Flash, The Little Fire Engine (Pam Calvert)

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Hello, friends! Our book today is Flash, The Little Fire Engine, written by Pam Calvert and illustrated by Jen Taylor, a look at different fire-fighting vehicles and the jobs they perform.

Meet Flash, the little red fire engine! The chief says he’s finally ready for his first day on the job, and he’s excited. He spends the morning waiting for a call, watching the passersby in the town square from his engine bay, wondering what his first job will be. Suddenly, the alarm sounds – an emergency at the airport! But when Flash gets there, his pal Crash the airport tender warns him that he’s too small, and to leave this job to her. The same thing happens at the next few calls: a building fire is taken care of by Laddie the ladder truck, and a forest fire by an airplane and foam truck. Flash is beginning to feel discouraged; is there any job meant for him to do? But when a call comes in for a location close to home, Flash finds his courage to save the day.

Very cute. Flash’s series of disappointments serve duel purpose, introducing little readers to an array of firefighting apparatus and vehicles while imparting the message that we all have unique talents and skills. In the end, the engine and his human compatriots get to save a load of cute and furry animals – perhaps not a raging forest fire or flaming airliner, but a worthy act of heroism indeed, that he was brave and skilled enough to do. The focus on Flash being “still too little” will especially ring true to young readers, even if it’s a little confusing as to how Flash might someday grow larger. The art and story also feature a healthy dose of representation: half of the heroic firefighting vehicles are girls, and the human firefighters are a mix of skintones and genders. The story is a good length for any age, and JJ enjoyed it a lot, in particular the ample uses of onomatopoeia. A fantastic read for aspiring firefighters, and Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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