A board-book survey of rescue vehicles.
Unfortunately, an unrealistic amount of prior knowledge is expected of board-book readers, who may not know enough about rescue operations to separate fact from whimsy. Predictably, a firetruck, police car, and tow truck are included. Young children may also already have seen an ambulance and snowplow, but very few young children will understand that a smiling cat wearing skis and holding a ladder attached to a helicopter is being rescued rather than having the time of its life. Riggs has chosen her words well. Each vehicle's job is summed up in one line of handwritten text followed by an action word (“push” for the snowplow; “pull” for the tow truck). The busy illustrations don't do the words justice, sometimes conveying additional information but also cluttered with unrelated decorative elements and the antics of the animals operating the equipment. An elephant riding the firetruck while spraying water from its trunk is both silly and confusing, especially given the fire hydrant languishing in the foreground. The final spread reprises some of the animals along with a few goofy-looking white humans saying “We want to ride in a rescue vehicle.” Young readers won't join in.
This book needs a rescue of its own. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)