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LEO THE LIGHTNING BUG by Eric Drachman

LEO THE LIGHTNING BUG

By Eric Drachman (Author) , James Muscarello (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-9703809-0-9

Everyone wins in this comfortably conventional tale of a lightless young glowworm who finally gets the hang of lighting up. As friends look on laughing, little Leo grunts and squeezes—his problem not constipation, but the inability to strike a light. After retreating into a cave for a good cry, Leo remembers his mother’s advice to keep practicing, and barrels out into an inspirational lightning storm. Muscarello depicts Leo and associates as chubby, neon-purple apostrophes wearing bits of clothing and bearing broad, Disneyesque facial features. Leo ultimately learns not only how to glow, but how to laugh along with his friends too; so, unlike Eric Carle’s Very Lonely Firefly (1995), this is not about sex but self-esteem. Drachman tends to overwrite (“Like all people and bugs and fish and animals of every kind, Leo did not like to be laughed at”), but his fable makes an engaging companion for Robert Kraus’s developmental tales, or Bernard Waber’s classic about a bug with a related but opposite problem, A Firefly Named Torchy (1970). Packaged with a lively, multi-voiced dramatic reading on CD. (Picture book. 5-7)