We love fire trucks around our house. Looooooove firetrucks. Just as the little boy in Peter Sis’ Fire Truck, my little Monkey’s first words when he wakes up are “fire truck,” and the last words he says before he goes to sleep at night are “fire truck. (Or “train” or “scooping/rolling/dump truck.” Or occasionally “fish sticks.”)
And so I thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of the fire truck books we’ve been reading lately. (You can see more of our favorite kids’ books here).
Fire Truck by Peter Sis
I first learned of this book when we read another wonderful book by Peter Sis, Trucks Trucks Trucks. Both books center on a little boy named Matt, who loves all kinds of trucks, including firetrucks. In this book, Matt wakes up one day to find that he has turned into a firetruck! He races around the house saving teddy bears from bookshelves and kittens from sofas until he is brought back to human form by the smell of freshly made pancakes. This is a really fun read, and my little Monkey loves not only all of the firetrucks and firetruck toys featured in the book but also the fold-out section that focuses on counting all of the equipment on the firetruck.
Clifford the Firehouse Dog by Norman Bridwell
My little Monkey fell in love with Clifford several months ago, and this story is one of his favorites. After all, what’s not to like about the big red dog? Here Clifford and his beloved Emily Elizabeth visit Clifford’s brother Nero, a fire rescue dog, and get to help the firefighters put out a fire. I love that the story teaches fire safety, including stop-drop-and-roll. My little Monkey loves that Clifford blows so hard to clear the smoke out of the building that he blows a firefighter’s hat right off!
(As a side note, has anyone else noticed how the drawings in the Clifford books were cleaned up in the more recent books? The artwork in the earlier stories is a little messy and a lot of fun, but in the newer versions the drawings look more computer generated. More disturbingly, the parents look completely different! The original father was a little frumpy looking, but now he’s slimmed down, grown taller, and lost his glasses. On top of that, the mom is suddenly a blonde! Is that what the corporate booksellers think the kids will respond to more?)
Firefighters! Speeding! Spraying! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell
This is a fairly new discovery, but already my little Monkey asks for it multiple times a day. The rhyming makes the pages fly right along, and the illustrations are crisp and colorful. This book was also responsible for our first conversation about mustaches, since one of the firefighters sports one :) I also appreciate that this book features a female firefighter, although, as in so many of these instances, it’s hard not to feel like it’s just a token representation, as when most books have a token “ethnic” firefighter. Still, it’s better than nothing, and this book’s female firefighter is very prominently featured.
Firehouse! by Mark Teague
I adore Mark Teague books. My little Monkey has read this book and his Funny Farm over and over. The illustrations are just gorgeous and always have a twist of humor that children will enjoy. For example, in this book the main character, a dog named Edward, is always doing things slightly wrong, like getting caught in the water spraying from the fire hydrant or barely grabbing onto the fire truck before it roars out of the station. Children will enjoy Edward’s misadventures as he and Judy (his country cousin from the Funny Farm book) spend a day learning how to be firefighters, and they will especially love it when in the end Edward saves the day by rescuing a kitten from a tree.
Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever
This is an oldie but goodie that you should definitely give a try. I admit I was skeptical at first. If you’ve never seen Richard Scarry’s books, they consist principally of labeled illustrations, so that children can spend a great deal of time on each page, pointing out all the objects they can name and learning even more. I wasn’t sure my little Monkey would be interested, but he really enjoys it. I think toddlers get a thrill at practicing all the things they can name, and the characters are exclusively animals, which is always a winner. In keeping with our theme, this book has a couple pages devoted to firetrucks and firefighters, with a group of pigs demonstrating all of the fire equipment and how to rescue some cats from a burning building.
For more recommendations on firetruck/firefighter reads, go to this recent post from No Time for Flashcards. I can’t wait to read these with my little Monkey!
Stay tuned for future posts on train books and truck books!