The Very Lonely Firefly

The Very Lonely Firefly

by Eric Carle


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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 looking for—a surprise sure to bring smiles to anyone who turn the final page!

Lushly illustrated with Eric Carle's trademark vibrant collage art, soothingly told with a gentle read-aloud rhythm, and complete with a surprise sure to "light up" children's faces, The Very Lonely Firefly will fast become a storytime favorite. Read it with a flashlight in the dark or under the table—and watch those fireflies glow!

Praise for The Very Lonely Firefly:

"Carle's richly hued, collage-like art and gentle text will be comfortingly familiar to his numerous young devotees."—Publishers Weekly

"This is a compelling accomplishment [and a] guaranteed winner as a read-aloud or read-alone."—School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399227745
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/01/1995
Series: Penguin Young Readers Level 2 Series
Edition description: Anniversary
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 41,274
Product dimensions: 8.56(w) x 11.82(h) x 0.69(d)
Lexile: AD530L (what's this?)
Age Range: 2 - 5 Years

About the Author

Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over twelve million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than sixty books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.

Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old; he was educated there, and graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Kunste, in Stuttgart. But his dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories. So, in 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York. Soon he found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times. Later, he was the art director of an advertising agency for many years.

One day, respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr, called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Martin's eye had been caught by a striking picture of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration. It is still a favorite with children everywhere. This was the beginning of Eric Carle's true career. Soon Carle was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle's art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension - die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket's song as in The Very Quiet Cricket - giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers. The secret of Eric Carle's books' appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.

The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature - an interest shared by most small children. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience.

Carle says: "With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates - will they be friendly? I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun."

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Group (USA) Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.


Northampton, Massachusetts and the Berkshires

Date of Birth:

June 25, 1929

Place of Birth:

Syracuse, New York


Akademie der bildenden Künste, Stuttgart, 1946-50

Customer Reviews

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The Very Lonely Firefly 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
JenJenTX More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my grand-baby and she simply loves it!!! It's one of her favorite books. The little blinking lights are a wonderful surprise.
Sassy_Seshat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A cute story about a lonely firefly searching for friends.
ckilpatr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Awesome - especially the ending!
EllieGiles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eric Carle always delivers in his colorful and fun stories about animals and insects. In this story, he tells the story of a very lonely firefly.
crystalr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The illustrations are very good and eye catching, but this is not the best book Earle Carle has done!
bkullman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The hardbound book with paper pages features a lightup back page - very cool. We'll read mor often when Evie doesn't tear up pages, but I like it!
psjones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is not as interesting to me as the others but it is still a great book. All children love to catch fireflies in the summer so I would read this in the late spring. In the hardcover edition, on the last page, the fireflies light up so I will try to have that edition to read aloud.
sjordet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The Very Lonely Firefly" is a great addition to Eric Carle's collection of books. It deals with the issue of finding a place to belong and wanting to belong to something. Well written, "The Very Lonely Firefly" is engaging as a lonely firefly searches for other fireflies to be with. After mistaking several other light sources (i.e. a lightbulb, candle, flashlight, fireworks, lantern, etc.) as other fireflies, the lonely firefly finally finds what he is looking for - a group of fireflies flying around together. Eric Carle's collage work is incredible and the images are bright and vibrant.
alprince on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a simple story about a firefly who was born in the night and flew off into the dark. He spent many nights looking for other fireflies. He flew toward everything that appeared to be another firefly. After trying several times and never finding another firefly, he began to feel discouraged because he was lonely. Finally the fire fly found another group of fireflies and he never felt lonely again. This book is not one that I would use in my classroom, I think it is too basic and although the idea of loneliness is a good story line, I do not think the children would enjoy it.
kljohnson2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is beautifully illustrated and a great addition to any classroom library. It would captivate the attention of young children. It is a work of fiction and an easy picture book.
hwallen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Very Lonely Firefly is a classic children's story about friendship and the importance of relationships. The creativity of colors and expression excite the imaginations of children. This is also a wonderful resource to use for project ideas when learning about bugs, colors, and emotions.
bedesheart More than 1 year ago
Totally engaged my 2 1/2 y/o grand daughter. We read it almost everyday and she doesn't seem to tire of it. Her 5 y/o sister is also able to read it for the most part snd loves reading it to me.
cjp0 More than 1 year ago
Ordered this book online because it was recommended by a Barnes & Noble employee. When the book arrived there was no battery so the final effect of all the fireflies lighting up was lost. Disappointed in B&N and not the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Rhaylin More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful and cute Eric Carle book! I wish we had purchased it in "lap" sized edition because the words are kind of small. It is still a major hit with my son! He has been reading it for months and he is still amazed every time he sees the fireflies lights flicker at the end of the story. I recommend it but if you're looking for it I would try to find it in the "lap" size!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My grandchildren love Eric Carle books. This purchase was a request by my 7 yr old granddaughter to give as a gift to her newborn cousin. My granddaughter plans to read this to her. When my granddaughter was little she always wanted me to read Eric Carle books to her.
jerseystar More than 1 year ago
This book is a delight -- I almost kept it instead of giving it as a gift. I gave it to an almost 5-year old we were visiting in Japan (he speaks English) because we were going to a special garden to see fireflies. He loved the book and enjoys re-reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago