FIRE! FIRE! HURRY! HURRY!

Again and again, a team of four-legged firefighters puts dinner on hold when a series of fires breaks out in the neighborhood. Barbour’s (The Ancestors Are Singing, above, etc.) folkloric illustrations are alive with energy and eye-popping color. In the opening spread, for example, the station bustles as the crew prepares a spaghetti dinner. A blue bear stands at a red stove; a lime-green elephant plays checkers with a Dalmatian in purple overalls; a yellow lion serves a platter of swirly pasta while a pink mouse, striped cat, and an alligator set the table. “The firefighters sit down and start to eat,” the authors begin. “But suddenly— / DING! DING! DING! DING!” The fire is at a flower shop. “Fire! Fire! Hotter! Hotter! / Hurry! Hurry! Water! Water! / The team works hard together. / Can they put out the fire?” Of course they can, and in a framed vignette, the shopowner shows her appreciation by presenting the crew with a bouquet. On the facing page, the firefighters sit around the dinner table, now beautified by flowers. But just as they’re about to eat, duty calls and the crew rushes off again. Youngsters are sure to join in as the alarm rings and the catchy refrain will likely have them chanting while the crew puts out each fire. The toy shop, the pet store, and the bakery are all saved. In the end, the firefighters finally get to enjoy their meal but, by then, it’s been augmented by loads of gifts. A joyful celebration of team work, sure to please the preschool set. (Fiction. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-029759-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Fun, fun, fun all through the town! (Picture book. 4-6)

THE HIPS ON THE DRAG QUEEN GO SWISH, SWISH, SWISH

This book’s gonna werk, werk, werk all through Pride Month and beyond.

Drag persona Lil Miss Hot Mess rewrites “The Wheels on the Bus” to create a fun, movement-filled, family-friendly celebration of drag. The text opens with the titular verse to establish the familiar song’s formulaic pattern: “The hips on the drag queen go SWISH, SWISH, SWISH… / ALL THROUGH THE TOWN!” Along the way, more and more drag queens join in the celebration. The unnamed queens proudly display a range of skin tones, sizes, and body modifications to create a diverse cast of realistic characters that could easily be spotted at a Pride event or on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The palette of both costumes and backgrounds is appropriately psychedelic, and there are plenty of jewels going “BLING, BLING, BLING.” Don’t tell the queens, but the flow is the book’s real star, because it encourages natural kinetic participation that will have groups of young readers giggling and miming along with the story. Libraries and bookshops hosting drag-queen storytimes will find this a popular choice, and those celebrating LGBTQ heritage will also find this a useful book for the pre-K crowd. Curious children unfamiliar with a drag queen may require a brief explanation, but the spectacle stands up just fine on its own platforms.

Fun, fun, fun all through the town! (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6765-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Running Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE TALE OF HILDA LOUISE

Her parents having ``disappeared in the Swiss Alps,'' Hilda Louise lives with the other 109 residents of the affectionately named ``Chez Mez Petits Choux orphanage at 97, rue Saint-Julien-le- Pauvre, Paris.'' Through no particular longing or design of her own, Hilda Louise develops a ``newfound talent''—floating. One day she's simply swept away, escaping the boredom of the orphanage (``Already she had embroidered 2,357 handkerchiefs''), floating over a field where a painter has set up his easel, past the spires of Notre Dame, into the open window of the painter's studio. The painter turns out to be none other than her long-lost uncle. Hilda Louise gets a new home, while back at the orphanage another child hovers overhead. Dunrea (The Painter Who Loved Chickens, 1995, etc.) has created a tartly written fantasy that lacks any sense of motivation, but the paintings are among his finest ever. Like Madeline-through-the-looking-glass, the scenes are precise and magical at the same time. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 1996

ISBN: 0-374-37380-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more