Astrid the Fly

Maria Jönsson, trans. from the Swedish by Christina Reiss. Holiday House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-3200-4
This bubbly creation is Swedish artist’s Jönsson’s first as an author-illustrator, and it’s a treat. “I am Astrid,” announces a voice emerging from an apparently empty living room, “and this is my sofa.” Closer up, a small black object can be seen darting through the air. “I am a fly,” she announces. With a loose line, Jönsson draws Astrid at ease on her sofa; she has huge eyes, a bristly topknot, and gossamer wings. She also has 43 siblings and special fly names for terrifying objects: a flyswatter is “the Big Bang,” and the vacuum is “the Horrible Inhaling Machine.” The charm of the story lies in seeing domestic life through Astrid’s eyes as she sits serenely upside-down on the ceiling, looks at herself in the bathroom’s “see-me glass” (“Hi, gorgeous!”), and describes favorite foods like “sweet wet things” (soda). In the story’s only sustained episode, Astrid describes the terrible night in the refrigerator that put her off Danish salami forever. Those who happen upon this unexpected tell-all will vote Astrid their favorite representative of the genus drosophila. Ages 3–6. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/02/2015
Release date: 01/01/2015
Genre: Children's
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