Little Jones Reads: W’s review of It’s a Firefly Night

The not quite smallest, but certainly not tallest, Jones is learning to read and write. Little W is in Kindergarten and says that her favorite part of the day is writing in her journal in the morning. The only bad part, she says, is that she “always runs out of room to write!” What a problem to have for a budding author.

W reviewed her first book this week. She picked from a selection of digital arc’s (this particular book is a reprint, originally published in 1997). The downside, especially for kiddos, is that she didn’t get the size and tangibility of the book, which I think is an integral part of a learning reader’s relationship with books. This is especially true for W, whose librarian says that she always separates herself from her class in the library for an odd reason: she wants a particular type of book. She has a preference for thickness, shape and size. I am always entertained at his TBA stack on library day. The books stack and shelve perfectly, but their subjects range from horses to historical fiction. She says “it just has to feel right in my arm, mom.” As if that’s an odd thing!

This week, W picked It’s a Firefly Night, by Dianne Ochitree; art by Betsy Snyder.

It's a Firefly Night

Here is W’s handwritten review (with my translation/clarification below):

It’s a Firefly Night

{Written} by Dianne Ochitree; art by Betsy Snyder

{Favorite lines from the book:}

‘…their dancing-light show.’

‘My hand is a cage for one tiny star.’

‘I whisper good-bye, then I let it go.’

‘Soon many fireflies {open their} wings…’


It was about a little girl who caught some fireflies, but she said ‘they are not mine,’ so she let some fireflies go.


I liked the book because the {pictures} were {nice}. And because at the end, I liked learning about fireflies.


W read the book all by herself and mentioned along the way that she liked the color of the sky because it looked like it was getting darker and later at night.

As a parent, I agree! The artwork was beautiful! The variations in the color of the painted skies had a time-lapse quality; the gold and yellow tones surrounding the fireflies glowed and gave life to the page. I also enjoyed the imagery of the words.

My jar’s like a lightbulb that’s just come alive.

Flickering quicker, they sparkle and shine…

Aren’t these fun to read!

The character in the book is a little girl, but both W and S enjoyed it, so it’s certainly appropriate for boys and girls.

W is in Kindergarten and could read the vast majority of the words. She tripped over a few, but for the most part, it was a clean read for her. She could not, however, read the ending section where the facts about fireflies live. To be honest, I usually skip these sections of the book. The lilting rhythm of the writing that captures kiddos attention is gone and we’re into bone dry facts. W said she liked learning about them, but it’s mainly because I used my Awesome-Mom/Actress/Totally-Enthusiastic-Wow-Isn’t-That-Amazing voice. Otherwise, she was done.

The book is also a counting book! One to ten, then back down again as the little girl releases her fireflies into the night. This makes it appropriate for younger children learning counting and sight words.

It’s a book with lovely artwork and a fun story about the wonders of our natural environment and it’s fit for boys and girls, without being about princesses or trucks.

Pick it up in our Book Store and keep Reading Up with the Joneses, big and small!

Thoughts? I'd love to hear them...

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