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The Very Lonely Firefly

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  9,905 ratings  ·  258 reviews
A VERY classic from Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

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 l
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 1995 by Philomel Books
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  9,905 ratings  ·  258 reviews

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The end was such a surprise. I wasn't expecting it. It was very pleasing and caused giggles. The kids have read this before and they didn't spoil the ending funny enough. They laughed at me and my surprise. Our book is old and it still work. It creates quite and effect.

I love Eric Carle's work and this is a beautiful book. It's still simple and colorful. The Firefly looking for his people reminds me of the Ugly duckling. Where does he belong in this world. The Ugly duckling is much more complex.
Lauren Stoolfire
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How have I never read this classic picture book before now?
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love the end of this with the light up part showing all the fireflies it was a pleasant surprise and the kiddo loved it.
Ghazaal B.
Apr 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Mama Bibliosoph
What we love about this book:

-Common urban animal (firefly) as main character.
-The art is special and interesting, but not confusing.
-Carle's collage technique can be used to inspire collage-making (cutting and pasting).
-Lots of smart, deliberate repetition of key words, phrases, and story patterns help children track what's happening, motivating them to attend. I believe kids feel secure (safe even) and proud of themselves when they can anticipate the next line.
-Carle signals to children when t
Drew Graham
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
A lonely firefly meanders through the night looking for others of its kind. Will it ever find them?

This book gave me a legit *gasp* moment when I reached the last page at the library. It's a fun surprise and a great little story along the way. I don't always love each and every illustration but the style is undeniably unique and appealing.
Meg McGregor
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-lexi
This classic of Children's Literature, 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.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
My son liked this one and I hated it. He had like a gazillion million questions while we were reading it which is the last thing I want to do when I'm trying to get a talkative rambunctious toddler to go to sleep. So it's definitely a daytime book when I'm ready for so many questions :) ...more
Christopher Shaffer
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
1 step at a time.😊☺😁😀😄😃
1 step at a time.😢😁😊😄😊
Aug 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Eric Carle is out of touch. This is the tale of a firefly who travels through the night, rejecting opportunities to interact with dogs and cats and lanterns and an owl.
It finally spots a number of other fireflies who pay it no attention whatsoever.
The Very Lonely Firefly concludes: "Now the firefly wasn't lonely anymore".
When it finds a group of other fireflies, it is no longer lonely. Do the fireflies greet the protagonist? Do they so much as look at it? No, Mr Carle. This book has no busines
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Very cute book. As an adult though, I bought it more for the fascination of the book mechanic's, to check out the twinkle-lights built into the back cover of the book. ...more
Jailah Gamble
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle starts off with a scene of the sun setting and becoming night time. The book brings in the main character, the lonely firefly. The lonely firefly is flying through the night trying to find someone that has the same light as he does. On the way he runs into a family and their pets who has different objects that confuses the firefly into thinking they are the same as him. He keeps searching through the night until he finds what he was looking for.

What caugh
Karen Dransfield
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Another classic Eric Carle book. If you get the book new there is a battery operated back cover which flashes lights when you get to it. What was really interesting about this book was the dedication in the from cover by Eric Carle about it books and making a series of stories. I'm wanting to remember what he wrote since I haven't seen it written anywhere else so I'll copy it here. It would make for good points when using the books with kids.

Dear Friends,
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eric-carle
When a little firefly is born at dusk, he finds that he is alone and lonely, flashing his lights to find other fireflys. Soon, the very lonely firefly goes out into the night searching for other fireflies, it sees many things that light up such as 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 still there are no fireflies But it is not until it discovers other fireflies that it finds exactly what it's lookin ...more
Camille Ryckman
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 Motivatio
Anna Frame
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction- I like this book a lot because the story is very cute and also presents something new to students. Some of the things in the book may be new to students. For example, some might not know what a firefly is. The story also keeps children guessing because it asks about different lights that could be seen outside at night and distinguishes them from a firefly. I loved this book as a kid and I think others will too!
Purposes- I would read this aloud to kindergarten students for seve
Courtney Ford
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this book a lonely firefly is looking for another firefly by following around different sources of light. He first spots a lightbulb through a window, hoping that it was another firefly. He then spots a candle and flashlight and is once again disappointed that it is not another firefly. He continues to follow around different sources of light until he finds a group of fireflies and is no lonely. I believe that the major theme of the book is to never give up. He did not give up he found what h ...more
Angela Sunde
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The last in Eric Carle's quartet of 'Very', The Very lonely Firefly is about belonging. "We all want to belong to a group, a family, our own fellow creatures." – Eric Carle.

This is a lovely book to read aloud to an individual child or group. Children are given the opportunity – through the visual narrative – to guess what each light is. 'But it was not another firefly. It was a...'

For Australian children, who will guess 'torch' instead of 'flashlight', I alter the reading to suit and explain the
Mia Balsamo
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebook
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
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book The Very Lonely Firefly is a great children's book. Its a about a firefly that was born as the sun sets and the firefly is alone. As the book goes on its the firefly trying to find other fireflies that sines like him. The firefly runs into different light sources like a lightbulb,candle,flashlight and many more things. I love the ending of this book because it actually shows the light from the fireflies.
This book has simple illustrations but they go along perfectly with the story. I w
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A firefly is born and takes its first flight into the night sky searching for his friends. On his journey, he spots many bright lights, but they all turn out to be man created light sources and not his friends at all. This makes the firefly even more lonely than he was at the beginning. He interacts with animals, children, and cars trying to find others still, even falling for fireworks in the great distance. The firefly searched and searched until it finally found the other fireflies with their ...more
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Rochelle Sondae
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
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
We got this from the library, so the ending wasn't as cool as it is meant to be. They either didn't put batteries in it, or they have died. So we didn't get to see the fireflies all light up.

But the story itself was still fun as we follow a lonely firefly trying to find a friend. I liked the repetition to the story and all the different ways that we use light in the world. My daughter really enjoyed this too and she would have LOVED if the fireflies lit up at the end.

We own the Very Quiet Crick
Nov 19, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book! Love the final page with all the blinking fireflies! Eric Carle's books are magic! ...more
Jon Nakapalau
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book that teaches young children that there is always a place where there are others just like them - all you have to do is keep looking!
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The firefly lights on the last page are a BIG hit here
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice book. In page 12, there was a typo "were" and not "ware"
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Awe, I’d love to see fireflies someday 💜 Sweet book!
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Eric Carle was 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 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 the world.


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