Written by Alison McGhee
Illustrated by Christopher Denise
Kindred spirits are hard to find. Friends who truly believe in you and your dreams are just the kind we need.
In, Firefly Hollow, there is a whole nation of fireflies, but only one that wants to fly to the moon. There is a whole nation of crickets, but only one that wants to catch baseballs. Good thing they find each other. Even better, they find a miniature giant who really, really needs friends.
This beautiful book reminds readers of, The Wind in the Willows, with its exquisite illustrations done on glossy papers and with no text on the backside of the page. In some ways, it will also remind children of the Ice Age stories as these friends: firefly, cricket, and miniature giant form a nation of themselves just as the characters in Ice Age create a new kind of herd. What is most important is how each of them understands, supports and fulfills the needs of the others.
Peter, the miniature giant, has lost his best friend and doesn’t know how to cope. Readers will understand these feelings whether they have experience the death of a friend or had a close friend move away. The animals understand Peter much better than his parents do. The readers will pick up on the connection between the river vole and the father as a particular secret they hope will be revealed.
Middle grade readers will enjoy this as an independent read, a read-aloud or a book club discussion title. Literacy core curriculum standards will be fulfilled in several areas using this book, and it is definite the art teacher will want to do a unit revolving around these marvelous paintings. Writing standards can be met as students branch off after this reading to write their own stories about kindred spirits, actual friends, or unspoken dreams.