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A Firefly Named Torchy Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 29 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 29, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395904978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395904978
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.9 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bernard Waber, who has written eight delightful books about Lyle the Crocodile, a little boy named Ira, and a firefly named Torchy, is the author of more than seventeen picture books for children. Widely praised by reviewers for his ability to describe common family problems, he is best loved by children for his freeflowing humor and gentle characters.

More About the Author

"This is Mr. Waber. Mr. Waber is the man who writes those stories about Lyle the Crocodile" is sometimes the way I am introduced to a child. We greet each other, the child and I, and I begin to imagine disappointment in the wide-eyed gaze. Perhaps there was an expectation the "real" Lyle would leap out from behind this not-unusual-looking author. It is tempting but I resist becoming Lyle and behaving in some ingratiating fashion to desperately compensate for the absent crocodile hero. I offer, instead, to show off some of my Lyle memorabilia, a collection acquired mostly through the generosity of good-humored friends and readers.

My own early efforts at drawing were mostly confined to the laborious copying of photographs of film stars and other celebrities. I received respectable grade in art classes during my school years but doubt I thought it seriously indicated a career direction. Perhaps art seemed too frivolous for one raised during the Depression. Besides, I grew up a rather earnest young man and chose instead to major in finance at the University of Pennsylvania. After just one year of schooling, World War II interrupted those rather high-minded plans. Perhaps it was moving about, meeting people of various backgrounds and experience -- I don't recall a precise moment--but somehow during those army days my interest shifted to drawing and painting.

Returning to civilian life, I discarded high finance for enrollment at the Philadelphia College of Art. It was a decision I never regretted. During the four years I attended school I found great joy in painting and drawing. Soon after graduating, and newly married,

Ethel and I moved to New York, a city we loved at once and still do. I celebrated that feeling with the eventual publication of The House on East 88th Street (1962). My first

New York employment was in the promotion department of Condé Nast Publications, and although I continued in the magazine field for many years, writing and illustrating children's books was my primary interest since 1961.

My involvement with children's books originated with some illustrations of children I carried in my art portfolio. Several art directors suggested that my drawings seemed suited for children's books. At the same time, I was also having read-aloud sessions with my own three children. I am afraid enthusiasm for "their" books began, in fact, to cause them occasional discomfort. "Daddy, why don't you look at the grownups' books" they chided. Before too long I was mailing out stories and ideas to publishers. Rejections followed but after a time a cheery encouragement arrived from Houghton Mifflin Company, and to my delight, a contract was offered for Lorenzo.

In one way or another, I seem to find myself thinking of children's books most of the time. I even enjoy the period in between books for it is then (I hope) that I am susceptible to all manner of adventurous thought. I've never been good at thinking at the typewriter. I seem to write best when in motion. Trains, subways, even elevators seem to shake ideas loose in my head. Although I write and illustrate, I believe if I had to choose between the two, I would choose writing. There's a freedom about writing that appeals to me. You can do it almost anywhere--and I have.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is probably my favorite childrens' book of all time. The illustrations are so mint, you'll hardly be able to believe it. The best part is when Torchy flies to the city and gets blown away by the crazy mix of lights. I promise you'll love this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Guinevere Cuthbert on September 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Torchy is a firefly who is different from all the others and doesn't like it one bit, so, after talking to the owl, he flies off to find himself, and learns to love being who he is.

The story itself isn't too unique, but it's cute enough, and holds the attention of my children. However, the illustration is great, with totally black pages and spashes of color. The city view is very well done and artistic. I don't think I've ever seen a childrens book illustrated quite like it. You should definitely see this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book when my parents read it to me as a very little child. I'm delighted that it's still in print, so I can give it to all my friends who are having children now!
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