BOOK REVIEWS

Sam and the Firefly Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-17 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 105 user ratings
ISBN:0394800060
LANGUAGE:English

"My four-year-old saw this on the shelf at the library and said "Ooh, Dr. Seuss!" and with that, he tossed it into our pile to take home. I pointed out that it's not actually Dr. Seuss but P.D. Eastman, but he wanted it anyway. I haven't read it with him yet, but overheard my husband reading it with him and his sister tonight. The two-year-old was completely silent and not disruptive while he was reading, which is unusual for her when she's listening to stories in her brother's room, so I'm guessing this must be a good one!" said.

" 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 be taken for what it is and not for what it is not.
For me, the night adventures of the owl Sam and Gus will always contain a certain magic.
" said.

"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 sun, moon, stars) in the day and night sky.
Students may be encouraged to use their own thinking to analyze why certain animals were asleep in this story and why some were awake. Students could analyze pictures and make observations about the characteristics of day v.s. night. Students should investigate their theories.
" said.

"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 into the country to do God knows what with him. When the angry victim's truck stalls on train tracks, Sam brakes the jar that Gus is inside of and instructs Sam to use his new found talent to alert the train and get it to stop.
Gus used his talent to save the day, and the two friends split the scene promptly.
Gus returns night after night to pester a very worn out looking Sam.
The End.

Very weird.

" said.

"The book looks cute enough. It has a picture of "The Cat in the Hat" on the cover, which should guarantee some level of quality. Sadly, this book strained my patience past the breaking point. It is heading to the thrift store immediately. Tell me, O Reader-should I forebear so much as to accept the premise that an owl and firefly might communicate in a common language, and further that this firefly's bioluminescence has the power to leave visible trails of light stationary for minutes in the air behind it as it flies-how, Reader, how might I suspend so many more levels of disbelief so as to accept that the two animals know a common written language AND how to render letters in the air precisely that a firefly glow might be left behind (not even in flowing cursive, but print?) like neon skywriting, AND that the owl demonstrated this acrobatic flying style (which would be far more plausible were Sam a bat), AND that mindless humans will automatically obey any glowing words they read floating in the night sky? No, Reader, no; all this I cannot bear. Avoid this book, fellow parents. " said.

"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 firefly thought it was funny to cause automobile and aircraft acccidents, but at least he learned his lesson.

Overall, it's an entertaining tale. It's not one that I remember from my childhood, but has been around for more than 50 years. It's a bit long for toddlers, but would be good for the preschooler/kindergartener set.
" said.

"The Power of Language
3 August 2013

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. 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 on people is not conducive to good relationship, and if you keep of doing it then you could quite well land up in trouble. Obviously the idea of trouble in this book is analogous to prison, since Gus the firefly is imprisoned in a jar, after being caught, and taken off to an unknown destination.

However, another idea that comes out of this book is the idea that language needs to be used wisely. Language is power, and being able to use language effectively empowers people. This is one of the reasons that there is a push for the education of women in developing countries as by giving women the right to education empowers then to be able to determine their own destiny as opposed to having their destiny determined by another.

However, this book also shows us that with great power comes great responsibility. Sam teaches Gus how to write, and upon learning how to write, he immediately goes away and begins to abuse this power. The abuses aren't even all that innocent, such as causing ground and air traffic chaos, as well as advertising free movies. Yet, while he may have got away with some jokes, his actions eventually annoy enough people that they decide that it is time to put a stop to it. As is said on the Big Bang Theory – it is okay to be smarter than everybody else, just don't rub their nose into it.
" said.

" Disturbing content. I vaguely remember this story from when I was a kid. My kids love it, and the simple words are easy enough for my six year old to read. Five stars for the phrase, "Yow wow!" " said.

June 2018 New Book:

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