Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to fireflies. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about fireflies.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
We hope this list of kids books about fireflies can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
A young boy is proud of having caught a jar full of fireflies, which seems to him like owning a piece of moonlight, but as the light begins to dim he realizes he must set the insects free or they will die.
A lyrical picture book from renowned U.K. artist Frann Preston-Gannon A little frog is singing to himself in the swamp one night. His song doesn’t seem complete, so he invites other animals to join in. Nothing sounds right until they are joined by the littlest voice in the swamp — that of a tiny firefly. This wonderfully illustrated picture book carries the important message that small voices need to be heard, too.
A VERY classic from Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!
When a very lonely firefly goes out into the night searching for other fireflies, it sees a lantern, a candle, and the eyes of a dog, cat, and owl all glowing in the darkness. It even sees a surprise celebration of light. But it is not until it discovers other fireflies that it finds exactly what it’s looking for–a surprise sure to bring smiles to anyone who turn the final page!
Lushly illustrated with Eric Carle’s trademark vibrant collage art, soothingly told with a gentle read-aloud rhythm, and complete with a surprise sure to “light up” children’s faces, The Very Lonely Firefly will fast become a storytime favorite. Read it with a flashlight in the dark or under the table–and watch those fireflies glow!
Here is a magical bedtime story, sure to inspire readers with its message of friendship and kindness.
Nina is afraid of the dark. Luckily she has a nightlight, but one night the power goes out. What can Nina do to keep the shadows from creeping in? She catches a firefly to keep her company. But soon it’s clear that what works for Nina is not good for her new friend, and so Nina has to make a decision.
This is a story that celebrates the joy of doing the right thing—even when it’s not easy to do—with stunning black-and-white illustrations and fireflies represented by glowing spots of color—perfect to capture the effect of this heartwarming fantasy for the youngest child.
Sam and the Firefly - Back in 1957, Theodor Geisel responded to an article in Life magazine that lamented the use of boring reading primers in schools. Using the pseudonym of “Dr. Seuss” (Seuss was Geisel’s middle name) and only two hundred twenty-three words, Geisel created a replacement for those dull primers: “The Cat in the Hat.” The instant success of the book prompted Geisel and his wife to found Beginner Books, and Geisel wrote many popular books in this series, including “Hop on Pop, “ “Fox in Socks, “ and “Green Eggs and Ham.” Other favorite titles in this series are “Go, Dog, Go!” and “Are You My Mother?” by P. D. Eastman, “A Fly Went By, “ by Mike McClintock, and “Put Me in the Zoo, “ by Robert Lopshire. These affordable hardcover books combine large print, easy vocabulary, and large, bright illustrations in stories kids will want to read again and again. Grades 1 - Grades 2.
Like a Shooting Star - Award-winning filmmaker and author of The Boy Who Loved the Moon. Rino Alaimo returns with an endearing tale about courage and love. When a young boy’s father doesn’t return from the war, the lonely boy wishes upon a shooting star–one that turns out to be a little firefly who, try as she might, just can’t fly. Touched by the boy’s earnest wish, the firefly undertakes a courageous journey to bring the boy’s father home. Hope, love, and the courage of an unlikely hero fill the pages of this stunningly illustrated picture book.
Bug Off! - Maude wants to be a member of the Bug-of-the-Month Club in her new neighborhood and decides that her entrance speech will be about fireflies. She reads, she researches, she prepares, and she delivers a speech that all the club members love—except for hard-to-please Louise. Louise won’t even let Maude in the club! So Maude vows to really let Louise have it for being so rude—but when she does, it’s not in the way anyone expects. A sparkly story about friendship, kindness, and inclusion—packed with info about fireflies, too!
How to Survive As a Firefly - Listen up, larvae! I’ve been in the trenches for the last year and a half, and let me tell you, there is danger lurking behind every tree and headlight. With my expertise, you’ll learn how to hunt your first meal (snail soup anyone?), what makes your abdomen glow (put down the fire extinguisher!), and how to react when your mate wants to eat you for dinner (who knew fireflies could be cannibals?). Buck up, buttercup you’re in for the flight of your life! If you know what s good for you, you’ll stop goofing around and pay attention to How to Survive as a Firefly, or you might never make it to adulthood! How to Survive as a Firefly provides a unique take on insect science that will entertain and educate in and out of the classroom. Full of opportunities for extended learning, this book includes fun facts hidden throughout the hilarious illustrated story and after, a glossary of important terms and some real firefly photos. If you’ve ever wondered how these fascinating beetles grow and glow and you like to laugh while you learn this book is for you!
One evening at dusk a wind current carries a lone firefly out over the sea. Glancing down into the water, the insect is mesmerized by the glowing bioluminescence, mistaking it for other fireflies. Seeking company, the firefly plunges into the waves. Luckily, there are human bystanders who can lend a hand. Based on an event witnessed by nature writer and ecologist Rachel Carson (The Sea Around Us and Silent Spring) where a firefly attempts to join its “family” in the ocean, this lyrical story written in verse perfectly illustrates the wonder and delight the natural world offers those who pay close enough attention. Back matter includes science facts about fireflies and bioluminescence, as well as information about Carson’s life.
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