Brassy the Fire Engine Saves the City

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Brassy the fire engine works with Captain Bill and other firefighters throughout the city by putting out fires, saving people from burning buildings, and getting stray cats off of roofs. Nevertheless, the city expands and the little fire engine is soon replaced by bigger, newer fire engines. After a bit he is transferred to a quieter section of town where a smaller fire engine is more useful. Both Captain Bill and Brassy are upset over the new situation but the fire chief will not change Brassy back to the old firehouse until he shows that he is still useful by going down a smaller side street in order to help put out a large fire that the bigger engines can't get to. Bright paintings illustrate this story about usefulness and the idea that no matter how small you are, you are still important. 2005, Little Brown and Company, Ages 5 to 8.
—Angela Olkey
School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
Brassy's is a story reminiscent of Little Toot and The Little Engine that Could. Breathing fresh life into a classic scenario, Brassy is a new little fire engine with a big smile, a brass bell and a lot of moxie. He is well taken care of by the fire folk at his station and, in return, whenever there's an emergency, Brassy is right there pumping water with all his might. Years pass, times change and, though Brassy holds a special place in Captains Bill's heart, he is sent to a smaller station and replaced by a sleeker, bigger model. Unused, draped with cobwebs, Brassy misses his old life very much. One day, however, the city is in imminent danger and only Brassy can save it. Miller has a talent for painting faces and gives just enough detail to portray the town growing steadily into a city. Brassy's wide eyes and expressions belie much of the mood of the story, which is based on Smith's 1990 original. Brassy will gladden hearts with his enduring loyalty and pluck. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316761352
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/19/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.18 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Smith

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.

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