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Sam and the Firefly
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Sam and the Firefly (Beginner Books B-6)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  4,625 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews

Back in 1957, Theodor Geisel responded to an article in Life magazine that lamented the use of boring reading primers in schools. Using the pseudonym of "Dr. Seuss" (Seuss was Geisel's middle name) and only two hundred twenty-three words, Geisel created a replacement for those dull primers: "The Cat in the Hat." The instant success of the book prompted Geisel and his wife

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Published December 1st 2010 by Random House Children's Books (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

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How cute is Sam!? I love the cover ;-) Sam is the adorable owl who longs for a friend when he awakens at night and all the other farm and woodland animals are asleep. Lonely Sam finally finds a firefly and they strike up a friendship. The best fun is that Sam knows how to write words and he flies around forming letters, with the firefly following him, and the firefly's glow makes the words glow in the night sky. How neat! Up to this point, I like the story very much. The illustrations a
When I was four years old I wanted to read this book but could not read.
That spring my mother asked, "Want to take tennis lessons?" (We had a tennis court next door)
My answer was, " No. I want to learn to read."
My mother's dream of tennis stardom died that day. Fortunately for me my mother is the unselfish kind and sent me to a beginner's summer reading program and by the end of it I read my first book on my own (this one).
I know that people do not care about this story but I wanted to carve my
Jared Burton
May 28, 2010 Jared Burton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-353
Eastman, P.D. Sam and the Firefly. New York: Random House Books for Young Readers, 1958.
Genre - Fiction - Animals
This book is about an owl who wakes up at night and has no one to play with. The owl then sees a bunch of glowing lights and comes to find his new friend Gus the firefly. The Owl has a great idea to spell out their names in the sky using Gus's tail. After they spell out their first few words Gus finds out how much fun it is to spell words and begins to cause mischief by telling cars
Sadia Mansoor
Feb 23, 2017 Sadia Mansoor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
It takes two to have fun. ^_^

Its a different & new story for me :)
I enjoyed reading this book to my children and I also remember it from my childhood which is always fun. The book was written in 1958 as an easy reader. It is a bit advanced as an easy reader with a lot of words on each page though. The story line was perfectly in-line with my 5-year-old son's interests. He is immensely interested in tricks. He was fascinated by the idea of a day set aside for playing pranks when April 1st came around this year and declared that every day should be "trickster da ...more
Alicia Singleton
This book is about an owl named Sam who meets a firefly named Gus. Now Gus isn’t just a firefly; he is a firefly who has a special talent of writing words with his light. Gus gets into some trouble when he starts to trick everyone with his words and begins making chaos in the nightlife. Gus gets trapped in a jar and Sam helps him escape and helps Gus realize he is wrong for the things he is doing. Gus does something to help right his wrongs. In the end, Gus begins using his talent for good rathe ...more
Muse Here
Jun 12, 2012 Muse Here rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
This was one of those books I adored as a child. I read it my kiddos when they were quite young, it must have been lost in the divorce. We haven't read it for a while, but it's a great read, especially for youngsters. Very cute and enjoyable.
Feb 21, 2011 Dianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The perfect beginning reader: my son knew many of the words in this book from his "sight words" at preschool, and he could sound out some others. BUT, more importantly, it is a great story, interesting and funny, and he cared about what happens.
Jan 06, 2014 ABC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger-kids
I loved this book when I was a kid!
Alexandra Chauran
Disturbing content. I vaguely remember this story from when I was a kid. My kids love it, and the simple words are easy enough for my six year old to read. Five stars for the phrase, "Yow wow!"
Sam and the Firefly by P. D. Eastman is a picture book, most likely intended for children ages 4-6.

Summary: Sam (an owl) teaches Gus (a firefly) to write words with his light, which Gus then uses to play mean jokes and cause car accidents. It is only after Gus is caught by an angry hot dog vendor and has to stop a train crash that he learns he must be careful with his gift.

Evaluation: I rated this book three stars because while the pacing of the story could be improved, it is overall very entert
David Sarkies
Aug 03, 2013 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
The Power of Language
3 August 2013

The text in this book is a little more complicated that the other book that I read but that is probably because the previous book was teaching children prepositions where as this book has a bit of a moral undertone. It seems that by the time children get to this level of reading it is more about teaching morality as opposed to simply teaching a child how to read.

