Firefly July – A Year of Very Short Poems



Rain beats down,
roots stretch up.

They’ll meet
in a flower.

– Raymond Souster

I am so excited! The book we are looking at today combines the talents of a celebrated poet and anthologist, Paul Janeczko with the incredible incomparable artistic talents of Melissa Sweet. We have talked about them before – A Kick in the Head,  A Splash of Red , Brave Girl, and Little Red Writing.

I just had to get in one more book of poems during National Poetry Month…and I have been waiting, waiting, waiting to share Firefly July, A Year of Very Short Poems with you all! If you have been a follower here…you will know how much I adore the art of Melissa Sweet. Well, in my humble opinion, she has really outdone herself this time. As I have flipped through the book, back and forth, back and forth, I have tried to pick one illustration that might be my favorite – I CAN’T!!!

Can you imagine how much fun it must have been for Paul Janeczko and Melissa Sweet to collaborate on this book? First – for each of the four seasons find poems (no poem is longer than 10 lines, by the way) written not only by poets who write for children but also for adults. Done. 36 perfect poems, some that might be familiar to you – some that probably won’t be. All, however, are accessible and appealing to children of all ages. Then, brilliantly illustrate each poem so that the reader will immediately be transported to another world. Spring – flowers, vegetable gardens, new life. Summer – more flowers (look for them even on the subway,) dust, rain, mud, fireflies, the beach, keepsakes…are you getting the idea?

Not sure how your little one will react to a book of poetry? I can understand that – but I urge you to give this special book a try. Even the most reluctant poetry readers will be mesmerized not only by the poems themselves but also by the delicious art that accompanies them, that draws you into the poem.

Just let the book fall open … read the poem:

The first September breeze fluttered
across the tops
of the withered grass and fall came tumbling in as
if someone had thrown
open a door.

– Liz Rosenberg

Firefly July – a charming book of poetry that belongs on every child’s bookshelf.


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