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FIRE DRILL by Paul Dubois Jacobs


by Paul Dubois Jacobs & Jennifer Swender & illustrated by Huy Voun Lee

Pub Date: June 22nd, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8953-0
Publisher: Henry Holt

“Simple done well” sums up this exploration of a near-universal childhood experience. Avoiding the preponderance of safety-focused fire books that have hit the market lately, the husband-and-wife writing team focuses instead on a fire drill that kindergarteners practice at their school. Rhyming verse gently eases listeners into the rhythm of a typical kindergarten day…until loud bells surprise them all. The two adults calmly lead the children through the drill, the text emphasizing the usual fire-drill rules: “Do not run. / Do not talk. / Watch the teacher. / Walk. Walk. Walk.” Lee’s cut-paper collages add texture to the illustrations, with vibrant clothing patterns as accents. The multicultural cast of children accurately portrays the activities kindergarteners are involved in, as well as their enthusiasm in doing them. Subtle details gear readers up for the fire alarm: the extinguisher on the wall, the fire truck one group plays with and the book another group is reading. Every classroom should start the year off with this one. (Picture book. 4-6)