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The Little Fire Engine Hardcover – October 24, 2000

25 customer reviews

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How a Seed Grows
How a Seed Grows
How does a tiny acorn grow into an enormous oak tree? This classic level one picture book shows how little seeds become the plants and trees that surround us. See more | Let's Read and Find Out series
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The Little Fire Engine + The Little Train + The Little Airplane (Lois Lenski Books)
Price for all three: $32.28

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Reviewed with Lois Lenski's The Little Train.

PreS. These two new board books are based on Lenski's picture books with the same titles, originally published in the 1940s. In Fire Engine, Fireman Small drives his little fire engine to a house fire, where he rescues the inhabitants and douses the flames. In Train, Engineer Small drives his little passenger train from Tinytown through the countryside to Union Station. Some lines of the stories and illustrations have been omitted and other minor changes have been made in the these editions, but each book ends with one of the series' familiar tag lines, such as "And that's all about Fireman Small!" The colorful, childlike pictures have definite appeal for the very young. Although the text is a bit long for many babies and toddlers, these colorful board books might still hold the interest of avid train and fire engine enthusiasts. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Mr. Small does it all!

In this adventure, Fireman Small rushes to battle a fire in town. When the alarm bell rings, Fireman Small suits up and roars down the road in his shiny red fire engine. When he helps extinguish the fire and rescues a young girl, Fireman Small becomes a hero in Tinytown.

Now back in print in full color, Lois Lenski's timeless story of Fireman Small and his little fire engine is sure to delight a new generation of young readers.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (October 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375810706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375810701
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ken Miller on May 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Lois Lenski's _The Little Fire Engine_ was first published in the 1940s. The pictures look a little bit dated and corny. Don't let that fool you. This is the best firefighter picture book; it's the standard by which all others have since been measured.
In the story, Fireman Small races with the other firefighters to the scene of a fire, where they save a girl and her cat, locate the blaze, and extinguish it. They return to the firehouse. The story is so incredibly simple, but the author has laid everything out so that a child can learn so much from this book. Questions are answered, and children who know a lot about firefighters will have their curiosity piqued by everything in this book, from the "nang, nang, nang, nang goes the bell" to Fireman Small chopping a hole in the roof.
My son and I have looked through lots of firefighting picture books, and I think _The Little Fire Engine_ is simply the best I've seen.
ken32
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. O'neal on December 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is my two and a half year old son's ABSOLUTE favorite book. He asks to read "Fireman Small" every day at naptime and at bedtime too. ( we usually read it several times each sitting!) He has had this book since he was 12 months old and it was an instant hit with him. His favorite part is when fireman small saves the little girl and her kitten, he throws his arms up and yells Hooray! It is a great book about an everyday hero (fireman small). The classic illustrations are wonderful and a breath of fresh air in this computer generated age. I would highly reccomend this book for any toddler.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Connor Coyne on April 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
All children's books do not age equally.

In some cases, like the nature stories of Eric Carle or the epics of Margaret Wise Brown, the date of the story is almost invisible, because the subject is so universal and well-told. In other cases, like the Little Engine that Could, we understand that this is an "old story," but the message is important enough that we can look past or even enjoy its age. Age might even be a teachable moment, to explain to our children that things change over time.

The fatal problem with the Little Fire Engine isn't that it is poorly drawn or poorly illustrated; in many ways it is a beautiful book. The problem is that any childrens' story about fires and fire fighters will necessarily have to deal with safety, and while Lenski has given careful attention to the sounds and appearances of the the fire engine, she has neglected the proper response to a fire, which was just as important in 1946 as it is in the 2000s.

The most obvious example of this is what happens when Fireman Small arrives at the scene of the fire: "The family carry sofa, lamps, tables, and chairs out of the house." Several pages later:

'"Oh, look!" Everybody looks. A little girl is standing at the upstairs window. She has a kitten in her arms.'

What kind of family is this that meticulously saves all of their furniture but hasn't cleared their children from danger? And to take the complaint a little further, what is the importance of material possessions next to human life?

A few pages later, Fireman Small steps onto the roof and starts whacking at the roof with his axe. This makes him a very bad fire fighter; real fire-fighters don't gamble with their lives.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Fabulous to see the Lois Lenski books reprinted. They have been a favorite of mine since I was a child and now my children enjoy them tremendously. Informative, wholesome, and terrific stories that have lasted the test of time. Don't miss out on these!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By EG on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My 2-year old son and I enjoy all of the Lois Lenski "Little" and "Small" books. This story is fun to read, easy to understand and thought/discussion provoking. We LOVE anything Fire Truck - but this is an absolute favorite!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. K. Dillon on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book for a great nephew because both he & his older brother thought an earlier Lois Lenski book had been their favorite. It has met their expectations - something many writers don't achieve.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Vecera on September 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My son is almost 2 1/2 and he loves this book. We read it everyday, at least once, and he has almost memorized it, but he loves it anyway. We also have The Little Train, and that one is great, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diana on April 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely, classic, tidily illustrated book. Simply written and engages preschool age children. As others have pointed out, there are many alarming events - the family returns to the burning home to save their furniture. No one seems to notice that one of the children is still inside the house until she shouts from a window (she may have gone back in to save the cat). And bizarrely, after thoroughly dousing the home and chopping a hole in the roof, the firefighters tell the family to just move right back in. My kids have learned that they should never go back into a burning building, so when we read this we can point out all the things that one should NOT do as the come up in the story. So you get some teachable moments, as well as a thorough understanding of the pumper trucks of the 1940's to boot.
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