I guess in one aspect the book is teaching us that playing dirty tricks on people is not conducive
Katie McCulloch
Mar 28, 2016 Katie McCulloch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sam And The Firefly, by P.D Eastman is about an owl named Sam and a firefly named Gus. They meet each other and immediately become friends. Together, they go flying around and Gus starts spelling things out in the air with his light while Sam follows. Gus gets a bit carried away and starts messing with people and things with his light. For example, he writes car directions at an intersection that causes them to crash into each other. He writes above a movie theater “Come in! Free show”, so peopl ...more
Dec 02, 2013 Chelsea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: morals, craft
Sam the owl is lonely being awake at night, and is looking for something to do. He runs into a firefly named Gus, and they realize they can make words in the sky with the glow of his light. Unfortunately, Gus takes things a little too far. He starts to play jokes all over town: telling plains to fly the wrong way, free movies night, and COLD hotdogs. Sam could see that his new friend is out of control and tries to stop Gus, but it’s too late. The man at the hotdog stand captures Gus and puts him ...more
May 28, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with younger children
Shelves: childrens, aviation, 2012
When I saw the cover of this book, I just had to borrow it from our local library. The adorable owl and humorous firefly were enchanting. Having read Are You My Mother? and other books by P.D. Eastman over and over again with our girls, I worried that the book would be a bit too young for our girls.

The story was a bit repetitive and I am not sure how much our girls enjoyed it, but we liked the muted nighttime illustrations and thought the silly firefly was a goof. It was a bit alarming that the
Aug 29, 2015 Jonathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book looks cute enough. It has a picture of "The Cat in the Hat" on the cover, which should guarantee some level of quality. Sadly, this book strained my patience past the breaking point. It is heading to the thrift store immediately. Tell me, O Reader-should I forebear so much as to accept the premise that an owl and firefly might communicate in a common language, and further that this firefly's bioluminescence has the power to leave visible trails of light stationary for minutes in the air ...more
Andrew Stockle
Sam and the Firefly is about an owl named Sam and his playmate/friends Gus the firefly. Gus and Sam play a word game during the night. The game is fun at first but soon gets out of control as Gus begins to cause havoc all over town. Furthermore, he seems to find this enjoyable and doesn't see anything wrong with being mean and causing problems for the town. Eventually Gus examines his actions and figures out that he was wrong. He determines that his words really can hurt people and makes amends ...more
Samantha Penrose
What a strange story.
I like the beginning. Sam the owl is looking for someone to play with during a lonely night. He meets Gus the firefly, and teaches Gus to write in the sky with his firefly light. The story then takes a strange turn as Gus the firefly becomes rather mischievous with his new sky-writing talent. Gus flies all over the city causing trouble, and Sam chases him around trying to talk some sense into him.
An angry victim of Gus's practical jokes captures him in a jar, and heads out
Rocheal Hoffman
How cute is this book?! This is great for beginning readers, and frankly an elementary classroom as a read-aloud. It would be a great lead into a lesson on character development. The illustrations in this book include cute pictures as well as the words that are in the text as you read. This provides a great opportunity for the youngest readers to engage and explore text!
Science- Good for GPS: SKE1. Students will describe time patterns (such as day to night and night to day) and objects (such as
May 10, 2009 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After all these years, there remains a certain special something about the literary works of P.D. Eastman, and nowhere are these intangibles more evident than in "Sam and the Firefly".
The brilliant light trails of Gus the firefly long ago indelibly burned their way into the lining of my memories, as I'm sure they have for most people to have read this book. Surely there are several fantasy elements to the story that might seem to stretch belief, but I think that this is a book that must simply
My four-year-old saw this on the shelf at the library and said "Ooh, Dr. Seuss!" and with that, he tossed it into our pile to take home. I pointed out that it's not actually Dr. Seuss but P.D. Eastman, but he wanted it anyway. I haven't read it with him yet, but overheard my husband reading it with him and his sister tonight. The two-year-old was completely silent and not disruptive while he was reading, which is unusual for her when she's listening to stories in her brother's room, so I'm guess ...more
Jul 19, 2009 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of my favorite books of all time, so much that I actually got the cover tattooed on my back and named my ferret after the firefly.
As a child I liked seeing Gus, the firefly, writing words in the sky and the mischief that it caused. As a young adult, I appreciated the message of right and wrong the story conveyed. Today I love that it can still make me smile despite having first read it over 30 years ago.
In my opinion this should be one of those must have books that every child
Emerson and Theodore
Added to Emerson's permanent collection.

