PreS-Gr 3-In this rhyming picture book, three girls and a lightning bug end a drought in a small town. "Molly Elizabeth and Zoey Ray,/(Girls who were best friends in every which way)" meet Kathryn Claire, who shows them a jar with an insect inside. After darkness falls, the lightning bug does its thing and the girls decide to teach it about thunder. They jump around on the road, making their own thunder, while the bug responds with its own "lightning," glowing brightly enough to light up the town. These activities magically bring on a real rainstorm that lasts for days. Strong rhythm keeps the couplets lively, though occasional lines are awkward: "Then Zoey said, `Molly, you see what I see?/That lightning bug there don't know what thunder be!'" The idea that a tiny lightning bug could bring on a rainstorm is intriguing, and young listeners may enjoy the magical ending. However, the narrative lacks resonance and immediacy in part because of the rigid rhyme scheme. The events are interesting enough, but not especially memorable or exciting. The illustrations feature neat contrasts, as bright tan daytime tones gradually give way to the deeper blues of evening. They lend some liveliness, but not enough to make this more than a mildly pleasing tale.-Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Inspired by a firefly caught in a jar, a gleesome threesome of girls performs a nocturnal "thundering" rain dance in this flight of fancy.