A friendly Dalmatian assists firefighters and inspects homes for fire safety.
Posed in front of Fire Station No. 5 with a quartet of smiling firefighters of varying ethnicities and both genders, Sparky introduces himself and explains his busy job. He doesn't just straighten the hose and help to wash the fire truck, but he rides along whenever the fire alarm sounds. He used to be an ordinary dog that lived outside a schoolyard, but one day he smelled smoke, and his barking caused the firefighters to come and save his neighbor's house. Since then, he's been a fire dog. In a dream, he inspects homes. At Mrs. Sheep's house, he finds that the batteries in the smoke detector are low. Mr. Alligator has placed his space heaters too close to the curtains, and Mrs. Flamingo has left candles unattended. The elephant family needs an escape route, and Mrs. Tiger, who cooks a lot, needs a safety zone away from the stove. Mrs. Yak gets points for keeping her pot handles turned away from the edge of the stove, and the Fox family has wisely devised multiple ways out of every room. Sparky visits a dozen animal homes in all before an alarm wakes him up. The book is packed with undeniably important information, but the illustrations are generic, and the story, such as it is, is downright corny.
Serviceable—nothing more. (safety tips) (Picture book. 3-7)