Ryan Daniels

Good Night, Firefly

Children - Fable
35 Pages
Reviewed on 04/17/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

There is a reason for doing things a certain way. Sometimes it’s difficult for young people to understand why they must follow so-called rules, like going to bed at a specific time each night. Even adults have trouble understanding the need to go to bed at a reasonable time and get enough sleep. In Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly by Ada Aguilar, Ryan hates going to sleep. It is such a waste of time and boring! There is so much else he’d rather be doing than sleeping, but it’s essential to maintain a strict routine. It takes a magical firefly, Ozkar, and a trip to a beautiful and magical kingdom, for Ryan to understand why he should go to sleep when his mother tells him. Ozkar knows just how to explain it to help Ryan understand that he will have more energy to run faster, will feel better so he can play with his friends longer, and be able to think clearly and do better in school.

Ada Aguilar’s picture book, Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly, is an endearing story about a young boy who doesn’t want to go to sleep. He tries to conjure up all kinds of excuses to avoid the inevitable long night ahead surrounded by silence and darkness and, yes, sleep. He wants to brush his teeth, get a glass of milk, and make sure things are safe around the house, but his mother repeatedly assures him that he’s already done all those things and that now it’s time to go to sleep. The ever-active mind of this young boy has other ideas, and his journey through the night becomes one of magic, adventure, and important lessons about getting a good night’s sleep. The language is simple to help young readers follow along easily, and the bright and bold illustrations add another dimension to this exciting story. Funny and sincere, it is both entertaining and educational.

Pikasho Deka

As kids, many of us used to feel that sleeping was overrated. After all, there are so many exciting things to do besides going to sleep. Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly by Ada Aguilar, Ph.D. is the story of a child named Ryan. Ryan thinks sleeping is boring. Instead, he would rather spend that time playing video games, watching TV, or even doing homework. One day, Ryan is visited by a magical firefly called Ozark, who promises to take him on an other-worldly adventure. Alongside his pet dog Bozo, Ryan flies over the skies with Ozark, who takes them to a place where children go when they sleep, full of candies, movies, video games, and more. Ryan also learns that sleeping makes him energetic, faster, and feel better.

Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly is a children's picture book for under 8-year-olds. With colorful illustrations by Tapoti Rani Sarkar, Ada Aguilar, Ph.D. has crafted a wondrous adventure tale for kids they are bound to love. Ryan is an adorable child that most kids can probably relate to. He has trouble sleeping but learns a valuable lesson on why sleeping is essential for human bodies and how it helps us dream our dreams. Aguilar's writing brings a sense of wonder and joy to the pages that feel almost infectious. The characters are quirky and charming, which makes the story all the more absorbing. So hop on for a fun-filled adventure with Ryan.

Alex Ndirangu

Some of the most common sleep issues around bedtime for kids include refusing to get into (or stay in) bed, having trouble falling asleep, and waking up too early. Ryan D had been experiencing the same problems. Even his favorite bedtime story from his mom would not induce sleep. He preferred video games and playing with Bozo his puppy every night instead of "wasting time" sleeping. One day, way past midnight, something interesting occurred. A magical, glittering firefly flew through the window and rested on Ryan's hand. It had come to take Ryan to a magical place where children go when they sleep. What exciting adventures awaited Ryan and how would they make it there? Read Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly by Ada Aguilar Ph.D. to find out.

This is a lovely children's book, and I do not doubt that any child who picks it up will feel the same way. The events in the story are described in simple terms that children will find easy to understand. The adventure gets even more exciting when Ryan, Bozo, and the magical firefly soar through the skies over the town and water, illuminating the dark sky with bright colors as they fly. The setting and event descriptions are accompanied by vibrant illustrations that resemble cartoon screen captures. There is even an image of the magical firefly shrinking Ryan and Bozo. The characters are all well-developed and easy to like. From Bozo, a fun-loving puppy, to Ozkar, the sparkling magical firefly, every child will find their favorite. I wholeheartedly recommend Ryan Daniels by Ada Aguilar to children who struggle to sleep. It will also appeal to those who enjoy reading about adventures in magical worlds.

Kathy Golden

While reading Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly by Ada Aguilar, I enjoyed every adventure and encounter Ryan had. I was so caught up in the magic of his relationship with the firefly that I didn’t realize where he and the firefly actually were until the end of the story. The book is illustrated by Tapoti Rani Sarkar, and the illustrations are so vibrant and capture to a T the enchantment of the story.

I applaud the author’s decision to go with such large and colorful drawings. Each one creates that feeling of being right there in the scene. This kind of visual engagement is something that children will love experiencing, and I can easily see a companion coloring book being made available. In addition, the scenes featuring Ryan’s room with its red door and the smiling moon seen through the window all suggest a promise of something unusual about to happen. This image is repeated throughout the story, and there is subtle symbolism there, as this door is first seen as opened and then later, as closed and leaving Ryan in his room, where anything is possible.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story because are subtle changes and transformations that I want future readers to experience for themselves once they decide to explore this lovely treasure. Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly contains a beautiful lesson for children taught to them in a delightful and engaging way. Thank you, Ada Aguilar, for your book.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Ada Aguilar pens a nighttime adventure in Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly. Ryan Daniels doesn’t mind bedtime. He looks forward to his mom’s bedtime stories. However, Ryan is not fond of the idea of going to sleep. No matter how encouraging his mom is, Ryan feels sleeping is a waste of time. Sleep is boring! There are so many other things he would rather do. One evening while lying in his bed, Ryan complains to his stuffed giraffe. Then suddenly, Ryan sees something glowing by his window. He goes to investigate and discovers Ozkar, a tiny colorful firefly. Ozkar invites Ryan and his pet dog Bozo to fly away with him to the land where children go after they fall asleep. The enchanted kingdom is full of awesome and fun activities. After his magical visit, Ryan has no problem sleeping ever again.

Ryan Daniels: Good Night, Firefly by Ada Aguilar, Ph.D. is an enchanting children’s tale with a valuable lesson. The font is easy to read, and the vocabulary is suitable for young readers. The sensory descriptions ignite a child’s imagination with enticing sights and smells. The illustrations are vibrant and rich in color and animation. The fable’s theme is the importance and benefits of sleep for our bodies. How do you explain the necessity of sleep to an energetic child? Aguilar’s solution is to take them on an adventure to a magical land through storytelling. Adventure awaits in our dreams, but first, you must fall asleep. A delightful and charming bedtime story.