*Firefly July by Paul Janeczko and Melissa Sweet

Firefly July*Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Candlewick, 2014. 40 pages.

Reading Level: Picture Books, 0-8
Maturity Level: 1, 2 (ages 0-8)

Janeczko’s 36 short poetry selections coupled with Sweet’s bright, boldly colored illustrations will delight young children who instinctively enjoy the rhythm of poetry (perhaps more than their jaded parents). This volume excels at bringing poetry down to a child’s level: the selections themselves highlight particular moments that come with the seasons like daisies or mud. Illustrations are full page explorations from a child’s perspective (a particular favorite is the image of bright red rain boots set against a backdrop of mud). Poets include many familiar names (William Carlos Williams and Langston Hughes alongside more contemporary poets such as Joyce Sidman). Use a book like this to help children enjoy God’s gift of language as well as to reflect on his faithfulness as season follows season.

This book is a 2015 Cybils Finalist for poetry.

Cautions: none

Overall Value: 5 (out of 5)

  • Moral/worldview value: 5
  • Artistic value: 5

Categories: Poetry, Picture Books, Curriculum Enrichment, Seasons, Starred Review
Cover image from Amazon

FREE Summer Reading Book List

More than 75 books for children and teens, all about islands, oceans, and more. Bonus: get a free hand-drawn reading tracker!

Reading Ahead for You

Reviews and Resources Weekly in Your Inbox
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.


Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.

Leave a Comment