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Reliable fire engine Number Four, retired in favor of new equipment, saves the day when the biggest fire the city has ever seen gets out of control.
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Dennis Smith, the "poet laureate of fire fighters" (New York Post), spent 18 years with the New York City Fire Department. He is the bestselling author of ten books.
Justin Miller received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Fine Arts in painting from New York Academy of Art. This is his first book for children.
Engine Number 4, small but strong, is the pride of the Elm Street fire department--until the town's growth warrants a larger fire truck and Engine Number 4 is retired to a warehouse. When an all-alarm fire calls for every piece of equipment, the little engine is dusted off and, after a valiant effort, puts out the flames. Red, gold, and orange dominate the watercolor and ink cartoons. Multicolored background crowds and shops are often amusing, as pet-shop animals line the window for a glimpse and car riders look askance when a boy blows a big gum bubble. The fire fighters sport oversized boots and smiles. Two blacks integrate the fire department. The story is a close parallel to Gramatky's Hercules (Putnam, 1960), whose hero, also replaced by more modern equipment, puts out the big fire and earns special exhibition space. This updated version is an acceptable addition to the ever-popular fire-fighter picture books. Length of text makes it suitable for reading to kindergartners or for independent reading for early primary grades. --Jane Saliers, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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