Firefly July not only has perfect poems for warm summer nights and sun-filled days, but can also help you escape the scorching heat as it travels through the seasons. Crispy, freshly fallen leaves will crunch under your feet, sparkling snow will turn your cheeks pink, and fresh, fragrant new flowers will bloom before you. Melissa Sweet’s gorgeous watercolor and collage-style illustrations invite you to linger while contemplating the poems.  Each page is full of life and color, maintaining a coherent design throughout while still capturing the individual feeling unique to each poem. The poems are short and simple, but because they contain a wide range of poetic devices in many different styles, are a wonderful way to introduce young readers to poetry.  Firefly July would be a fun way to mix up story-time, as it invites everyone to think about different kinds of art, and how words can go together just right to create feelings or images. Paul Janeczko has made a clear effort to mix classic poems and poets, lesser known works by well-known writers, and a solid contingent of the relatively unknown. Readers may catch themselves smiling while reading Firefly July, and will likely leave it ready to see the beauty in the world no matter the season, no matter the weather.

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