Franklin the Firefly

The Glow Within

Children - Picture Book
60 Pages
Reviewed on 04/24/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite

Franklin the Firefly: The Glow Within is a children's picture book written by Thomas J Penisten and dedicated to his wife. Franklin was born to loving firefly parents and played with firefly friends in his area. As they grew up, Franklin's friends glowed, but they made fun of him when he couldn't produce the same effect. Franklin made friends with others who had been shunned by their peers. He felt as if his new group was misunderstood, and he fought until he was banished from his community. After he lands in a dump, one of his new friends asks him to help the ones who bullied him, as they are in a dire situation. Franklin must decide if he will leave the fireflies that bullied him to their fate or rescue them.

His wife's compassion despite getting teased in her youth compelled Thomas Penisten to write a story about a courageous firefly who helps individuals, even though they have been unkind to him. The author describes bullying and depression, outlining the consequences of both through Franklin's fighting and "dismal" attitude. The story opens up the opportunity to discuss those subjects with children and alert them to the pain they may cause when they tease someone. The book provides a different perspective, as even though Franklin gets into trouble, he only acts out because of his mistreatment. Even though children may not be bullied for differences in growth and development until later years, the story lays the foundation for making and maintaining caring connections. Caregivers and educators should read and discuss Franklin the Firefly with children who are learning and developing the bonds of friendship.