100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Wherefore Art Thou Fly Guy Read Alikes?

Wherefore art thou Fly Guy read alikes, fa-la-la-la-laaaa lala-la-la

Sing it to the tune of Deck the Halls as you go caroling this holiday season for the most confusion-inducing caroling ever.

May I air a gripe here? I don’t do it that often, so I hope you’ll forgive me, but where the heck are the Fly Guy read alikes?

A student came into the library the other day and asked a simple question – “Do you have any other books like Fly Guy?”

Now, the Fly Guy series is insanely popular, so I’ve received this question before. The problem is, there’s not much that fits. Here are the books that come to mind:

Elephant and Piggie. It has the humor and the basic vocab, but you can’t really say if you like Fly Guy you will definitely like Elephant and Piggie – the two are quite different from a character standpoint.

Squish. This seems like a more direct “If you like Fly Guy, you might like this character”, but there’s a big difference in format and vocabulary.

Poppleton. The tone is too different.

Henry and Mudge. A great series (as everything on this list is), but a Fly Guy read alike? Nope.

Mercy WatsonAnother case of difficulty jump.

See what I mean?

The best answer I could come up with was the Max Spaniel series. I think this one fits pretty well, but overall that’s slim pickings.

Now watch as I smoothly transition this gripe into a demand…

The world needs more early readers with very basic vocab and an attention-grabbing main character. I know it ain’t an easy order, but there are some eager young readers out there.

(Thanks to my colleague Niki (@daydreamreader) for hashing out this post in the staff lounge)

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. I agree, Travis. I think it would be great if Melanie Watt created some very early readers with her Scaredy Squirrel character {Meeeeelaaniiiiiiiieeeee!! Are you out theeeeere!!!??}. I cannot keep those books on the shelf for my higher readers and I see a similarity between my FG and SS readers.

    • Travis Jonker says:

      That would be an interesting addition to this category if Scaredy Squirrel made the jump to early readers.

  2. I use these requests as an opportunity to expand kids’ vocabulary and teach them the meaning of the word “unique”

    • I’m all for unique and part of my job as an elementary school librarian is to introduce books to students that they might otherwise overlook. But throughout the lifespan we all look for “types” of books that we enjoy – whether it’s a particular genre, author, or series. I don’t see how emergent readers are any different.

  3. I am not one to wag the finger at anyone, but the misuse of “Wherefore art thou” sends shivers down my little Shakespeare loving spine . The phrase means “why” not “where.”

    • Travis Jonker says:

      I clearly need to step up my Shakespeare game. My apologies to Bill on that one, and thanks for the clarification, Melanie!

  4. I just love the new easy reader book “Rabbit and Robot” by Cece Bell. I sure hope that book will be the first in a series. My K-2 students loved both of these characters.

  5. Melissa Posten says:

    Hippo and Rabbit?

  6. Agree. Fly Guy books are *never* checked in. Nothing else has the sensibility of the series.

  7. I am no expert here, but one that my picky kid really loves is the Dodsworth series by Tim Egan. http://www.timegan.com They’re pretty great, but a more advanced easy reader than Fly Guy.

  8. I agree! I found this article when searching the web for “books like fly guy.”
    Slim pickin’s for sure. I would add Cork & Fuzz to the suggestion list. I have had some success with students transitioning, but it is a jump in grade level and words per page. Seems like maybe Mr. Jonker should fulfill our wishes by penning a new series to meet that need!

  9. True….Fly Guy series is amazing……

  10. Check out the Alien Dude! Books!! Only 2 in the series so far, but supposedly there will be 10 all together.