Pragmatic Mom

January 22, 2010

No Flying in the House by Betty Brock

My 7-year-old came home from school two days ago with an important message for me:  “I just read the best book.  You need to add it to your blog.”  I had never heard of No Flying in the House and assumed it was a picture book, though I don’t know why.  My middle daughter is the reason why I created the Favorite Chapter Books for Newly Independent Readers because she refuses to read anything except chapter books.  She proceeded to borrow it from her teacher so that I could save a trip to the library and I have to say that she is right.  This is a great, old-fashioned fairy story.   Our copy was even more charming because it was clearly a really old book with a big chunk of pages taped carefully back into the book.  It looked like a garage sale rescue or a beloved book that was carefully passed down.  No matter!  It’s a find!

I’m a little annoyed with fairy stories in general; I was forced to read way too many Rainbow Fairies books to this same child.  With that same painful repetitive plot.  And even the same vocabulary words.  Over and Over.  It was my idea of hell.

But this is a lovely story about a half-blood fairy.  (I’m reading a lot about half-bloods these days; The Percy Jackson series just arrived at our house yesterday to great fan fare and excitement).  She doesn’t know she’s a fairy and her guardian is a 3 inch talking dog.  There are lots of interesting surprises along the way that both my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed.

If you are in Fairy Hell, try to convince your darling to try this book instead.  It comes highly recommended by their peer who now agrees that the Rainbow Fairies Series is a little boring (and redundant and repetitive!).  We can finally get rid of those books and free up an entire shelf of space!  Yay!  This book is perfect for grades 2-4th.  It’s a chapter book with some illustrations.

Here are some open-ended questions if you want to have a book discussion from my 7-year-old:

  • What is your favorite character and why?
  • What do you think Belinda is trying to do to Gloria?
  • Did you think the book was confusing?  Why or why not?
  • Have you ever read a similar book to this one?
  • Was this an interesting book?
  • When Gloria is in her fairy world, do you think she’s still a 3 inch dog?
  • Do you think you are half-fairy?  How would you know?

If you want a related activity, she suggests, use sculpy clay to mold a 3 inch animal or a character from the book.  Or try to design a fairy world.  Draw it or create a diaorama.

As always, to purchase this book, simply click on the image of book and you will be magically transported to this particular book at


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