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The News Eagle
May 24, 2014
Ed Raarup and Lindsay Nery Participate in Vocational Leadership Program

Pocono Record
December 23, 2013
How a Pocono Firefly Got Famous

Pike County Courier
November 26, 2013
Author Wins Three Awards for Children's Book!

USA Best Book Awards
November 14, 2013
Fireflies and Shooting Stars by Ed Raarup has been honored as the Top Winner of the "CHILDREN'S FICTION" category in the 2013 USA Best Book Awards. The book was also named as a Finalist in the Children's Mind/Body/Spirit category. Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of USA Book News, said this year's contest yielded over 1500 entries from mainstream and independent publishers, which were then narrowed down to over 400 winners and finalists. Keen says of the awards, now in their eleventh year, "The 2013 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the United States. With a full publicity and marketing campaign promoting the results of the USA Best Book Awards, this year's winners and finalists will gain additional media coverage for the upcoming holiday retail season."

Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
October 3, 2013
Fireflies and Shooting Stars by Ed Raarup has won the prestigious Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Gold Medal in the Music/Theatrical Category. The Moonbeam Children's Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children's books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. The Awards recognize and reward the best of these books and bring them to the attention of parents, booksellers, librarians - and to children themselves. Many of the Moonbeam award-winning books encourage children to be generous and compassionate, to stand up to bullies, and to believe in fulfilling their dreams. The diversity of the winning publishers proves that promoting childhood literacy knows no boundaries, as medal-winners came not only from long-established publishers and university presses, but from small presses, foundations, and self-published entrepreneurs.

Mom's Choice Awards®
August 28, 2013
The Mom's Choice Awards® has named the children's book and CD, Fireflies and Shooting Stars by Ed Raarup, as a winner of the Mom's Choice Awards® Silver Seal of Excellence representing the best in family-friendly media, products and services. The Mom's Choice Awards® (MCA) is an international awards program that recognizes authors, inventors, companies, parents and others for their efforts in creating quality family-friendly media, products and services. Parents, educators, librarians and retailers look for the Mom's Choice Awards Honoring Excellence seal of approval when selecting quality materials for children and families.

E.A. Lewis, Mrs. Mommy Booknerd
May 18, 2013
Such an amazing story about Enzo, a firefly that could not find his light. It is adorable, heartwarming and quite inspiring!!! This book is one that will be appealing to many children, some going through tough stuff and those that are not. I love the CD that accompanied the book! What an amazing way to bring the story to life! I also loved that the book was one that was read over a period of time. It makes it last so much longer and creates such great dialogue between my kids and myself! I just loved this book and rate it 5 stars!

Heather Ayala, Not Everyone's Mama I'm Just Me
May 5, 2013


Beth Stilborn, By Word of Beth
April 21, 2013
Enzo, a young firefly, is distressed because he doesn't yet have his light. He is teased for this, and it causes both him and his family problems - he has trouble finding his way in the dark, and they have trouble finding him in the dark. His mother teaches him the Star Song, which is sung by both the fireflies and the shooting stars that come out to join them on warm summer nights. She urges him to remember that song always, for it will always lead him home. His father tries to find ways to make a light for his son, and Enzo tries his best to endure the teasing and taunting and difficulties brought on by his difference. Finally, Enzo goes in search of the mythical Joel, who is told of in story and song - he hopes this greatest of the fireflies, who now lives among the shooting stars, will help him to find his light. In the end he learns where his light was all along. (And for you to find out the answer, you'll have to read the book!) This is a unique book - a richly illustrated large-format chapter book with an accompanying music CD. Throughout the story, different characters sing to or with Enzo, and the songs are performed beautifully on the CD by the multi-talented author Ed, and others. The most moving song for me is the lovely Star Song, the song that reminds Enzo that "the light will bring you home."

Healthy Books, England
April 15, 2013
Enzo, a little firefly, has loving and protective parents, who are concerned because he has not yet developed the light in his tail. This causes problems for Enzo as he experiences teasing from his friends, and he doesn't understand why he is not like the other fireflies. Enzo is also a very brave little firefly, and in saving the life of a small tadpole, he makes a life-long friend. When he and his parents hear the Star Song, he is happy, and his mum tells him the story of Joel, a firefly who flew to the stars and met Nell, a shooting star who gave all fireflies their lights. Enzo decides to fly to the stars himself to find his light, but when he does so, Joel and Nell tell him that his light is from within his heart, and that it is his other talents that will see him through. The idea for this story originated from an American couple who set up a playground in Pennsylvania for children with all kinds of disability, Firefly Field. The text is full of American-eze, which is fun, and the illustrations are wonderful, full of light and life and emotion. Enzo is lovable, and the CD of songs that accompanies the story will be enjoyed by children too. The whole effect is of a musical, and certainly music -ie the Star Song - is important to the story. Enzo is a winner!

