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The Very Lonely Firefly
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The Very Lonely Firefly

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  6,234 ratings  ·  120 reviews
When a very lonely firefly goes out into the night searching for other fireflies, it sees a lantern, a candle, and the eyes of a dog, cat, and owl all glowing in the darkness. It even sees a surprise celebration of light. But it is not until it discovers other fireflies that it finds exactly what it's looking for.

Read it with a flashlight in the dark or under the table--an...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 1995 by Philomel
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Camille Ryckman
Brief summary - A Firefly searches for other fireflies and happens upon other things that light up at night until he finds the fireflies.
Annotation A story that builds throughout on what different light sources might be used at night as the firefly ventures on. The pictures are spectacular and the final page where he find the fireflies all the tails light up.
Age appropriateness 0-4
Connection to six early literacy skills - I think this book hits all of these early literacy skills
Print Motivation...more
The Very Lonely Firefly / Eric Carle / 1995
Genre: fiction
Format: picture book

Plot Summary:A lonely firefly goes out into the night searching for other fireflies.

Considerations: none

Review Citation:
Booklist Reviews, May 1995
"Its simplicity and its depiction of feeling lonely and finding one's place in a group will appeal to preschoolers. As the flap copy says, "The Very Lonely Firefly is about belonging."

Recommended age: 3-6
I liked this book. It starts out with a lonely firefly. He kept seeing lights in the sky but every time he went to inspect it, it was something else. In the first it was a light bulb, then a candle, then a flashlight, then a lamp, then the eyes of a dog, a cat and an owl and even fireworks. Still couldn't find other fireflies like him. It ended with the firefly finally finding other fireflies. I know if the end the fireflies were supposed to light up when the book was opened to the last page but...more
Well, I've seen the back of this book before, but hadn't read it. So, I decided to read it. I like that there is a "story-arc" going on as the firefly searches for other fireflies. And as I like fireflies, the subject of the book got to me. And I always admire Carle's illustrations. But I'll admit that I'm not in love with most of his books. They're standards, yes. But not my favorites.

But who can not like blinking fireflies at the end?!

And in honor, here was the song we women sang in Sound of A...more

Summary: The Very Lonely Firefly is a story about a little firefly that was just born and is searching for other fireflies. The little firefly keeps seeing lights, but they end up not being other fireflies. Instead, they are flashlights, fireworks, candles, lanterns, and etc. At the end, the little firefly finally finds other fireflies and he is not lonely anymore. This is a story that children will enjoy and remember for years to come!

Author and Illustrator: Eric Carle

Audience: K-1st

Genre: Fict...more
Christina Swain
This book would be a great shared reading to kids to help them understand the dynamics to friendships. In this story, a lonely firefly goes through an exploration to make friends and belong. I could implement this story to my young students and teach them a lesson on being kind with others. Yes, it is true that everyone we encounter, we will not necessarily befriend. However, while children are at such a young age, it is important that they are willing to be friendly to their classmates.
Ethelen V.
Carle, E. (1995). The very lonely firefly. New York, NY: Philomel Books.

A firefly is looking for someone who looks like him. He sees an owl, a lantern, animals' eyes and even fireworks. All of these have bright lights but none match him. He is lonely and wants someone to share with. Just as he's about to give up, he finds what he's been looking for.

Like other Eric Carle books, this book is bright, colorful, and has surprises. It captures the eyes and the imagination. It is designed for infants...more
Laura Mincey
Eric Carle writes a tale about a firefly who is bound and determined to see the whole world for himself. However, there is a big problem--this firefly is lonely, and doesn't think it will be too great to tour the world alone. So, as the firefly is traveling, he stops and recruits friends on the way (different groups of animals). Once the firefly isn't so lonely anymore with his travel companions, he sets off on his journey to see the world. However, the animals begin to have second thoughts abou...more
Michael Duffey
This book was about a firefly that was lonely and looking for other fireflies. He flew all over searching high and low. The grade level intended is K-2. This book could be connected with science specifically seasons because fireflies only show up in Virginia during the summer months. I thought this book was good, but I still prefer Eric Carle's books The Very Hungry Catapillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See. The artwork is the same as his other books, very fun to look at.
Meg McGregor
This classic by Eric Carle explores how all creatures seek out others so that they are not lonely.

Beautifully written and illustrated in Carle's classic style this book is sure to become a favorite for your little reader.
Mia Balsamo
PB16: I love Eric Carle picturebooks. I love how his illustrations are different than most other illustrators. I am not sure exactly what he does but the pictures appear to be collages, and they are rough pictures, the lines aren't always straight, faces tend to be boxy, but they work for this book. I also like the use of dark and light; the background is dark because of the night and you can always find the firefly because of his little light. The best part of this book, without question, is th...more
Great book by Eric Carle...the lights at the end didn't flicker, but I bet this library books gets a LOT of use, so we understand!
Feb 23, 2014 Sheri rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Quinn Cole, Janet Smart, Rosie Taylor, Sandy Chapman
I liked this story as simple as it is about the Firefly looking for other fireflies to join and belong with. The people who see his light follow and watch the firefly. I really enjoyed it after I read that Eric Carle made this one of a foursome of books each with a message of love, belonging, work, and hope. All noble story lines.
Leah Puckett
This book is full of repetition. This would be a good science lesson book. You could teach children the different light sources. There are similarities in this book; the firefly was trying to find another firefly but found different light sources instead. Emotions are another concept from the book, all the firefly wanted to do was try to find other firefly's to fly with.

