AMONG A THOUSAND FIREFLIES (AGES 2 AND UP)
Candlewick, March 8, 2016

32 pp. ISBN: 978-0-7636-7642-1

 
 

AMONG A THOUSAND FIREFLIES is a Junior Library Guild selection.

 
 

School Library Journal has included AMONG A THOUSAND FIREFLIES in their recommendations for National Poetry Month. See Painting Pictures With Words.

 
 

A great review by Cory Doctorow on: Boing Boing.

"It's a sweet love story, told in language that a small child can follow, but that move the adults who read it with or to them.

...The technical mastery of Lieder's photographic illustration may be lost on a child, but their expressive beauty and character can't be missed by even the youngest of readers. Lieder has imparted (or captured) so much character in his subjects, and so much sweep in his own back yard. It's a gentle, forceful reminder that our own everyday worlds hide marvels.

...I hope you'll be inspired to seek out Lieder and Frost's books, which are extraordinary and nothing like anything else between covers."

 
 

From SLJ, a *starred* review:

K-Gr 3–This simple, delightful story of two fireflies finding each other among thousands is sure to enchant children. A female firefly flashes in the night, hoping against odds to find her match, and she is successful. Written in verse, the text is lyrical yet simple enough for even the youngest readers to enjoy and short enough to be shared aloud in a group setting. The photographs are breathtaking, with close-ups of fireflies flashing in the night, and complement the dreamlike tone. Panoramic shots of a forest filled with flashes provide different perspectives. Educators hoping to tie this book to science curricula will appreciate the note at the end, which offers a scientific explanation of how a firefly’s flashes function in the wild. VERDICT This enthralling look at fireflies will be enjoyed by all who read it.–Ellen Norton, Naperville Public Library, Naperville, IL

From the Horn Book:

Frost and Lieder (Step Gently Out; Sweep Up the Sun) collaborate on a third picture book featuring a poem by Frost illustrated with Lieder’s luminous photographs, this time on the subject of fireflies. Frost’s short lines tell the story of a female firefly looking for her mate amongst “Countless bright / flashes. / How will she find / one firefly / among so many?” Lieder achieves a surprising variety in his photos, sometimes making flowers look as large as trees and other times catching the exact moment when a firefly lights up a yellow flower, setting it aglow. The twilight colors of deep blue and purple combine with the green of the leaves and make the intense yellow of the firefly’s light shine dramatically. The book design adds to the story too, for example with the positioning of pictures showing the alternating “Light. / Dark. / Light. / Dark” that the female seeks, with the words alternating position above and below a set of four photographs. A closing note explains additional interesting facts—fireflies are not flies but beetles; different types of fireflies have unique patterns of flashes. The blend of science, gentle poetry, and spectacular photography will make children long for a warm summer night perfect for firefly gazing. susan dove lempke

A Star from KIRKUS

"A luminous glimpse into the magical realm of fireflies.

In Frost and Lieder’s third exploration of tiny creatures taken for granted in the natural world (Sweep Up the Sun, 2015, etc.), they top themselves, lyrically centering on a firefly’s search for a mate. Again, Frost’s spare poem weds seamlessly with Lieder’s transfixing photography, here focused solely on one of the insect world’s most captivating beings, those tiny creatures that light up summer evenings. Where Frost’s prior second-person poems encouraged children to venture out and engage with nature, here she asks pre-readers to step back and quietly observe firefly behavior, exploring the impulse behind their glowing. The author’s note reveals that fireflies—actually beetles—light up when trying to find a mate, searching for one whose blinking pattern is in sync. As Frost puts it: “How will she find / one firefly / among so many? // Across a distance / wide and dark, / she looks out from / her flower / and sees — / Light. Dark. / Light. Dark.” As Frost’s winged protagonists give chase in hopes of finding each other “among a thousand / fireflies,” Lieder’s evocative close-ups are, at times, so detailed as to count a firefly’s “toes,” at others, so breathtakingly abstract his subjects appear but lemony flashes at dusk.

Another thrilling collaboration, showing children of all ages that even Earth’s littlest creatures long for connection. (Picture book. 2-8)"

 
 

Here at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast you can read about AMONG A THOUSAND FIREFLIES, and see a few pages from it as well as several other upcoming picture books--great company! Thanks, Julie Danielson!

 
 

And Here, at the International Literacy Association, Karen Hildebrand rounds up some beautiful new poetry books for children, including AMONG A THOUSAND FIREFLIES. Thank you, Karen!