Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Review - Fireflies

by Roberto Aliaga
illustrated by Miguel Ángel Díez
Date: 2019
Publisher: Cuento De Luz
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

In the blink of an eye, the fireflies are forced to leave their field and find a safe place where they can make a new home: a light at the end of the way.

But it's a difficult journey, full of seemingly impossible obstacles, which only the love that binds the family together can overcome.

This emotional tale of feelings and identity leads us through the darkness into the light of a better future.

(synopsis from Amazon.ca; see it on Goodreads)

This is a story about refugee fireflies. Forced out of their home, they pack up and move on, following the light as they look for a new place to live. With a gentle repeating narrative, each member of the family realizes they have forgotten something, only to be told by the next-oldest person that what they've lost can be found at their destination. Eventually, though, Grandma wants to give up out of sheer exhaustion. Will little Luke be able to save her and keep the family intact?

The overall premise is interesting. It's clearly a metaphor for the refugee crisis. Using fireflies being pushed out of their park by development is an interesting twist. The illustrations are rather cute.

It is a bit sad to see the fireflies urging each other on with promises of what's to come "at the end of the way" when you realize that each light is something mundane and not very appealing (like the lamp over a Dumpster or the lights of a gas station). The family does eventually find what they were looking for, but the ending is kind of abrupt. So abrupt, in fact, that I almost wondered if the book was missing a page or two.

It's a sweet story about family and hope, and although I wish the ending had been fleshed out a little more, the repetition in the narrative and the pretty pictures make this a fairly strong picture book.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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