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Firefighters in the Dark    by Dashka Slater & Nicoletta Ceccoli order for
Firefighters in the Dark
by Dashka Slater
Order:  USA  Can
Houghton Mifflin, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

This lovely book is a tribute to firefighters everywhere, as well as a leap of imagination for children. The story follows a little girl who lives near a firehouse. Each time she hears sirens, she envisions all kinds of scenarios.

For example, she imagines that the firefighters are racing to a castle occupied by a king, queen, and their fifteen princesses. The fire started when the fire-breathing dragon, who was dining at the castle, blew on his hot potatoes. 'Pretty soon the fire is out. The fifteen baby princesses go back to playing hide-and-seek and the knights go riding off on their horses to tell the dragon that the next time he can have only cold things to eat, like Popsicles.'

In another scene, the firefighters have to rescue a boy who bounced on his bed, all the way up to Pluto. The little girl then joins the team when they need her to help cool down the stars. 'So we climb into the truck and drive into the sky - me, King, Penelope, Almondine, and Bruce. The clouds are full of water and we put them in our hoses and spray away the fire in the stars.'

We are also introduced to the firefighters in the book, and learn how they spend their days. The reader gets to know them on a personal level too, as we find out that Bruce likes bananas, but Penelope eats only peas, pasta and pickles. The beautiful, vivid illustrations that accompany this story are a perfect creative marriage. This is an enchanting book, one that will be a fine addition to any children's library.

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