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Fireflies and Shooting Stars: The Tale of Enzo (Book) Review


At a Glance...

Page Count: 144
Year Published:
Final Score
4.5/ 5

User Rating
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We liked?

A beautifully drawn story with a message of inclusion.

Not so much?

A little too long for reading in one shot.

Final Fiendish Findings?

“I’ve learned there’s a light that shines in everyone. It may be different, but that’s okay. You’ve gotta know just who you are and what you’re good at so you can shine in your own way.”

Posted May 16, 2013 by

Full Fiendish Findings...

“I’ve learned there’s a light that shines in everyone. It may be different, but that’s okay. You’ve gotta know just who you are and what you’re good at so you can shine in your own way.”

Ed Raarup brings a musical tale of a little firefly and his journey to love shine, regardless of limitations. Enzo is a firefly who doesn’t have a light. His parents keep telling him that he’s sure to find his light any day now, but Enzo isn’t willing to stand on the sidelines and wait. Though his parents are very protective of him, since he can’t see when it’s dark like the other firefly kids, Enzo is determined to go off and play with the other kids, and try new things.

Along the way, Enzo meets lots of other fireflies – some of them helpful, and some of them not. His best friend Scoot is always willing to lend a helpful light, but Scoot’s sister Suzy teases Enzo mercilessly. Scoot and Suzy’s parents push Enzo’s parents to let him have a bit more freedom, but Papa Luca and Mama Maggy are very protective. Enzo soon realizes that it is up to him to strike off on his won and find his own light – whichever form that may take.

Fireflies and Shooting Stars, inspired by an all-accessible playground called Firefly Field, is a wonderful book for teaching kids about disabilities and physical limitations. Whether he’s bumping into kids during a game of tag, getting teased by Suzy, or arguing with his parents about his missing light, Enzo brings up situations that many kids with limitations face on a daily basis. All kids, with or without disabilities, can gain a new understanding and empathy for others by listening to Enzo’s tale. My six and eight year olds really enjoyed the story, and even my twelve year old sidled over to have a listen once things got going.

At 144 pages, including ten chapters and an epilogue, this isn’t a book that is easy to read in one sitting (it clocks in at just over an hour if you do). However, the inclusion of chapters makes for convenient stopping places – whether you want to talk about what happened in the book, listen to a song, or just take a break for a while. Fireflies and Shooting Stars includes a CD filled with music – all of which is included in the story. In fact, it reads a bit like a musical, with Enzo and the other characters facing issues, and then breaking into song. The music is in a variety of styles, from dramatic to bouncy, and it’s a fun addition that really helps the story come to life.

The music is wonderful, but the thing that really sold my kids on this book is the illustrations. Lindsay D. Nery is the illustrator, and she has created a colorful world that seems to leap off the page. The environments are beautifully drawn, and Enzo shines as a cute little firefly that manages to show a huge range of emotions, from joy to sadness to triumph (not an easy thing to portray on a tiny insect).

Fireflies and Shooting Stars: The Tale of Enzo is a well written book – Enzo is a character that kids will want to pull for, even when things get rough. The added benefit of a tale that teaches is always a plus, and the copious illustrations will keep even the squirmiest of kids glued to each page. The inclusion of a music CD that carries on the fun from the story makes this book a must for your family’s collection.


U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)