Firefly Mountain

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Norah Piehl
Celebrating one of summer's elusive pleasures, Thomas's narrative captures a child's sense of expectation, hope, and wonder in this gentle picture book. On a day "so hot the heat squiggled up in waves from the meadow," a little girl's parents speculate that nighttime might be the perfect opportunity to see a "firefly mountain." The narrator does not know what a firefly mountain is, but the name so captivates her imagination that she spends the remainder of that long summer afternoon impatiently waiting for the sun to go down, repeatedly asking her parents, "‘Is it time?'" Finally, once "the barn and the house and the orchard melted into black shapes in the black dark around us," the family climbs to the tallest hill to see the magical firefly mountain for themselves. Although the text alternates between poetic style and childlike colloquialisms ("jiggling and joggling"), its slow, almost dreamlike pacing effectively mirrors summer's hottest, laziest days. Peter Sylvada's oil paintings are most effective when they depict the broad, rural landscapes of the book's setting, gradually growing from gold-tinged afternoon light to purple-hued nighttime.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2
"The whole long, yellow afternoon/the sun boiled down so hot/the heat squiggled up in waves from the meadow." So begins a girl's story of one summer afternoon as she enjoys cool lemonade and the sweet smell of clover. She is torn between not wanting the afternoon to end, and longing for evening and the possibility of seeing a "firefly mountain." Thomas's prose is lyrical and engaging as she describes the sights, smells, and sounds of the fading afternoon and gradual coming of night, but Sylvada's oil-on-hardboard illustrations featuring browns and unnatural yellows lend the book a dreary rather than a dreamy quality. The blurred edges and indistinct shapes seem to distance readers from this experience rather than inviting them to engage with it. The magic of a summer night is better captured by Cynthia Rylant and Mary Szilagyi in Night in the Country (S & S, 1986).
—Grace OliffCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561453603
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 836,018
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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