Out and About at the Fire Station is another firefighting book for the younger readers. We grabbed it at the library on our last trip through the stacks. It’s 24 pages long of firefighting information and great illustrations that my boys (mostly) loved. It’s also part of a series on field trips, some of which include the Dairy Farm and the Zoo.
The story is about a class that takes a field trip to a fire station. At the very beginning of the book, we’re presented with a list of questions that one of the students in the class has about firefighters. I thought it was a great list and an important page not to just skip over if you have a child that is old enough for reading comprehension and retention. The list has these questions.
1. How do firefighters find fires?
2. What other jobs do firefighters have besides fighting fires?
3. Do firefighters sleep in their gear?
4. What do they do while they’re waiting for fires?
Those are some good questions. In fact, I just recently learned that FireDad does not, in fact, sleep in his blue workpants. You would think I would have known that as we’ve been married for five years but, well, I didn’t. I learn new things every day! I digress. The book starts out with the kids visiting the fire department and meeting Firefighter Tim and Firefighter Raj.
While this book has a good mix of skin colors both on the fire department and in the class, I did notice that the only female firefighter was on the next to last page, walking a dog. While not quite as antiquated as the old firefighter books that we have, I still find it somewhat disheartening.
The rest of the book is decent despite the lack of female firefighters on the crew. (If you’re looking for a good female centered firefighter book, read my review of My Mom is a Firefigher.) The questions at the beginning of the book are answered as are many others. We learn about trucks, what else the firefighters have (rescue boats, an ambulance) in their garage, how far a ladder on a fire engine can reach and much more. We even learn a bit about arson, as in what it is and why it’s bad, not how to do it!
No good firefighter book is complete without a lesson in safety. After we learn that firefighters are busy all day (checking trucks, visiting schools and so on), we’re given a brief lesson in fire safety. I found the particular page to be too wordy and not really geared toward the baby-preschool age group that it is supposedly written for. Hopefully parents reading this long page to their kids can keep it interesting. Ideas include actually having your kid show you how to stop, drop and roll or how to feel if their door is hot.
Despite the lack of females and the wordy last page, the book does hold its own. The illustrations are very interesting, giving both BigBrother and LittleBrother many things to look at on each page. They enjoyed pointing at things and either asking questions or telling me what they knew about life in a fire station.
As the book is only available in hardback on Amazon for $22.60, I don’t think we’ll be purchasing it. I can see them borrowing it from the library again as we have done with many a fire book in the past. If you can find it in a soft cover, it might be a welcome addition to your own library.
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