A luminous glimpse into the magical realm of fireflies.
In Frost and Lieder’s third exploration of tiny creatures taken for granted in the natural world (Sweep Up the Sun, 2015, etc.), they top themselves, lyrically centering on a firefly’s search for a mate. Again, Frost’s spare poem weds seamlessly with Lieder’s transfixing photography, here focused solely on one of the insect world’s most captivating beings, those tiny creatures that light up summer evenings. Where Frost’s prior second-person poems encouraged children to venture out and engage with nature, here she asks pre-readers to step back and quietly observe firefly behavior, exploring the impulse behind their glowing. The author’s note reveals that fireflies—actually beetles—light up when trying to find a mate, searching for one whose blinking pattern is in sync. As Frost puts it: “How will she find / one firefly / among so many? // Across a distance / wide and dark, / she looks out from / her flower / and sees — / Light. Dark. / Light. Dark.” As Frost’s winged protagonists give chase in hopes of finding each other “among a thousand / fireflies,” Lieder’s evocative close-ups are, at times, so detailed as to count a firefly’s “toes,” at others, so breathtakingly abstract his subjects appear but lemony flashes at dusk.
Another thrilling collaboration, showing children of all ages that even Earth’s littlest creatures long for connection. (Picture book. 2-8)