Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review - It's a Firefly Night


It’s a Firefly Night

By: Dianne Ochiltree
Illustrated By: Betsy Snyder
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
Publishing Date: May 2013
ISBN: 978-1-60905-291-1
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 22, 2013

The beauty of a children’s book comes from the fact that adults can nod their heads and smile as they read to their child at night. They can think back to a time in their lives when everything was good, fun and magical (before the burden of a hectic adult world had come along). These are the memories that adults cherish. And by reading fantastic books like this one to their kids, they build more happy memories that their own child will never forget as they grow up and become parents themselves.

Perhaps if you were born in a big city you won’t have the blissful memory of what this book is all about. If surrounded by tall buildings and busy streets all your life, you may not understand the absolute beauty and fun this tale brings. But you should definitely experience it.

As a person who grew up in a small town with big skies filled with stars, I can relate to walking with my father hand-in-hand on a summer’s evening and discovering the mass of fireflies that twinkled in the air.

Chasing the fireflies was like chasing tiny little angels. When you caught one and cupped your hand around it, it felt almost like Harry Potter’s magic did to the kids in the last generation. The fireflies in the open skies fluttered and blinked causing you to race behind them; you thought that if you looked into the strange light long enough that the firefly would unveil some sort of secret magic.

This author and illustrator team obviously knows this world quite well, because they have done an amazing job of bringing that experience back to others. Far away from computers, cells, video games, etcetera - this is a simple tale of a father and daughter who go out in the night to chase those fireflies. The little girl runs through the high grass on a warm summer evening with her dog by her side. The grass is soft and warm against her bare toes and she feels absolute excitement catching the fireflies and then allowing them to continue their journey - soaring into the air as they join with the stars above to make the sky extra-special.

Although eBooks are the rage in this fast-paced world, a hardcover children’s book with stunning illustrations is still the best; reminding everyone that even with technology it’s important to have face-to-face time. Resting, sitting back and holding the book in one hand while your child curls up beside you to live the magic, is a memory you want to have as a parent. And this lovely book should be a part of those quiet family times. If you are out there in that small town with a great big sky, make catching fireflies a ritual. There is nothing more fun…and I have my Dad to thank for that).

Quill says: A mesmerizing journey for both parent and child.