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HOTSHOTS! by Chris L. Demarest


by Chris L. Demarest & illustrated by Chris L. Demarest

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-84816-1
Publisher: McElderry

Demarest adds another gem to his lambent survey of modern firefighting with this mesmerizing look at the men and women who are specially trained and equipped to fight wildfires. In big, eye-filling scenes he shows a fire’s genesis in sparks thrown off by a passing train, then its swift passage across fields and down upon a housing development as the “Hotshot” teams work frantically to contain it. With broad, dramatic brushwork, he not only captures the fire’s breathtaking speed and fury, but depicts the firefighters’ specific gear and techniques as they quickly create a backburn, then drop beneath collapsible shelters dubbed “Shake-n-bakes” as the wind-driven blaze roars up. The author captions each scene with a line or two of rhymed text, supplies additional details at the end, and closes with lists of recommended books, films, and Web sites. This one fire finally brought under control, the Hotshots are last seen readying themselves to take on the next—not as larger-than-life, tall-tale heroes, but as a team of steady professionals in a very dangerous line of work. Altogether admirable. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)