FIREMAN SMALL by Wong Herbert Yee

FIREMAN SMALL

Fire Down Below!
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5
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KIRKUS REVIEW

He may be pint-sized, and he may be tired after a busy day at the firehouse, but Fireman Small puts on the turbocharger when he smells smoke coming from a vent in this madcap story—the third starring Fireman Small. When a raindrop splashes on the nose of Fireman Yee while he tries to grab some winks at the firehouse—there’s a hole in the ceiling—he shuffles off to the Pink Hotel. “Just at the moment his droopy eyes close, / Something disturbing starts tickling his nose.” Smoke—and where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Fireman Small rushes about the packed hotel telling all the animal guests to move fast up to the roof: “Pounding on doors to let everyone know, / ‘Hurry—HURRY! Fire down below!’ ” He assembles everyone on the rooftop and sends them down the fire escape before the little fireman chops a hole in the roof to let the rain put out the fire. Although Yee spices this tale with visual comedy—a pig tends to her underarms with a blow dryer, an alligator wears a silly hat—the same creative energy didn’t go into the verse, which is painfully forced: “Toad’s in a tizzy, hopping and croaking. / The jazz band next door is really smoking. / ‘Your poncho’s on fire,’ wails drummer Mole. / Fireman Small hollers, ‘Stop—drop—and roll!’ ” Still, where there’s a fireman, there’s a reader—and some fire safety tips, too. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-618-00707-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2001




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