Saturday, June 11, 2016

"Among A Thousand Fireflies" and two other books by Helen Frost, photography by Rick Lieder [Review & Giveaway-US/CANADA]

I just became acquainted with the beautiful works of Helen Frost and photographer Rick Lieder and have fallen in love with and am awed with the splendid beauty of the photography as it captures the wonders of birds and insects. The sparse lines of prose so beautifully intersect with the beauty of the images that one's mind journeys deeply into the eye-capturing visions of loveliness.

Published by Candlewick Press these are considered children's books but should also be considered as a coffee table keepsake book that one can pickup and take a few moments to gaze and revel in our absolutely lovely world.

Among a Thousand Fireflies - published in 2016

If you've ever watched the fireflies dance about on a summer's evening in your backyard or out where it is quiet and dark in the evening, you have probably marveled at these delightful insects and perhaps have even begged a lidded jar in which to capture a few.

I know that in our home in the middle of North Carolina, this was a favorite past time of our children. Of course, we couldn't linger too long because those famous North Carolina mosquitoes would be in abundance, too. But capturing the glowing fireflies was a joy, a marvel, an experience to revel in as a child and remember as an adult.

Among A Thousand Fireflies takes us in the backyard and introduces us in a gentle and beautiful way to the stunning firefly.

"In a summer meadow near the river, as night's first stars blink on, a firefly steps into a flower."

At the end of A Thousand Fireflies there is a page dedicated to teaching the reader some interesting facts about these insects. They are not flies, they are beetles and when they glow in the larval stage they are called "glowworms."

See entry form below for opportunity to have your own copy of Among A Thousand Fireflies.

Step Gently Out - published in 2012

If you've ever quietly watched an insect or "bug" you have probably noticed how they seem to move with practiced or deliberate ease and gentleness. So in Step Gently Out the author and photographer show us their beauty....

Frost and Lieder take us through the day - morning sunshine, evening shadows and dark, and then the dew of morning. This is a lovely trek through the day as ......

"In song and dance and stillness, they share the world with you."

A gentle reminder that we're not alone in this world, we share it with the insects, the birds, the critters.

"A spider spins a silken thread and steps across the air."
"A praying mantis looks at you - do you know she's there?"

At the end of the book, Step Gently Out, there are two pages for the reader to learn more about each of the insects pictured in the book. Another great opportunity to educate with a beautiful book.

Sweep Up the Sun - published in 2015

About the book: Illuminated by exquisite photographs of eleven species of birds, a spare and elegant poem inspires readers to open their wings and soar.

Baby robins, open-beaked in their nest. Mallards winging to a new clime. Whether chickadees or cardinals, sparrows or starlings, here are commonly seen birds in their natural settings, captured in photographs of rare beauty and grace.

In perfect synchrony, a lyrical narrative evokes images of play and flight, perseverance and trust. At the end, readers will find profiles of the featured species. This stunning book is an ideal gift for bird lovers of all ages, graduates, or anyone embarking on an adventure.

My thoughts: Rick Lieder's photography is stunning. You will be tempted to sit and look at these pictures for long periods of time because they capture the grace and beauty of the birds and at the most exquisite moment as their wings sweep through the air.

Helen Frost's words capture the true essence that is these lovely birds putting into words their grace.

"Rise into the air on the strength of your wings--
go out to play in the sky,
trusting it to hold you
as you learn to fly."

I have always been enthralled by the beauty and magnificence that is designed into these winged creatures we call birds. This little book is more than a "birding" book, it takes you to their moments of grace and strength.

At the end of this book are a couple of pages dedicated to imparting factual information about the birds pictured in the book. Super nice information.

I heartily recommend all three of these books!

A copy of Among A Thousand Fireflies
Begins June 11
Ends June 30 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of each of these books from Candlewick Press to facilitate this review. I was not compensated for my review. Opinions are my own. Winner's copy is provided by Candlewick and shipped directly to them by Candlewick.


  1. I enjoyed reading to my two boys when they were young, now I enjoy reading to my grandchildren.

  2. I love reading to my grandchildren, I have 9 grandchildren and so enjoy when we get together, one or all, and we enjoy reading and talking about what we have read together and sometimes acting out what the charactors are about.. loll

  3. I know my older grandboy would enjoy reading the book Crossing Stones by helen Frost. The book sounds very interesting and something else I have learned about Helen is her sincerity to her readers and to the characters in her books,

  4. I love reading to my granddaughter. She is at the age where she asks a million questions about the stories I read to her, and I have so much fun answering them!

  5. I love reading picture books with my nieces. They always enjoy the illustrations and photographs. Great for young minds! :)

  6. Her book Diamond Willow also looks really good. I learned, from her website, that Helen was the recipient of a 2009 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. How neat!

  7. I enjoy reading to my students. When they are interested in a story they are the ones who point out things in the illustrations and then we talk about it together.

    We love sharing a diverse set of reading materials with each other as a class!

  8. Yes, I enjoy reading books with my girls & talking about the illustrations. One favorite is the American Girl books.

  9. SALT:A Story of Friendship in a Time of War looks like a good book. I learned that she has lived in Alaska.

  10. Yes, I love reading "to" and "with" my grandchildren. The little one loves all the beautiful pictures.

  11. I love reading in general and reading to a child is special. I try out different voices and used to read the right page and have my son read the left.

  12. Helen Frost wrote 6 novels and 2 picture books. She listened to her dad tell stories at night, then dreamed about travels, her family and her home.

  13. I'd like it for myself. I belong to 2 poetry workshops and one is about nature.

  14. Yes, I love reading to the grandkids! WE enjoy perusing illustrations and graphics in conjunction with the story! Pictures help paint a thousand words!
    Jennifer Rogers

  15. In most picture books, both the illustrations and the literature are of prime importance. Unless you have looked at and discussed both, you really have not completely read the picture book. We like to take our time and enjoy the entire picture book.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  16. These look like absolutely gorgeous living books that would be perfect to use in our homeschool! Thanks for sharing this post at the Lifelong Learners Link-Up Party at!

  17. When my son was younger, we would read 5-6 books a day together. He loved the ones that you had to find an item from many others. We read all the children's books in one small library that was near our house.

  18. I always love pointing out illustrations and or cute stuff while reading to my kids!!!^_^

  19. Applesauce Weather looks like an interesting book and the author lives in Indiana!!!^_^

  20. As a new mom, I love "reading" a book to my child, even if he doesn't understand everything, I know it's a good thing for him to look at the pictures and hear my voice. Great bonding time!

  21. I can imagine whiling away a lot of time gazing at these books! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!


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