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Comment: This item is listed as acceptable and has probably been well used. It could have considerable writing or highlighting throughout but is still usable and has been priced accordingly. Please do not buy if you are expecting a perfect copy. It has a couple more reads left before its time to be recycled. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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The Very Lonely Firefly Hardcover – June 1, 1995

4.1 out of 5 stars 179 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Many of Eric Carle's books begin with a small creature being born just as a great yellow sun rises. This time the hero is a firefly, and the inimitably Carle-ish cut-paper orange-and-yellow sun is setting. The firefly buzzes off in search of companionship, but keeps following other lights by mistake--a candle, a flashlight, a lantern--and these in turn are all leading in the direction of a fireworks display. Finally, the lonely firefly finds the friends it is seeking--a dozen or more other fireflies. This is one of a series of large (11.5 by 8.5 inches) format Carle books with a mechanical twist: in this case, the firefly's new group of friends start to flash (from tiny yellow bulbs embedded in the book) as you turn the last page. (The battery is replaceable.) (Baby to preschool) --Richard Farr

From Publishers Weekly

With characteristic simplicity-and the now expected visual "surprise" at book's end-Carle delivers another heartwarming tale about a diminutive creature on a quest. In the author/artist's words, his latest story "is about belonging." As the sun sets, a firefly is born: "It stretched its wings and flew off into the darkening sky." Searching for other fireflies, the lonely little guy flies hopefully toward other lights (a bulb in a window, a candle, a flashlight, the shining eyes of an owl, car headlights, fireworks), only to discover that they are not what he is looking for. Youngsters will be as tickled as the no-longer-lonely firefly to find, on the last spread, "a group of fireflies, flashing their lights"-with the help of replaceable batteries (final version not seen by PW). Carle's richly hued, collage-like art and gentle text will be comfortingly familiar to his numerous young devotees. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: AD530L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books; Anv edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399227741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399227745
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Board book
I've been sharing this with my daughter since she was about 7 months old. She was a little antsy the first time through, but when we reached the lights she fell in love with the book. It is her favorite of the Eric Carle books (although she really likes sticking her fingers in the holes of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.) My daughter is now 20 months old and asks for this story every night. Her vocabulary is growing with each rereading and she is able to point out most objects (firefly, candle, lantern, dog, cat, flashlight, lights) to me. I am surprised at how much she enjoys it and find this is one book I don't mind reading every night.
The batteries are the only problem. The first set finally died after a year of steady use, and the second set didn't last very long. (I suspect she left the boook open all day.) I am having trouble finding replacements that don't cost more than the book, but the book is so enjoyable I don't mind.
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By A Customer on April 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is an information book about a lonely firefly searching for other fireflies. The search leads him to other sources of light such as light, candle, and flashlight. The text may be a little weak but that is what gives you time to add science discussion or what we feel like when we are feeling lonely. The last page is the best and sparks in those little eyes makes it all worthwhile!
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By A Customer on December 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My children (ages 2&4) adore this book. The text is a bit boring, but they look forward to the last page. They also have a tendency to leave it open, and the batteries have been replaced twice in the last 5 months -- (it takes 4 batteries that retail for $2-3 each, and I've only been able to find them at one electronics store). This seems to be too much maintenance for a children's book -- especially given that we enjoy Eric Carle's "no-maintenance" books just as much or more.
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Format: Hardcover
Eric Carle's books are enduring favorites with our family.This one isparticularly fun because when you turn the last page, all the fireflies flash their lights. Great for bedtime with the lights down low!
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Format: Board book
My 3 year old daughter enjoyed this book a great deal when she was 2. It hasn't held her attention in quite the same way as other Eric Carle books (Brown Bear,etc. or Polar Bear, etc. for instance). But the colors and lights entranced her, and we still read this book once in awhile.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter LOVES Eric Carle's books. They are consistently her favorites ones to read. I bought this for her for Christmas. It's now February and she just started requesting this at bedtime. She likes the lights at the end. I think the story would have been better without the little dialogues from the characters. I understood what they were talking about, but I didn't think it was relevant to the actual story. So I don't read them anymore.

As an adult, I would have to say this is definitely not Carle's best work. The dark illustrations are not typical of his other books (but I understand why they have to be dark - it's a firefly at night - duh) and some of the characters are angry looking (dogs and cats fighting).

So I gave this a 3 out of 5. I wouldn't say don't buy it, but I would say don't go out of your way. Go out of your way for the other Carle books.
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By A Customer on August 11, 1999
Format: Board book
This book is cute and the special effect of flashing lights on the last page is clever. But the text is less interesting than in the author's Spider and Caterpillar books. I'm not looking for brilliant text, but this is downright boring. I'd get the other two first and get this one only if your kid loves the others.
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Format: Hardcover
As with all the works of Eric Carte, this Firefly book is an absolute delight.

A young Firefly is born. He is lonely and goes is search of friends; his own kind. In his flight of search he encounters a candle, Lantern, flashing lights, a dog, a cat, an owl, cars and so much more. This is all well and good but the poor little guy knows what he wants...his search continues.

Of course the book has a very happy ending...he finally finds other fireflies and all is well.

This one is a favorite of the wee ones. The text is quite simple, bold fonts which are easy to see and read and the design of the book makes it quite easy for the little ones to turn the page. The art of course is dark and bold (after all, it is night time), but not scary. The illustrations are large and well defined being easy on the eye for group reads. The text and the illustrations go perfectly together and are absolutely delightful.

Now there is a problem though; a problem expressed by other reviewers here and a problem I encountered myself with this book. The last page is supposed to light up with firefly light. This of course necessitates the use of batteries. And here in lies the problem...from my own experiences.

I bought this book used. It was in great condition but alas, the lights would not light up. Being very crafty and well versed the use of electronic devices (I am not telling the truth here...I am clueless), I figured out quite quickly that the batteries must be dead.

My search began! This book uses a battery size designated as "2X1.5V L1131 Cells/AG10/LR1130." Now I have absolutely no idea what these numbers mean and I can assure you that the majority of clerks at various stores in S. Missouri do not either.
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