Cover image for Ten flashing fireflies
Ten flashing fireflies
Sturges, Philemon.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : North-South Books, [1995]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Two children catch fireflies on a summer night, putting them one by one into a jar until all ten are caught, and then they let them out to watch all ten fly away.
Reading Level:
210 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.9 0.5 55961.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.9 1 Quiz: 26987 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Luminous pictures and a buoyant, chant-aloud text, combine to make this two-way counting book as joyous and magical as catching fireflies on a summer night.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3-6. With a beautiful summer evening serving as backdrop, 10 fireflies disappear, one by one, from the dark sky as a young boy and girl capture them and put them in a jar. As each one vanishes from the sky, corresponding text counts down from 10 to 1. Simultaneously, the glow of the fireflies' light reappears in the jar, and the count goes up from 1 to 10, providing a visual exercise in addition and subtraction. Teachers will love this truly "whole language" book, which concludes with the children watching the fireflies fly away one by one. Sturges' singsongy text, with its repetition and rhyme, makes it perfect for choral reading, and it also would nicely complement a science unit on insects. Vojtech's striking illustrations are beautifully rendered in muted shades of violet and green, providing a rich, dark foil for the glow of the fireflies. This most unusual counting book captures the charm and innocence of a favorite summertime activity. (Reviewed June 1 & 15, 1995)155858420XLauren Peterson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Breaking up the deep grays, purples and the black of night with incandescent spots of light, the illustrator of this imaginatively conceived book captures the magic of summer evenings and the mysterious glow of fireflies. These marvelous creatures of nature, meanwhile, are deployed in debut author Sturges's poetic counting lesson. ``What do we see in the summer night?/ Ten flashing fireflies burning bright!/ Catch the one twinkling there/ Like a star./ One flashing firefly in our jar.'' A brother and sister add nine more fireflies to their collection; later, in their bedroom, they free the fireflies when their light begins to fade, counting down from 10 to one as the insects escape through the window and begin to glow again. This counting book, with atmospheric, dusky chalk illustrations and a subtle lesson in compassion, makes a memorable entry in a heavily populated picture-book category. Ages 3-6. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1‘Unusual double-page spreads in deep nighttime colors, with the shapes of frolicking children, trees, houses, and animals only dimly seen, are sparked by the glowing orbs of fireflies as a red-haired, round-faced brother and sister capture the glowworms one by one and put them in a jar. When 10 are imprisoned and brought into the house, their lights blink out. Then the window is opened, they are released immediately, and they fly up into the darkness, flashing once again. The rhymed text of this counting book (1-10 and back again) is lyrical, expressive, varied, and excellent for reading out loud. The illustrations reflect the universal mystery and excitement of playing outdoors on a summer night and catching those strange creatures lit by cold fire.‘Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.