THE FIRE by Annette Griessman


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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A child watches her house burn down in this heartrending if purposeful account. Standing safely with her Mama and little brother Pepito, Maria looks on in shock as firefighters battle unsuccessfully to put the fire out before the roof comes down. Gore’s very soft-focus illustrations help to tone down the trauma, placing both stunned-looking witnesses with very wide, dark eyes, and a fire crew in heroic poses against smoky orange backgrounds. In the end, though only a family photo of the three and her plush bear Niña are saved, Maria concludes (with some prompting from Mama) that “the fire took our house—but it didn’t take everything.” Along with giving firefighters due homage, this rare look at a house fire from the victim’s perspective will draw strong reactions—and plenty of discussion—from children. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-399-24019-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2005


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