Clever features abound in this board pop-up book shaped like a fire engine. The hoses are revealed by sliding a door up, the water spurts up, and a rescue bucket can be raised and lowered while the ladder, radio communication device and kitten can all be detached. Therein lies one of the problems with this engineering marvel. Too many pieces can be easily lost and destroyed which will soon limit the joy kids will have playing fireman. Not for a circulating collection, but it could work in small group show-and-tell or at storytime.
This pop-up book on how a fire engine works is soundly conceived, although it may become a "pop-apart" book with heavy use. Augarde's illustrations are emergency-bright and dramatic; it's great fun to unreel hoses, pull the lever to make the firefighter slide down the pole, and hoist up the truck's ladder to rescue a trapped kitty. Small unattached piecesþradio, ladder, kittenþmay become lost, and it's easy to envision children wearing out the cherry-picker as part of the kitten rescue, so buy a couple of copies to make sure this engine makes it to the fire with all its parts intact. (Pop-up. 3-6)
Steve Augarde is an illustrator, musician, amateur mechanic, and a genuinely original paper engineer. His illustration work includes thirty children's books, as well as advertising, comic strip, and animation drawings for the BBC.