From the Publisher:
Told almost entirely in sound words, this day-in-the-life look at firefighters and their fire truck will appeal to the youngest vehicle enthusiasts and to parents with a penchant for exuberant read-aloud sessions. With art reminiscent of Donald Crews’s transportation books, Mike Austin evokes the excitement of a 911 call as we follow firefighters sliding down the fire pole, racing through town, and up the ladder truck. Includes fire safety tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA – USA).
This illustration-rich and text-sparse picture book lets the action words and pictures do the talking. Quiet time spent cleaning equipment at Fire House No. 9 is interrupted by an alarm and Fire Engine No. 9 is soon on the road with alarms blaring to rush to put out a blaze above Luigi’s Restaurant. Luigi and his family (wife, son, and baby) are saved in a brave rescue by heroic firefighters and in the end, the whole firehouse is treated to a thank you meal served by Luigi’s family in their new food truck. The action is high and is shown with riveting graphic illustrations. The engine looks as if it is leaning forward as it races towards the fire. The firefighters smash windows and race on foot towards the blaze with ladders at the ready. The reader is to turn the book vertical for the climb up the ladder to rescue the baby. The sparse text varies in placement, colour and size, befitting the action in each scene. It is a thrilling book that captures attention and brings all readers along for a thrilling ride, yet does it gently without causing fear for younger readers. The family action plan at the end can help dispel any lingering anxiety.
My three kids LOVED this story. It has been one of the most requested books of the summer! The 18 month old twins eagerly followed along and mimicked the noise-rich story (brriiing! whoosh weoooo! honk! hurry! smash!) It is my 3 year old’s current favourite. She has asked for it each night for two weeks. Her favourite part is being asked to identify each of the fire fighting equipment items on the front and back endpapers and then finding the items throughout the book. She even loves to ask me to point out each of the items. I have been amazed with how quickly she has caught on to the technical terms and has explained to her daddy the whole process of firefighting. She loved the discussion of our family plan for what to do if we have a fire and understands the reason for getting low in a fire, as the smoke rises and can articulate this. What a fun way to introduce the important, but potentially scary topic of what to do in a fire. It is also a wonderful way to highlight the importance of such a key career and shows people of both sexes and a variety of nationalities doing this important work.
- The end papers showing fire fighting gear. My children LOVED learning the names for the items and then finding them in the story
- Sparse text and rich illustrations
- Emphasis on action words
- Turning the book vertical for the climb up the ladder
- Love that it includes female fire fighters and many nationalities
Why/How Use it with kids:
- Use the fire fighting equipment on the endpapers as “can you find” throughout the book
- Use the last page spread “What to do during a Home Fire” (the FEMA Be a Hero part) as a springboard to talk about fire safety for your family. Create a plan for your family and a meeting spot outside. Go to the website provided (or a comparable one for your country)
- Have your child make the sounds along with the fire engine and alarms (this book is great for that!)
- This book would be great to draw – the map of the town, the smoke, the ladders, the hoses, the water, etc.
- Create a similar book for a job such as a police station or police car or another career such as a garbage truck, etc.
About the Author:
MIKE AUSTIN is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer who lives on the Big Island in Hawaii with his wife, illustrator Jing Jing Tsong, their two kids, and their dog Prudence.