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FIRE! FIRE! HURRY! HURRY! by Andrea Zimmerman


by Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha & illustrated by Karen Barbour

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-029759-X
Publisher: Greenwillow

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)