cover image The Very Lonely Firefly

The Very Lonely Firefly

Eric Carle. Philomel Books, $22.99 (27pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22774-5

With characteristic simplicity-and the now expected visual ``surprise'' at book's end-Carle delivers another heartwarming tale about a diminutive creature on a quest. In the author/artist's words, his latest story ""is about belonging."" As the sun sets, a firefly is born: ""It stretched its wings and flew off into the darkening sky."" Searching for other fireflies, the lonely little guy flies hopefully toward other lights (a bulb in a window, a candle, a flashlight, the shining eyes of an owl, car headlights, fireworks), only to discover that they are not what he is looking for. Youngsters will be as tickled as the no-longer-lonely firefly to find, on the last spread, ""a group of fireflies, flashing their lights""-with the help of replaceable batteries (final version not seen by PW). Carle's richly hued, collage-like art and gentle text will be comfortingly familiar to his numerous young devotees. Ages 4-up. (June)