Reviewed by Gracie Bradford for Readers’ Favorite
Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series is written by Linda Smigaj. This 50-page fiction book written for 7-10-year-olds by a retired elementary school teacher of 34 years conveys a powerful lesson. The main characters are Professor Beatrice Fuddy-Duddy and Anna, a cheese fly. The story dates back 400 years, starting in the year 1620 to chronicle the arrival of a ship called the Mayflower. Anna is a cute little character dressed in a stunning, colorful outfit; she wears a bow tie and displays colorful wings. The book contains journal entries about what transpires on the ship as seen through the eyes of a fly. Anna brings new meaning to the traditional phrase, “as a fly on the wall.” I think this book would be an excellent addition to classrooms of a younger age group, given the exceptional illustrations throughout the book and a well-developed story line.
Linda introduces a lesson on early American history with a twist to make learning fun. This book has pictures throughout, making it easy to comprehend concepts. Equally important are ten non-fictional facts elementary school kids probably did not know about the journey of the Mayflower. A glossary provides additional insight into the story. The highlight of the book is illustrations of six flies dressed in an array of colors with unique shapes and forms. Kids will love these characters, and the questions associated with the pictures are sure to generate interesting discussions. The illustrations are outstanding. The main character is well developed and lends itself to a book series.
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.
Draw about your life. Things you enjoy: animals, home, school, or write about someone in your family. The illustrations from The Invention of Hugo Cabret and OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters are about adventures in everyday life.
Draw about places. Boring places become interesting stories when people write about them. Driew Qweepie played on his farm, which he called Outback. Author Jules Verne included illustration about his Journey to the Center of the Earth. Document the seasons, birds, or activities that happen in your backyard using a Best Sketchbook.
Put your drawing skills to the test with this drawing challenge. Can you create all the related activities in Challenge 2?
See how many fun challenges you can create with this free drawing game. This teaching resource is a fun and easy activity that will keep students creative and save teachers time.
History with a Twist Makes Learning Fun!
Welcome to the world of Linda Smigaj’s books. Educator and juvenile fiction author Linda Smigaj, aka Professor Fuddy-Duddy, captures the imagination of readers, ages 7–10, through stories of historically accurate events told from a unique perspective. Come travel through early American history with these adventurous flies.
Other FREE Printable Educational Resources for Mayflower:
Irina Gonikberg Dolinskiy is a corporate/business attorney, as well as a classically trained pianist and an avid writer and storyteller. Having practiced law in New York for a number of years, Irina is now a partner at a law firm in Central Florida, where she resides with her husband and her daughter, Jayne. Irina’s son, Mitchell—the original audience and inspiration for her stories—lives and works in New York City.
Parts of Speech Parade, New York City was first written as an entertaining grammar aid for the author’s then-young son, Mitchell. After becoming fast friends with the Noun, Verb, Adjective, Preposition, Conjunction, and Interjection, Mitchell started recognizing their familiar faces in every book, making his reading adventures fun and enjoyable.
While Mitchell is now a college graduate, the author is eager to share the Parts of Speech Parade with today’s girls and boys who are newly discovering the magic of reading.
Read more about Parts of Speech Parade, New York City…
Mark, this is simply beyond amazing!! I am absolutely speechless (no pun intended), and in awe of your brilliant creativity!” – Irina Dolinskiy