especially difficult for all concerned. Despite the challenges of their journey, all on board, save for one sailor, survived the Atlantic crossing.
Linda Smigaj’s educational book for children, Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series, is filled with fascinating and little-known historical facts that make this Fly on the Wall book a particularly interesting read for both children and adults. Anna’s narrative is beautifully brought to life by the pen and ink and watercolor illustrations of Mark W. Adams. I instantly knew I was in for a treat when I opened the book to the illustrations showing the parts of the ship and the areas where the Pilgrims and the other passengers spent their time aboard the Mayflower. And while I was fully aware that I was reading an historical and educational book, it felt more as if I were reading an adventure tale, and an exhilarating one at that. What a marvelous way to introduce history to young readers! This very entertaining and informative work also contains a glossary and an appendix filled with more little known facts about the Mayflower’s journey. Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series is most highly recommended.