Sam and the Firefly
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Sam and the Firefly

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  2,298 ratings  ·  88 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, 72 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 2,856)
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Kathryn
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...more
Autumn Brady
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
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...more
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
Dianna
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
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.
David Sarkies
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 to it. 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 of people is not conducive to good relationships with...more
Chelsea
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 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: parents reading with younger children
Shelves: 2012, childrens, aviation
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
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...more
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
Edward Creter
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.
Beth
Jan 25, 2014 Beth rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Rosa
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
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
Camie
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)
Jenny
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.
Crossingbird
Age range: 2-5
Literacy skill: Print motivation

A simple tale about two night friends.
Eric DeFilippo
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...more
Emerson
Jan 24, 2013 Emerson added it
Shelves: library-books
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...more
Nicole
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.
Cindy Winder delong
I love the way this book showed two very different critters, unlike each other or anyone else, find something in common and build a friendship. Sam teaches the firefly a new skill, but is distressed when his new friend uses his ability to trick people. Sam, as a true friend, sticks by the firefly trying to help him in his time of need and lead him back to good behavior.
Cheryl
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"!
Jackie
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.
Heather
21 months - you really like this story which surprised me as I just thought it was ok. The first day we had it you had me read it twice. You went back to the page with the man catching the firefly and you said "firefly happy". You have a point... Getting caught and put into a jar is not something he'd be happy about so why is he drawn that way???
Cindi
Another childhood favorite. Everything takes place at night, so the art is all dark blues, black, etc. with the moon in bright yellow. Gus the firefly and Sam the owl get into some mischief and have to figure out how to get out of it. A good lesson for kids about good vs. bad behavior (or as my kids say, "good and bad choices").
Katharine
Finally, an early reader with an exciting story! Both my kids really liked this. The 7 year old could read it easily, and newly reading 6 year old for encouraged reading the firefly's words in the sky as well as the emphasized words like "stop now!". It bridged the early reader gap between level 1 and 3 well in that sense for us.
Joe
Yet another huge disappointment from P.D. Eastman. Ugh
Megan
The text of this book isn't quite as smooth to read as Are You My Mother, but the illustrations are delightful and I love that this book includes characters demonstrating some virtues in a way small children can understand -- specifically, persistence, faithfulness to friends, repentance, and heroism.
Sharlene Spencer
Sam comes out at night and wants to play. All the other animals are asleep. Sam met and became friends with a firefly named Gus. Gus plays naughty tricks on people. Will this ruin their friendship?
Good to use when teaching a lesson on nocturnal animals or friendship.
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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
More about P.D. Eastman...
Are You My Mother? Go, Dog. Go! The Best Nest Big Dog...Little Dog Flap Your Wings

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