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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spark the Firefighter (Picture Book)



Released September 2008

www.penguin.com/youngreaders
www.stephenkrensky.com

Reviewed by Deb Fowler

Hardscrabble, like many towns around the nation, was in need of volunteer firefighters. They “posted a sign and handed out notices,” but not a single person responded. Finally someone did show up at the fire department to put in an application, but the fire chief was a bit surprised. Spark was a dragon . . . , has anyone ever heard of a dragon that fought fires? Gee, mostly they started them, but Spark figured there was always a first time for everything. Oddly enough, fire made him nervous.

Spark wasn’t good at guarding treasure, he couldn’t frighten off mean old knights and most embarrassing of all, “other dragons had made fun of him.” Finally after discussing the situation with the rest of the firefighters they agree to give him a chance. He had to get into shape, learn how to handle the equipment and rescue people. He even had to help with school demonstrations. He made it through a few small fires and seemed to be doing well. Then one day when the alarm went off the firefighters found a barn on fire with many animals trapped inside. “It’s too dangerous for us to go in.” Was Spark brave enough to go in and if he did, would he be able to get the animals out?

This is the perfect story for the young wanna be firefighter. The story is fun, exciting and the art work is animated and vibrant. Children will be amused by the irony of a dragon becoming a firefighter and will want you to read this book to them time and time again. If a dragon comes to your school for a demonstration, you’ll know it’s Sparky. Oh, and remember . . . never play with fire!

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