It’s a Firefly Night

Dianne Ochiltree, Author, Betsy Snyder, Illustrator
Dianne Ochiltree, illus. by Betsy Snyder. Blue Apple (Random, dist.), $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-60905-291-1
Reviewed on: 04/01/2013
Release date: 05/14/2013
“When the moon is high/ and the stars are bright,/ Daddy tells me,/ ‘It’s a firefly night,’ ” explains a girl in a pink nightgown, as she races through her yard trying to collect glimmering lightning bugs. Snyder’s illustrations pull some serious weight to create a feeling of nighttime magic: the lawn glows with an almost supernatural lime green, which is echoed in the gleam of the fireflies and the stars in a night sky painted in rough strokes of blue and violet. The overall effect of Snyder’s art is that of cut-paper collage, and she includes friendly details throughout, from the small smiles that the fireflies wear to the reassuring presence of the girl’s father, clad in his bedroom slippers. Ochiltree’s rhymes are sturdy, and she makes it clear that, while catching fireflies is fun, the beetles are not meant to be kept (“Uncurling my hand,/ easy and slow,/ I whisper good-bye,/ then I let it go!”). Assorted firefly facts close out this cozy evocation of a special dad-and-daughter night. Ages 3–6. Agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (May)