Children's LiteratureThis truly American tall tale introduces us to Mose the Fireman, the bravest firefighter in all of New York City. Our narrator, a grizzled character, tells us about Mose, who was found in the remains of a great fire in 1809 and adopted by his firemen rescuers. Mose grows up to be the biggest and bravest of the NYC firefighters. However, his bravery does have limitations and Mose cannot bring himself to ask his ladylove, Lize, to the Fireman's Ball. Mose manages to extend the invitation while rescuing Lize from a burning building. At the Fireman's Ball, Mose (with a white dickey over his red-flannel fire shirt) is just about to pop the question to Lize when the fire alarm rings. The huge fire is out of control and will destroy the city. Mose thinks fast and digs a tunnel to the nearby Hudson River, providing the water to save the day. Proposal finally asked and accepted, Mose and Lize marry that very night. The tunnel to Jersey sits there for a while, until someone has the bright idea to put a train in it and creates the subway. This is a wonderful take on the tall tale with a very strong American bent. The story as delivered by the aforementioned narrator, is both compelling and tongue-in-cheek. Peck's pen and ink illustrations are the perfect companion to the story, with a lot of movement and wonderful facial expressions. This should be in all libraries' tall tale collections. 2005 (orig. 1995), Rabbit Ears Books, Ages 6 to 12.
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