Sam and the Firefly
P.D. Eastman ~ Random House, 1958
Again, I apologize for the obvious and will be back with random, abstract thrift store finds next month, but for now... it's time to give it up for the classics. Strangely, this one falls into the top five favorite books from my own childhood (even before Eastman's Go, Dog, Go), and my son glommed on to it pretty quick. Again, the fact that the story takes place at night and mostly in the dark gave it an air of experiencing something that only went on when I was passed out in my toddler bed... something spooky and mysterious (I mean, come on... isn't there always an owl pictured in a tree when something mysterious and spooky is afoot!?!) That said... I still love this book. In fact, I can't get enough of it, and am always pushing it on my son and giving it top bedside table billing just so I can experience it again and again and again.
The way all the pictures are shadows in a deep blue expect for the yellow glowing eyes of the owl, the tail of the firefly, and the firefly's leave-behind light... with some white light (the moon, car headlights, street signs) thrown in for a perfect trifecta of color. This book rocks my world in the hardest way.
So yea, Sam the owl and Gus the firefly are friends, that is until Gus learns that his tail light it the perfect conduit for rascal–isms. Man that firefly’s butt gets them in a mess of trouble. Gus begins his shenanigans by writing all kinds of bad, bad words in the sky…
What was Gus up to?
Gus made some words.
Gus made GO FAST and SLOW.
He made GO RIGHT and GO LEFT.
And did those cars GO!
They went BASH!
They went SMASH!
Gus did words that made the cars CRASH.
Sam tries to stop him, but Gus is having too much darn fun!
“Now see here, Gus…”
But Gus would NOT see.
He would not hear.
I like to make words,
LOTS of words,” he said.
"I LIKE this game!
Let me be, you old GOOSE, you!”
And away he went.
When his bad behavior gets the best of Gus, and lands him in some pretty deep water, it is Sam who must save the day! This book has it all, really. A wicked sense of humor, suspense and talking animals! If for some reason you’ve been living on Mars, and haven’t ever read this book, buy it NOW. It is that great. (Plus for the past year and a half… whenever I am spoiling the fun, my son calls me YOU OLD GOOSE. Nice right?) Like Roy McKie, I also harbor a secret crush on this guy... but don't tell my husband! Too bad I was only 14 when he died.
Are You My Mother?