FIREFLIES by Joanne Ryder


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Though she doesn't mention the chemicals luciferin and luciferase as does Hawkes in her Let's-Read-and-Find-Out entry, Fireflies in the Night (1966), Ryder includes more detail that children can grasp. She introduces the glowworm underground, toward the end of his almost two-year larval stage, where he and other glowworms gang up on an earthworm; and later, after the ten-day pupa stage, she has him ignore a similar earthworm:""He will probably not eat anymore."" Almost half the book then follows his search for a mate as each kind of firefly flashes its own signal and other males are caught in a spider web or lured by a green-flashing female who mimics their flashes, then eats them when they land. Successful at last, the firefly will only live a few more weeks; by then his offspring will be on their way to hatching. A life cycle smartly observed--and Bolognese's crisp illustrations are both clear and appropriately nightlike.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Harper & Row