I don’t know about all the other kids in the world, but I know that my son sure loves fire trucks. Oh yes, he loves all those other trucks too, but for most of his 3 1/2 years he has been completely fascinated by these big red engines that make cool noises and shoot water at burning buildings. In my continuing efforts to direct his attention to books and reading, I located an early readers’ book on fire trucks.
This little book contains 17 pages of fire trucks in full action ranging from a truck speeding down the street to firefighters running hoses and climbing ladders with axes in hand. Each two-page spread contains a short blurb of text with a corresponding photo. For example, a page that reads, “Many fire trucks carry water. Water can put out fires.” is accompanied by a picture of an aerial view of five trucks, two of them with hoses shooting water at full blast.
The text varies from extremely simple to having a little bit more information on each page. For a child learning to read this seems to be just the right level, though for a child who has not yet learned to read it may be a little too simple when they’re just listening.
Children who are used to looking at vivid illustrations may not enjoy the photographs very much, though my son absolutely loves photos. Perhaps it’s because he has had the opportunity to see these vehicles in real life, but he sure likes seeing things in books exactly as he’d see them in real life. Each page pulled him off into his own little reality as he started making his own noises for each truck and “driving” the trucks in midair. If nothing else, this book obviously sparked his imagination.
Aside from everything previously mentioned, this book also includes a little glossary in the back as an extra educational supplement. For older children this seems like it would be a valuable addition, though my son is a little young to get any use out of yet. The words included in this book are axe, hoses, sirens, and tools. The definitions are plainly written so as to be easy for children to follow.
Overall I was pretty impressed with this book. My son thoroughly enjoyed the pictures and his little flights of imagination that accompanied the readings. He asked for the fire truck book repeatedly and just couldn’t get enough of it. When I finally got tired of reading it to him on the fifth or sixth time through, I handed him the book and let him make up his own story to go along. This has proven to be a fairly educational book that proved to be an excellent diversion for my son. It seems like the book would be well-suited for kids up to age six or seven as an easy reader, while making a great book to read aloud to younger children.