Title : Buzz Off
Author: Gordon Green
Illustrator: Sholto Walker
Published by: 2plus4 publishing, County Monaghan 2008
In the farmyard, the very active fly’s day is coming to an end and he really needs to find a place to rest. He discovers that, in many of his choices for a bed for the evening, he is unwelcome. In others, the offer of a place to rest is not what it seems. But the fly is wise enough to persevere until he finds the perfect place.
The illustrations are bold, confident and full of character, while at the same time being realistic enough to create an easily recognisable setting and situation. They show the busy-ness (and messiness) of the farmyard without giving overwhelming visual detail. While being strong, colourful and animated, the pictures are not garish and maintain a natural quality that is pleasing to the eye.
The text of this quirky picture book is lively and entertaining. Written with patterning, rhythm and rhyme, Buzz Off is easy to follow, making it a delight for very young children, and ideal for those beginning to learn to read. A deceptively simple story, we not only follow the fly throughout his search, but also observe his ability and willingness to choose as he turns down offers of a place to rest that would turn very bad for him. In the end, the fly discovers a place to be, where there is friendship and belonging, demonstrating that there is, indeed, a place for everyone. Imaginative and accessible, Buzz Off is a warm-hearted read that is sure to delight young children and their parents.
Reviewed by Mary Esther Judy