Learning Experience:
In this learning experience the kids would be put in groups of two. I would bring in flash lights and turn...more
This was the first book I read to my block kindergarteners on the first day I started there. I was so nervous and the kids were not interested in the book at all, just who in the world I was. But it is a cute book and it had interactives in the back. Its about a firefly who is lonely and travels along looking for some companions. He finally finds a pack of fireflies and at the end of the book when he does find them, the book blinks were all the fireflies butts (?) are. It would be a great story...more
Kate Tilton
a tale about belonging, another beautiful story by Eric.
Andd Becker
This book in the quartet featuring respectively, a hungry caterpillar, a busy spider, and a q1uiet cricket, has its own unique contribution -- a light-up page at the end.
Prior to that, a young reader is kept busy wondering what each light is. Does the reader guess lightbulb? Candle? Flashlight? Eyes of dog, cat owl? A car's headlights? Fireworks?
A parent reading this book to a young child can use the opportunity to engage the child in questions/answers and wonderful parental/child dialogue.
Wooden Horse
I only order the board book version of Eric Carle's books. I think that the board book format is the best format for his books and are a better price point. Really they could be slightly larger as the text is really meant for a 3 to 5 year old. That age range is usually ready for a "regular picture book" format however the price point for those editions are astronomical in my opinion so I keep to the board book edition. This one features sparkling lights on the final spread and as an added bonus...more
It's really scary to be lost or should I say, it is really difficult to be in a place or people whom you just can't fit in. In the long the run, your peace relies on your family. After all, they are the only ones who can accept you for who you are. Hahaha! I am putting too much symbolism on Eric Carl's book. It's just a story of a firefly looking for his light or co-fireflies :D Plus I love fireflies because they are magnificent at night. I would lie awake at night for hours just staring at them...more
I bet if I'd read this as a child I would've loved it. It reminds me of The Very Quiet Cricket.
It was a lonely firefly and flashed its light searching for other fireflies.
The firefly saw a light and flew toward it. What he finds a lightbulb, candle, flashlight, lantern, a dog, a cat and an owl's eyes reflecting the light, a car's headlights, then fireworks.

Finally the very lonely firefly saw what it had been looking for… a group of fireflies flashing THEIR lights. (lights blink)
You'd think that because I'm a big fan of Carle's other board books that this would be a shoo-in. Plus, there are actual, sparkling lights on the last page. It's just OK. Kinda dark pictures (it takes place at night, but you know...). Also, I accidently banged my head on the kitchen table a few weeks ago when this was being read to me, so definitely negative associations.

But what do I know? I spend most of my day sucking on my toes.
Travis Pratt
Mar 12, 2008 Travis Pratt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Parents
I never had the chance to really see any actual fireflys when I was little. Living in the southern US while my son has been small has given him the chance to expierience their wonders first hand. Knowing what they are and having seen them he really enjoys this book. Plus as an added benifit the book has a battery powered last page to provide blinking fireflys when you get to the end of the story and the firefly finds his friends.
The Very Lonely Firefly is lost and looking for its way. It seems like an eternity until he finally finds his other firefly friends. This book is great for early readers and young children because it has colors, its predictable, it has animals, its relatable, etc. Several children can relate to this book because we are all lost and looking for our way at some point in time and we all eventually find it, just like firefly.
Sep 15, 2010 jacky rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: toddlers - K
I didn't love this Eric Carle as much as some of his others. I love his illustrations of animals more than people, and this one had a lot of people. Also, a firefly following various lights just wasn't as creative as a lady bug picking a fight with a whale or a caterpillar eating ice cream. I did like the fireworks, and I did like the idea of the last page, but the copy we took out from the library was broken. :(
Carey Voignier
When a very lonely firefly goes out into the night searching for other fireflies, it sees a lantern, a candle, and the eyes of a dog, cat, and owl all glowing in the darkness. It even sees a surprise celebration of light. But it is not until it discovers other fireflies that it finds exactly what it's looking for. Finding others that are alike and different to fit in and belong as a group or classroom.
PB 6: I like some Eric Carle books, but I was not a big fan of this one. I really loved how the back page lit up, and I know kids will love that, but I didn't enjoy the illustrations of the characters. The firefly seemed almost creepy. And I understand that it's night-time, but the whole book was very dark which made it seem kind of sad. I wasn't very happy reading it because of the dark backgrounds.
Dylan Reisz
I learned that if your brain is a wide spot in a nerve cluster then everything looks like a firefly to you -- lights, candles, lanterns, flashlights, car headlights, animal eyes, fireworks. Also, there's more than one firefly in the world.

I also learned what an owl is and what sound it makes and, in keeping with my vacuum obsession, I learned that all houses have vacuums inside them.
Katherine Fountain
I love Eric Carle books and the Very Lonely Firefly is one of my favorites! After the firefly is first born, his natural instinct is to find other fireflies. He is mistaken by other lights on his journey yet eventually finds others and is happy. This shows how we need love and can appreciate our friends in a fun and easy to understand way most appropriate for kindergarten or first grade.
Christiana Tarpley
A lonely firefly struggled while trying to find other fireflies :(

The firefly was determined to find the others, but kept coming across other lights that appeared to be the others, but when he came to the light it kept being different things.

The firefly was so determined, he kept looking until he finally found them! Great book to teach about the feeling of lonlieness.
Siobhan (shivynpepe)
I loved the repetition in this book with "The firefly saw a light and flew toward it." I got the participation version from the library that was supposed to light up at the end, however, I got this from the library, so the lights were all worn out unfortunately. But I think that would make for a great, happy surprise at the end when the firefly finds his friends.
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Eric Carle (born June 25, 1929) is a children's book author and illustrator, most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 30 languages. Since The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 71 million copies of his books have sold around...more
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