It's A Firefly Night

by Dianne Ochiltree , illustrated by Betsy Snyder

Its A Firefly Night Cvr



A favorite childhood activity - catching fireflies - glow from the pages of this story-with-a-counting-concept offering. With rhyming lines that read like a song, It's a Firefly Night chronicles the capture and release of fireflies, one by one, sparking the reader to count up to and down from ten. The book is capped off with a page of interesting firefly facts (they flash in rhythmic patterns to send messages!), adding a touch of accessible nonfiction to this charming, not-just-for-bedtime book. It's a terrific gift, a great winding-down-at-bedtime selection, a lovely story for a parent and child to share. With glittering sparklers lighting up each page, any night can be a firefly night!

Editorial Review

Kirkus Reviews:

On a summer’s night, a child sails out into her yard to gather (and then release) lightning bugs.

Just like the stars that seem to wink and glimmer in Snyder’s moonlit, mist-streaked night skies, fireflies glow in the grass amid scattered trees and flowers. They smile in close-up views as the child, barefoot and nightgown-clad, gently gathers them into a big jar while her father looks on. Reflecting that “I love catching fireflies, / but they are not mine,” she cups each captive in her hand before “easy and slow, / I whisper good-bye, / then I let it go!” A spread of firefly facts caps the idyllic nighttime foray. Rough sparkly patches on the jacket add a tactile element that compensates, at least in part, for inner flaps that cover parts of the endpaper nightscapes. The bugs and brushwork resemble Eric Carle’s, but Snyder’s art works its own magic.

An intimate encounter with nature lit not just by stars and fireflies, but also an affecting dose of daddy-daughter warmth.

Publishers Weekly:

"When the moon is high/ and the stars are bright,/ Daddy tells me,/ 'It's a firefly night,' " explains a girl in a pink nightgown, as she races through her yard trying to collect glimmering lightning bugs. Snyder's illustrations pull some serious weight to create a feeling of nighttime magic: the lawn glows with an almost supernatural lime green, which is echoed in the gleam of the fireflies and the stars in a night sky painted in rough strokes of blue and violet. The overall effect of Snyder's art is that of cut-paper collage, and she includes friendly details throughout, from the small smiles that the fireflies wear to the reassuring presence of the girl's father, clad in his bedroom slippers. Ochiltree's rhymes are sturdy, and she makes it clear that, while catching fireflies is fun, the beetles are not meant to be kept ("Uncurling my hand,/ easy and slow,/ I whisper good-bye,/ then I let it go!"). Assorted firefly facts close out this cozy evocation of a special dad-and-daughter night.

About The Author/Artist

Dianne Ochiltree teaches writing in schools and has written several picture books that feature mathematics. She and her husband live in both Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania, and Sarasota, Florida. Visit Ms. Ochiltree on the web at

Betsy Snyder has written and illustrated numerous award-winning children's books and created greeting cards, board games, puzzles, scrapbook kits, and much more. Learn more about Ms. Snyder's books at


Ages: 3-6

Resources for Librarians & Educators

Click here to download the It's a Firefly Night story hour kit

Firefly Teacher Guide For Website Copy


USA 12.99 | Canada 15.99

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