From The Horn Book:
Remember Lois Lenski’s The Little Fire Engine (1946) and the reliable Fireman Small? This latest of its many descendants features an urban crew of firefighters quelling an apartment fire. After a brief introduction to our particular firefighter (“This is his truck, / and this is its hose. / This is the station. / This is the bell”), the text moves into action (“And this is the signal / that all is not well”). Indeed: flames are erupting from an apartment building. Heroic rescues ensue, each neatly encapsulated (“This is the ladder, / attached to the truck, / that reaches the lady and man / who are stuck”). Julian Hector’s sturdy, simply modeled figures recall Lenski’s, though his characters are more varied and express a wider range of emotion; our hero looks especially sturdy, four-square, and compassionate. With its swift action, catchy verse, and appropriate palette (red, white, blue, and flame), this should find good use among preschool vehicle enthusiasts and new readers as well as in the “community helpers” unit. j.r.l.