Monday, June 24, 2013

It's a Firefly Night - Book Review

                                                                Quote of the Day!

"The ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive."
                      ~Malcolm X, 1964

Title:  It's a Firefly Night
Author: Dianne Ochiltree
Illustrator: Betsy Snyder
Ages: 3-8

Just looking at the cover of this book brought back very happy memories for me, as I too was a firefly chaser as a little girl.  I grew up in a small town and the next town over had a beautiful, flat, meadowy field where at twilight thousands of fireflies would come and play.  Their light show was spectacular and my parents would drive us there and release their three little girls into that magical space.  We would put our arms out, our heads back and run right through the middle of swarms of golden sparklers, pretending that we were one of them.  We would dance and twirl amongst them like they were lighting up an enchanted ball room for us to perform in.  I have always loved fireflies dearly and even to this day they are one of my favourite things.
A father and his special girl child go out into the night to chase fireflies.  The twinkling sky is filled with millions of stars and the night has a surreal and magical feel to it.  The little girl is spell-bound as she sees fireflies scattered in trees and flowers winking a smile to her and beckoning her to come and play with them.  Wearing her nightgown and bare toes she and her dog run through the cushy grass and  gently apprehend ten fireflies placing them carefully in a glass jar to enjoy - but for just a moment or two.  She realizes that these blazing little sparklers are not hers to keep and after she revels in their presence she lets them go.  "l love catching fireflies,/ but they are not mine,"/ she cups each captive in her hand before "easy and slow,/ I whisper good-bye/ then let it go."  I loved the line that says, "I take one gently out of the jar.  My hand is a cage for one tiny star." The colourful word choices paint an amazing diorama of an unforgettable experience. A memory that will last a lifetime.

Written in rhyme, with a sing-songy flow, this book will evoke happiness and excitement as you share it cuddled up together.  The back of the book has a some interesting facts about fireflies which will be great to go over with your child and give her factual information about these amazing little insects.

About the author:


Dianne Ochiltree has been writing stories and poems since she was a little kid growing up in Ohio. Today, she is a nationally recognized author of books for the very young. Her picture book, LULL-A-BYE, LITTLE ONE has been a selection for the Dollywood Fourndation's national literacy program, and her picture book, MOLLY BY GOLLY! The Legend of Molly Williams, America's First Female Firefighter received the Florida Book Awards Bronze Medal in the Children's Literature category in 2012. Her earlier books have been translated into foreign language and Braille editions as well as audio versions. For more information about Dianne and her books, go to Dianne lives in sunny Sarasota, Florida with her husband, Jim, and the family pets. Besides writing for kids, she loves to hike in the great outdoors and is a certified yoga instructor. She and with her chocolate Lab, Sally, are a Therapy Dog team, visiting nursing homes and schools in support of the Humane Society of Sarasota's community outreach program.

Book Review Rating:   8   (Fantastic!) 

Read on and read always!  

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