Florence the firefly is lost. Can “you” help her find her way home?
Young readers help guide Florence across the water and into the city, hopping from light source to light source. The text and the art work together to give clues as to what creates each one. Readers can guess along with Florence, then turn the page to find the answer in the sweeping full-page spreads. Is that distant flashing light the other fireflies? No, it’s a lighthouse. What about that line of lights that seems to be moving? No, it’s a train. The interactive components beg to be read aloud—“Say ‘Fly faster, Florence!’ and flap your hands to show her how to fly really fast”—making it a good choice for group storytimes. Clarke identifies “home” as a “special place,” recognizable in Teckentrup’s digital illustrations by way of the unique, geometric plant life they flit among. Some resemble grass, some ferns, and others wildflowers that double as little bursts of pale light. The artist’s style is collagelike, with textures à la Eric Carle and spots of gradient lights. The solid yellow lights pop dramatically against the predominantly dark blue backgrounds. Earth tones and bright shades for the city round out the color scheme, which, along with the ever present star-speckled sky, makes this story equally apt for bedtime reading.
A charming, interactive tale that can help young readers engage with reading—probably one that will earn that simple command, “Again!” (Picture book. 3-6)