Sam and the Firefly

30 Oct

Written & Illustrated by P.D. Eastman, Random House 1986

I love P.D Eastman. He is one of my favourite illustrators. His characters are so simply drawn, yet so expressive. His colour palette is restricted, but he beautifully represents the night time world of this nocturnal odd couple.

When I was a kid, Gus the firefly used to stress me out.  He did not listen, was irresponsible, did what he wanted and ended up a hero. Unfair!


I also identify with the sensible fish who appears in the Cat in the Hat. The Cat in the Hat made me even more anxious than Gus. Perhaps I have said too much.

As an adult, I begrudgingly concede that fireflies and cats in hats can be fun, sometimes.


4 Responses to “Sam and the Firefly”

  1. keith donovan October 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Hi Patricia

    These two books are two of my favorites as well. I love the unmistakable self portrait. What have been the books you have most enjoyed reading to Hugo and Cordelia? Interesting choice of adjectives irresponsible and anxious and the verb stress. As an adult at the time you were reading these books, I would not have had the faintest idea you were being effected in any way at all.

    • Aspirant Librarian October 31, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      Hi Dad,

      I think part of P.D. Eastman’s brilliance is that he creates a gripping tale of two distinct characters who can reconcile their differences, while remaining true to who they are. A story of true friendship. I think as a kid I appreciated that there were others out there like me, even if they were fictional, anthropomorphised owls.


  2. SarahP October 31, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    So funny – love your analysis of The Cat in the Hat. I also identify with the fish but this makes me feel very annoyed with myself when reading it. Rom loves Thing One and Thing Two – she keeps asking when are they going to turn up.

    • Aspirant Librarian November 1, 2012 at 8:01 am #

      Hi Sarah,

      It has taken many years, but I have come to acknowledge and accept my inner fish.


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