Elizabeth Fais
February 25, 2013
I had the pleasure of meeting Ed Raarup at the 2013 SCBWI Winter Conference in New York. I don't usually read chapter books, but I was so impressed with the story, illustrations, and original songs (Broadway caliber!) for Fireflies and Shooting Stars that I had to blog about it! It is a heart-warming tale about Enzo, a little firefly who was born without a tail light. It's obvious Enzo is different from the other young fireflies, and the challenges this brings sets Enzo on a fantastic journey to find his own light. Enzo's determination takes him on a magical flight of hope, understanding, and self-discovery, as he realizes the power of his uniqueness and the importance of accepting the differences in others as well as himself. What hooked me on this story was its universal appeal and positive message. I immediately empathized with Enzo, a firefly born without a tail light, and cheered for him on his journey to become whole. Though the true power of the story came when Enzo realized he doesn't need a tail light, that his greatest gift shines from within. We are all "different" in one way or another, and the theme of self-acceptance and embracing the differences in others are important lessons to learn _ at any age. The luminous illustrations Lindsay D. Nery created for Fireflies and Shooting Stars (full-color throughout) bring Enzo and his family and friends to life, while drawing us into their magical world of fun and adventure. Their visual appeal adds depth to the story, and shine in their own right. It's rare that you find a strong story with musical accompaniment to match. Music plays an important role in (the story) Fireflies and Shooting Stars, and the accompanying CD is nothing short of amazing. The twelve original Broadway caliber songs are performed by professional talent. Seriously, folks. This musical score is on par with "Annie", maybe better.

B. Ruello
January 29, 2013
Every now and then, a musical story comes along with not only beautiful music and words, but with a special message for everyone. This message is delivered not only in song, but also in artistic illustrations that are spectacular. This production is a winner from beginning to end and should be a part of everyone's library. Enzo is an inspiration for anyone who has ever had a moment of feeling different, alone and bullied in both subtle and deliberate ways. My daughter, a first grade teacher in Rome, was given a copy for Christmas to teach her children to be kind and tolerant of others, among several other life lessons. This is a special gift for anyone who has a heart, a soul and a desire to love others as well as themselves.

NYC Anonymous
January 16, 2013
The illustrations and the music will have universal, uplifting appeal, but the story is particularly good for understanding a disability. Enzo the firefly is born with a birth defect - no light - and although he goes looking for one, and you think this will be a "happy ending" story where he finds a light - instead, he realizes that he does not need a light to lead a happy and full life. Beautifully done!

J. Waldman
January 16, 2013
The story of Enzo is touching yet empowering - a story children can relate to and adults will appreciate. The music is magical . . . memorable - the kind of music you find yourself humming all day long (I think I'm wearing out the CD). The perfect gift! So far we have purchased five books - four as gifts and one for us.

Carol A. Schneider
January 15, 2013
I brought three of these books with the CD for Holiday presents. I gave one to my granddaughter and she just loves the story and especially the music. We play the songs in the car and she loves to sing along. It is a beautiful story with great music.

Art Cirkus
January 15, 2013
This was the perfect Christmas gift this year. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a gift that keeps on giving. Thanks to all those responsible.

Joanne Serino
January 14, 2103
I was so impressed with this book for so many reasons. I feel this is a book to grow up with and teaches a valuable lesson in life. Additionally, the vibrant colors and artwork captured her attention immediately. I would absolutely recommend this to any parent with young children. It is a keepsake!!

Keith Richards
December 27, 2012
The illustrations were beautiful and the bonus was the CD. The music was Broadway quality!!!! We loved the song, Shine Baby Shine . . . just lovely!

December 20, 2012
Little did I know when I was proofreading the text of this book that it would turn out to be such a visual delight with its marvelous illustrations by Lindsay Nery and large fonts or that it would come with a CD of 12 original songs by the author, sung by a professional musical theater cast. It is the uplifting story of Enzo, a little firefly born without a light in his tail. His tale of self-discovery, of learning to find that his own difference is not a disability will strike chords with young readers as they learn important lessons about self-esteem and tolerance. I can easily see this becoming a show for the stage, or even a movie. Meanwhile, go get it for your or your friends' or family members' kids or grandkids. You'll get hugs from them all.

December 19, 2012
What a fantastic book. The story, music, and pictures blend together to create a wonderful tale that can inspire us all to be our very best and to encourage that in others. For children, the message of accepting ourselves and others is critical in this day and age. I plan to buy more copies and give them as gifts to schools where my brothers and I work. Definitely five stars!

December 19, 2012
Fireflies & Shooting Stars, The Tale of Enzo, combines a heartfelt message of compassion, hope, and joy with humor, breathtaking pictures, and uplifting music. I'm getting more to give as gifts.

Sherri Mettler
November 26, 2012
A beautiful book and CD. I wish there were more books written like this. My grandchildren all love it. The illustrations are wonderful and the story is very well written.

Elizabeth Geitz, Author of "I Am That Child" and others
October 3, 2012
The story of Enzo, a little firefly who can't find his light, is heartwarming and inspiring. In a world where children who are different in any way often find themselves bullied, this book is both comforting to those who are mistreated and instructive to those who are not. The illustrations are captivating and appropriate for all children, as the fireflies have gender but no race. The CD included is Broadway quality. Singing the songs with your children in the car will be uplifting for everyone. My children are grown, but that doesn't stop me from singing my heart out while driving down the road!

LA Reader
October 1, 2012
I love this book because it deals with accepting others in a way that children can relate to and also accepting themselves just the way they are. An important lesson for kids taught through an endearing story and very beautiful and colorful illustrations. The music CD that came with the book is fantastic and adds a whole other dimension. My kids loved that! Will definitely be ordering more as gifts!