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Sam and the Firefly (Beginner Books B-6)

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,053 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Sam the Owl and Gus the Firefly literally light up the sky in this classic Beginner Book edited by Dr. Seuss. In Sam and the Firefly, P. D. Eastman (author of Are You My Mother? and Go, Dog. Go!) introduces us to the dynamic duo of Sam and Gus, who soar through the air writing words in the night sky. But when Gus’s words end up causing confusion and chaos for the people on ...more
Hardcover, 62 pages
Published September 12th 1958 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kathryn
May 19, 2011 Kathryn rated it liked it
3.5 STARS

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
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Autumn
Mar 13, 2012 Autumn rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Jared Burton
May 28, 2010 Jared Burton rated it really liked it
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
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Guen
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
Jonathan
Sep 11, 2015 Jonathan rated it did not like it
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
Dianna
Apr 04, 2011 Dianna rated it it was amazing
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.
Muse Here
Jun 12, 2012 Muse Here rated it really liked it
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.
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
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
ABC
Jan 06, 2014 ABC rated it it was amazing
Shelves: younger-kids
I loved this book when I was a kid!
David Sarkies
Oct 28, 2015 David Sarkies rated it really liked it
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
...more
Chelsea
Dec 02, 2013 Chelsea rated it liked it
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
Dolly
Sep 09, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it
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
...more
Pam
Jul 13, 2014 Pam rated it it was ok
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 together...it'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.
Samantha Penrose
Jul 25, 2011 Samantha Penrose rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-books
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
...more
Mitchell Ary
Oct 22, 2014 Mitchell Ary rated it liked it
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!
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
...more
Skyler
Feb 05, 2016 Skyler rated it it was amazing
It was awesome. I like the part when Gus makes the cars smash! It was funny!

" But Gus would not see. He would not hear. "Yow Wow! I like to make words, lots of words he said I like this game Let me be you old goose you And away he went."

gus made stuff crash. The title was sam and the firefly
Edward Creter
Feb 20, 2014 Edward Creter rated it really liked it
This classic children's story is about an owl and the firefly who lights things up with lighted words. But when the lighted words get the firefly in trouble, Sam the owl has to find a way to redeem his friend. A good story with the typical Dr. Seuus way with a good message.
Bruce H
Sep 03, 2014 Bruce H rated it it was amazing
As my son began to master more English, reading this book became an exercise in parody... I am a firefly, my name is Gus. I like to drink and I like to cuss! Throw in small amounts of potty humor, and you get the idea.
Beth
Jan 25, 2014 Beth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: daniel
Sam the owl is lonely and delighted to meet Gus the firefly. But when Sam teaches Gus to write with his firefly light, Gus uses his new power to play tricks on people. For example, he changes the hot dog" sign into a "cold dog" sign! How will Gus learn to use words is a good way?

It was a hit when I read it to the kindergarten class.
Karen
Nov 02, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
This is an easy reader book done right. The words are accessible to new readers, and the story is worth the effort of working out the words. And the illustrations are adorably perfect.
Siskiyou-Suzy
I read this to the kids once, but I don't really remember that much about it, except that the firefly was named Gus and one of my kiddos was named Gus. I like the cover quite a bit though! Old-fashioned kids books are wonderful.
Rosa
Mar 06, 2014 Rosa rated it liked it
So this is really more of an easy reader then a picture book. The story is very much a moral tale that feels a little bit old fashioned. I love the artwork though.
Josiah
May 10, 2009 Josiah rated it it was ok
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
...more
Libby
May 29, 2015 Libby added it
YOW WOW! What a trick these two crazy fliers have thought up. My favorite part is the cliff hanger. This story is a must read classic.
Camie
Mar 05, 2014 Camie rated it really liked it
This book is 56 years old and still as cute as ever! A first reader with quite a few words per page. My grandson is learning to read ! (KG)
Rachael
Feb 23, 2015 Rachael rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Fun story, but totally misrepresents what you can do with a light in the dark. Little Man was so disappointed to discover this.
Jenny
Feb 09, 2014 Jenny rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-the-kids
This was fine for what I wanted out of it. I needed a simple story in which I would find words my pre-reader could identify.
Ryan M. Hanna
Feb 07, 2015 Ryan M. Hanna rated it really liked it
I read this with my new student from Russia. We had a great time seeing Gus's tricks.
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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
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More about P.D. Eastman...

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  • A Fish Out of Water (Beginner Books B-23)
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  • Animal Riddles
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