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Sparky: The Fire Dog    by Don Hoffman & Todd Dakins order for
by Don Hoffman
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Since 1951, Sparky the Fire Dog has been the mascot and spokesdog of the National Fire Protection Association. The mission of the organization is to reduce the impact of fire and other hazards by promoting codes and standards, research, training and education.

In this picture book for children three years of age and up, Sparky takes a group of young animals around the neighborhood pointing out various fire hazards as he teaches them how to be junior fire inspectors.

Some of the safety tips young readers will learn as they read this book include checking smoke alarm batteries to make sure they still work, not going to sleep with a fire in the fireplace, and being very careful where you place a lighted candle.

It is also important to have a family exit plan for the home if there ever is a fire; to make sure handles on pots and pans are turned away from the edge of the stove so they can't be knocked off the burner; and to never barbeque indoors with a grill and charcoal.

This is an entertaining and excellent way of increasing a child's knowledge about fire safety. Let Sparky explain why it is important to be careful to avoid accidentally setting a fire or causing an accident that involves cooking, the use of the fireplace or candles.

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