Following Fire Engine No. 9 (2015), Austin looks at maritime emergency vehicles.
In Austin’ s second No. 9 book, the youngest readers find a gripping, exciting ocean rescue conducted by a mixed-race, mixed-gender team using intriguing vehicles and tools: helicopter and boat, with assists from the lighthouse and trucks on the dock. The crew seems to be going through its ordinary duties when the weather changes and a distress call comes in. The text is minimal: words repeat and appear in typeface that increases in size to convey urgency: “MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! // GO! GO! GO!” Bold, graphically splashy artwork captures the stormy, swelling sea and the rescue in motion. A sailboat has crashed against rocks with a sailor and dog onboard. Dramatic tension is heightened when horizontal scenes switch to vertical when the helicopter drops the Billy Pugh basket to pick up the stranded boaters. Never heard that term before? Don’t worry: endpapers feature the pieces of equipment and their names. All’s well that ends well. The squad gets the duo safely to shore as the sun comes out. An endnote includes tips for caregivers on water safety, and readers already savvy about the subject will be pleased to see that both the sailor and the dog are wearing life jackets.
“Hooray! Hooray!” (Picture book. 2-5)