Sly the Dragonfly (with CD)
Animalations Publishing (2007)
Reviewed by Carter Sothern (age 2.5) and Regan Windsor for Reader Views (1/08)
“You can fly high and make the most of your life,
Or you can fly low and just pick up what others leave layin’ ‘round,
It’s all up to you because
“Life is the Way You Fly””
“Sly the Dragonfly” is the story of a dragonfly named Sly who is spreading the message to all his friends on the powerful experience that comes with flying high in the sky rather than sitting around on the ground and just passing the day.
As Sly is flying by, Levi, the Eastside Dragonfly, calls up to him and asks him why he fly’s so high (so high he touches the sky). “Don’t you know life’s passing you by, Big guy? We like to fly low and slow and just go with the flow!” Levi and his friends are used to hanging out on the ground, checking out all the stuff (garbage) people leave laying around. They can’t understand why Sly would fly so high and miss out on all that stuff.
Sly replies that “Life is the way you fly.” “You can fly with droopy wings, close your eyes and not see anything. You won’t feel, you won’t touch, and you probably won’t like it much.” Or you can do as Sly does and fly high (so high you touch the sky) where the “wind whistles through his wings, making his heart wake up and sing.” Sly flies up high where he can feel the sun and watch things come alive while nothing passes him by.
As with others in Patricia Derrick’s Animalations collection, “Sly the Dragonfly” comes with a CD of the song/ story, allowing kids to listen along to the story. This particular CD doesn’t include a sound to indicate it’s time to turn the page, but I like to sit and sing along while we read it so I am there to give the signal to turn the page. It also includes the song on music sheets at the end, information on the three R’s before reading (rhythm, rhyme, and repetition), some suggestions for activities to do to complement the book, and science notes describing dragonflies, including pictures of real dragonflies.
While the premise of the message is above what Carter (2.5 years old) understands he knows that he really likes listening to the song and looking at all the pictures of the dragonfly’s flying freely “way up in the sky.” “I like this one and this one and this one” says Carter as he flips from page to page. He also loves how the song is easy to remember so that he can pick up the book and start telling the story. I think what attracts him to this book so much is that it is a real “feel good” song/ story with pictures that are richly illustrated and support the story. Almost every night he starts asking for “the dragonfly’s and the bear’s.” “The bears” is another of Patricia Derrick’s books titled “Beaser the Bears Rocky Mountain Christmas” that teaches about sharing and the joys of giving.