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by Nate Evans & Stephanie Gwyn Brown ; illustrated by Jessica Gibson

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-09357-3
Publisher: Penguin Workshop

When there’s a fire to be tackled, only a qualified nursery-rhyme crew will do!

Pink-coiffed Mother Goose may look demure when reading in her House of Rhyme, but when there is danger, she springs into action! The Queen of Tarts is facing a bakery fire, so it’s up to the famous fowl and her crew of multiracial nursery-rhyme characters to put it out. After “gear[ing] up in forty seconds flat,” everyone races to the fire. At the blaze, they display a wide array of different firefighting techniques, including the use of water cannons, a fire ax, dirt, a bucket brigade, and helicopters with bucket scoops (loaded with jam). The familiar stars of everyone’s favorite rhymes pair nicely with this technical know-how of equipment and expertise. Chief M. Goose herself commands from a “high-tech rig” tricked out with radios and a satellite. Rhymes scan consistently, and female-presenting characters are given just as much agency as their male-presenting counterparts. Insider nursery-rhyme jokes also abound. For example, the last readers see of the heroic squad, they’re heading off to answer an emergency call from Ladybug. One might quibble about the fact that dumping jam on a fire would almost certainly intensify it, but in the end the book’s having too much fun to care. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22% of actual size.)

Firefighter-loving kids will jump over candlesticks to get their hands on these cute and capable emergency workers.

(Picture book. 2-6)