SAM and GUS. No accident that these main characters' names are simple, 3-letter words. This is really a spelling and letter book. Very cleverly disguised.
Sam--a lonely little owl--is so excited when he befriends Gus--a firefly down at the lake who can write words in the sky. But Gus becomes mischievous and begins to trick people with his signs in the sky. Sam and Gus are drawn really beautifully in this great beginning reader book. I love this series of
May 06, 2015 Brittiny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman fits under my own category. This story is about the use of your talents. The firefly messes up by telling cars and plans to crash through the use of his light. And he gets caught and the owl saves him just in time to use his talent for good. I liked this book. It was cute because of the illustrations. The colors were blue, green, and yellow. I would use the color palate for teaching because the illustrations made this book funny and worth reading multiple time ...more
I want to give this book 2.5 stars. The classic pictures are very 1958 - and I love them! But, the text just drones on and on. I believe the author was trying to use simple words that beginning readers can read, but the words have no panache when put's just not compelling to read. I am reminded of the simple, but full of life, language of Mo Willems' books, and I wish this book was more like those.
Aug 06, 2015 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, storybook
An odd story. While I enjoyed the beginning, poor Sam finally finding a friend, and the ending, which I will not spoil, I never was (and still am not) comfortable with the middle parts. The 'tricks' Gus plays are more than just 'bad'. Gus crashes airplanes and cars; people die in those types of accidents. That part is left out of the book. Yes, it is a children's story, but even as a child it bothered me that there was not more bother about that.
Bold illustrations (my favorite shade of aquamarine!), excellent story pacing, and the plot will have you wanting to read to the end to find out what happens with the mischievous firefly and his antics. A couple of dated references (not surprising) to 'old goose' and 'old hen' behavior that would have to be explained and since it's not that common anymore...but otherwise one of the more palatable easy readers.
Jun 17, 2011 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A favorite book from my childhood, Sam and the Firefly brings back nostalgic memories about a mischievious firefly and an owl who tries to get him to see the light (no pun intended). But, after lots of silly pranks that go hay-wire, Gus, the firefly actually saves the day! He's learned his lesson.

Used for "You Light Up My Night, Firefly" Storytime: June, 2011.
Dec 06, 2011 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite Dr Seuss books. I just love the drawings. And I loved the story of the friendly owl who just wants someone to play with, and the mischievous firefly who takes advantage of his newly found word-making skills. I still love it to this day. A must for anyone with young children because they love being able to read words like "kangaroo" and "thermometer"!
Mitchell Ary
Oct 22, 2014 Mitchell Ary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edrd-314
this little firefly is an absolute deviant. he takes joy in crashing cars and planes? he sounds a lot like the evil character out of spongebob plankton who only enjoys destruction, chaos and world domination. i liked the book and i would read it again. this time with P.D. Eastman the illustrations weren't very dr. suess'ish. which i was okay with. going on my shelf!
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Philip Dey "Phil" Eastman was an American screenwriter, children's author, and illustrator. As an author, he is known primarily as P. D. Eastman. A protégé of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Eastman wrote many books for children, in his own distinct style under the Dr. Seuss brand of Random House, many of which were in the Beginner Books series.

From 1936 to 1941, Eastman worked at the story departmen
More about P.D. Eastman...

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Beginner Books (1 - 10 of 31 books)
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  • A Fish Out of Water
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  • Animal Riddles
  • Maybe You Should Fly a Jet! Maybe You Should Be a Vet!
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  • The Cat in the Hat
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  • A Fly Went by (Beginner Books(R))

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