Sunday, May 23, 2004

When the Fireflies Come

London, Jonathan. 2003. WHEN THE FIREFLIES COME. Illustrated by Terry Widener. New York: Dutton Children’s Books. ISBN 0525454047 [Suggested Grade Levels: K-4].

Mention the word “summer” and a myriad of images are conjured into the mind. Warm days and nights, freedom from school, spending time with friends playing games, eating ice cream, and staying outside until the sun has gone down it is necessary to come inside because you can no longer see. Summer is a time filled with fun and freedom like no other season of the year, and encompasses a multitude of memories that last a lifetime.

Through the use of descriptive language and richly detailed illustrations, the author and illustrator of this book work together to depict the joys of summertime. Baseball games, grass fights, and chasing fireflies are some of the experiences of the summer season that are highlighted in this book. It is through the connection of the text and illustrations that strong images of summertime fun are evoked in the mind of the reader. One cannot help but to smile as the story unfolds on each page, recalling to the mind of the individual reader personal memories of experiences had during the summer months.

Write poetry, such as diamonte, haiku, or free verse, related to summertime.
Create a personal memory book with each page containing an illustrated memory of each season.
Play a game of baseball.
Catch bugs and observe what they do and record observations on a chart or in a journal.

Other stories about summer:
Baxter, Nicola. SUMMER. ISBN 0516092758.

Other stories about baseball:
Thayer, Ernest Lawrence. CASEY AT THE BAT. Illustrated by Gerald Fitzgerald. ISBN 0879237228.

Other stories by London that could be compared to this one:
I SEE THE MOON AND THE MOON SEES BE. Illustrated by Peter M. Fiore. ISBN 0140554874.
SUN DANCE, WATER DANCE. Illustrated by Greg Couch. ISBN 0525466827.

Other stories illustrated by Widener that could be compared to this one:
Adler, David A. LOU GEHRIG: THE LUCKIEST MAN. ISBN 0152005234.
Adler, David A. THE BABE AND I. ISBN 0152013784.

By Kirsten Murphy

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