Reviewed by JJ Phillips for Readers’ Favorite
Mayflower (Fly on the Wall Series) by Linda Smigaj is an educational children’s story about the adventure of the Mayflower. But this isn’t just any history lesson. This story is narrated by Anna, a cheese fly, who has stowed away aboard the Mayflower. Because of this unique and fresh approach, children can read the story of the pilgrims and the Mayflower from a different point of view in the hopes that they are encouraged to learn about the story. The story starts on board the Speedwell, a ship that turned out to need too many repairs. After switching to the Mayflower, the story follows the adventure across the ocean, documenting everything that happened along the way until the day the Mayflower reached the New World. Although this may be a familiar story to some, this new and educational perspective makes it a fun and interesting way to revisit a familiar story.
I really liked the idea of using a fly to narrate a story about the Mayflower. I think any book or story that can make learning fun deserves the proper credit for trying to educate our young people. Keeping young students interested in history is not an easy task, but
Linda Smigaj does a nice job in Mayflower with an interesting narrator character and fun, colorful drawings and depictions that are both appealing and informative. Overall, this is a very educational piece that is as fun as it is informative and I think kids will absolutely love it!
Reviewed By Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite
Wow! That’s exactly what I thought when I finished reading Mayflower, the first book in debut author Linda Smigaj’s Fly on the Wall series. This was simply a fantastic read; fun, adventurous and rooted in history with quite an interesting protagonist, a cheese fly named Anna. Anna has traveled to England with a family fleeing Holland, and then she takes the Mayflower to the New World. With lots of historically accurate illustrations showing how the ship was organized, as well as facts and information presented in an absolutely wonderful way, this book will keep children entertained as they are being educated…a dream for any parent or teacher for sure!
I so, so enjoyed Mayflower. Author Linda Smigaj has done a completely wonderful job in writing an engaging and delightful story with a great deal of educational merit. Her use of a fly as the narrator is both surprising and delightful – the old saying of “I wish I could be a fly on the wall…” comes true in this book! This book does an excellent job in relaying true life facts and experiences about the Mayflower and those who journeyed to the New World on her, but does so in such a way that kids might not even know that they are being educated, they’ll be having too much fun. I highly recommend Mayflower to any child looking for a good book, or parent for a unique book that their child will love. I look forward to reading more from Linda Smigaj’s entertaining new Fly on the Wall series, and hope that the author is already hard at work on the next installment!
Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers’ Favorite
Mayflower (Fly on the Wall Series) by Linda Smigaj is a children’s book for ages five up to pre-teens. Mayflower (Fly on the Wall Series) is one in a series of books in which literally a “fly on the wall” observes historical events and presents the story to the reader. In this book, Anna is a small cheese fly from Holland. She has moved with her human family to England and from there to the New World via the Mayflower. The fly narrates how they boarded the ship, their hardships and experiences on the ship, and finally their landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts on the coast of the New World. Although the book is told from the point of view of Anna, the fly, it provides an authentic glimpse into the lives of the passengers, as well as the living conditions on the ship and the voyage itself. At the end, the book also provides a glossary of words for young readers.
Mayflower (Fly on the Wall Series) by Linda Smigaj is a cute and engaging book on the passage of some of the early settlers from England to America. It describes a real, historical event in a concise, educational, and yet entertaining way that will appeal to children. The illustrations that go with the book are outstanding. In fact, the pictures really make the words come alive and add to the overall fun and engaging style of the book. This is a great book and I am looking forward to reading the other books in the Fly on the Wall series.
Linda Smigaj, aka Professor Fuddy-Duddy, is a retired schoolteacher who taught elementary school for more than 34 years. She earned her Master of Arts in Speech and Drama, and is National Board Certified in Literacy. This is Linda’s first book in the Fly on the Wall series.
Linda currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband Daniel. She has three grown sons, three grandchildren, one granddog, and two cats. Mayflower is her first picture book.
Linda’s website: www.flyonthewallseries.com
Linda Smigaj’s Facebook Page