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Sam and the Firefly Hardcover – September 12, 1958
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Top Customer Reviews
Gus is a law-abiding owl who teaches Sam to make words with his fire-fly light. Sam likes the words but soon is into mischief, writing "cold dogs" above a hot dog stand and nearly causing a riot by writing "free" above a movie theater. His tricks border on the dark as he almost causes cars to collide. The scary darkness of the tale never comes to anything but engages the reader completely. My children worried about the outcome, and wondered (like Gus) how to control Sam. The book even becomes tense when Sam ends up in a closed glass jar and needs rescuing.
Yes, Gus is a lot like a parent. Sam is a lot like a child. And the book is full of learning to read and testing limits and innocently causing real danger and true friendship and sticking together and...it amazes me how seamlessly Eastman puts all of this material together in a riveting story. This may be the best Eastman book of all. It may also be one of the least preachy and most educational books I know. Dark and light, good and bad. It's all there.
P. D. Eastman's enduring story is funny, exciting, and easy to read. The firefly's bright yellow words are dazzling, especially for small fry, and the story shows the power of words (for good and for bad) and the value of friendship. A great find you may remember from years past, this is another fine volume in the "Beginners Book" series from Random House.
Eastman was a formidable children's author. His illustrations for Go Dog Go! and A Fish Out of Water were both marvelous too. And the junked car in Are You My Mother - way spooky, you understand why little bird ran away.
Now that I"m older and wiser, I see a bit of myself in both of these characters. While it is certainly tempting to read this book to children approving of Sam and disdaining Gus, I think a better approach would be to acknowledge that we are all a bit like Sam and a bit like Gus. After all, Gus wasn't really out to hurt anyone--he just wanted to have fun. His problem was that he could only see his actions' consequences from his own point of view.
I, too, write fiction for children. This is precisely the sort of story that I endeavor to create: believable characters sharing interesting adventures through realistic dialogue that results in a tale that is at once entertaining and spiritually edifying. Bravo, P.D. Eastman! Well done!
That is pricless! Gus and Sam are two of my favorite P.D. Eastman characters, by far. Such a great book from an outstanding children's author.
Marc Schmatjen, author of My Giraffe Makes Me Laugh
Most Recent Customer Reviews
THIS BOOK IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED...HAVE READ IT TO VARIOUS KIDS THRU THE YEARS. tHEY STILL LOVE IT!
The stars are for the poor used copy....written in and pages out... Read more
I love this book it is a amazing my kids loved it read it it was the best thing everPublished 1 month ago by Audra
Sam and the Firefly is such a sweet story! I read this book when I was a kid and still love it! Can't wait to get some grandchildren so I can read it to them!Published 1 month ago by The Rescuer
My kids loved it when they were small and now the grandkids love it also.
They are learning how making the wrong choices affect more than just them and
how to think about... Read more
I personally did not like this book. I planned to send it back, but read it to my grandson and now he wants that book every time we read.Published 2 months ago by C D
The book was for my grandson whose name is Gus (same as the firefly). His mother is a high school English teacher so this book was a HUGE hit. The story was great.Published 3 months ago by Workman