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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Slight wear on edges and corners of the cover; otherwise item is in excellent condition. Binding is square, tight and uncreased. Pages clean no markings.
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Magnus at the Fire Hardcover – May 1, 2005

11 customer reviews

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Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey. Each page instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next. Hardcover | More for ages 3-5
$17.06 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4–In this stirring historical story, a heroic and determined horse refuses to be put out to pasture after his firefighting days come to an end. Magnus, a mighty gray stallion, and his companions have been trained to pull the heavy steam pumper to fires. One day, the captain returns to the station with a motorized fire engine, and Magnus is put in a nearby field. At the sound of the alarm, he is over the fence and following the truck down the street. The captain considers him a dangerous nuisance until the new engine breaks down and Magnus has the chance to fight one more blaze. Afterward, a retired fireman takes the hero to his farm where he becomes a beloved companion to the man's grandchildren. Impressive oil paintings in vibrant colors capture the drama of firefighting in the 1800s. The horses, particularly Magnus, are striking, especially in their resemblance to the powerful war horses of Renaissance art. Tension is etched on the faces of the men as they hasten to a burning building, but there are also moments of empathy between them and the animals. The exciting spreads will pull readers into the action. This is a fine tribute to the four-legged "smoke eaters" that bravely served their communities.– Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Strong, gray Magnus has been a fire horse his whole life; he pulls the giant steam pumper to each site, knows how to "handle himself around calamity and chaos," and understands that he must stand "rock steady" while the firemen work. Then the captain brings in a motorized fire engine. Magnus and his team are put out to pasture, but when the fire bell rings, Magnus can't keep from leaping the fence and racing to the scene to help. The firemen scoff at the old-timer--until the fire engine breaks down en route to a blaze, and Magnus is called into duty and celebrated as a hero. Armstrong's pacing lags a bit, but her vivid, colloquial language (the new engine is a "burping, belching, oil-smelling newfangled contraption") will capture children's attention, as will the lustrous oil illustrations, reminiscent of WPA paintings of laborers that show magnificent horses in action. An author's note gives more information about fire horses in American history. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689839227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689839221
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,263,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I didn't like horse books growing up. Nope. I trumped the whole girls-and-horses trend that began with "National Velvet" and ended with "My Little Pony". I even made a point of avoiding anything horse/wolf/dolphin related for years and years to come. Now I'm in my late 20s and I figure that if I can't put the past behind me and start reading some horsey books then I'm not worth my librarian credentials. I had first heard of "Magnus and the Fire" when a children's literature listserv to which I belong (Child_Lit in case you're interested) started singing the praises of this book. I was familiar with author Jennifer Armstrong already. She penned the extraordinary non-fiction retelling of Shackleton's ill-fated voyage in, "Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World". With a keen eye for a good story lurking in history's facts, I found her switch to picture books interesting. This isn't her first, of course, but it's probably the best. Considering the fates of those work horses utilized by fire departments until 1900, she gives us a touching story of one horse who had a hard time letting go of his job.

At the Broadway Firehouse in Hope Springs, three big gray horses were needed whenever a fire broke out. Strapped to the heavy steam pumper when the fire bell would clang, Magnus, Billy, and Sparks knew how to pull the equipment to the source of any and all fires. All that changes the day the firehouse buys itself a newfangled motorized fire engine. Suddenly the horses are put out to pasture behind the firehouse. This is all well and good, but they have a hard time hearing the fire bell and not attending to the fire themselves. Magnus becomes so disturbed at being left behind that he constantly leaps over the fence, sometimes busting through it when the firemen try to pen him in.
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Format: Hardcover
This beautifully written and illustrated book starts off sharing how horses used to pull the fire trucks. In just thirty seconds the horses were ready to go! The three horses in this story are Magnus, Bill and Sparks.

When the first motorized fire engine comes on the scene the horses suddenly find themselves out of a job and out to pasture! Magnus cannot get fire fighting out of his blood and so continues to respond to the call. Yes, he jumps the fence! This causes some problems but one day he is actually a big help.

During this time Magnus and a retired captain, Captain Fancher become good friends and this story has a really delightful ending.

What a great way to incorporate some actual historical facts! (At the end of the book there is a note to the reader with more factual information.) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Long story than most kids books. We originally rented this book from our library and my 3 year old son loved it so much that we purchased it. An old fashion fire story about fire horses on their way out and fire engines coming in. Magnus keeps answering the call and saves the day. finally, an old fire chief takes him in and to the country where Magnus no longer has to hear the fire bell and answer the calls. My only complaint is some of the exclamation are not what I would like my son to hear, like using darn, which I think is used twice in the story. I also purchased a gray stallion toy figure by collectA as our Magnus horse to go with the story.
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Format: Hardcover
This book captures a historical piece of the turn of the last century that must be kept alive in early American Firefighting. Magnificent artwork gives the visual excitement of the struggle of horsepower against early motorized fire engines. This book isn't just for children, but for all who need to remember the great contributions that the beloved fire horse gave to society in the performance of their duty. The overall story is short, but very powerful in preserving what should be. Definitely this is going to be a collector's item for the firefighter, his family and friends everywhere!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Enjoyable for depth of color and realistic illustrations this story tells of the specially trained firehouse horse who is always ready to race to the fire when he hears the bell-even after he retires! For Grades K-3 and beyond for study of historical fiction (1800's - 1900 and the use of the less expensive automotive engines) OR anyone who is horse crazy.
Historical notes about the adoption of steam vehicles are included. Also published as a sound recording.
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By L. Hyatt on February 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I love this book and so do my sons. Anyone that loves horses will consider this a classic. It is very well written and you really feel for Magnus and want to take him home to your own farm. This is one of my favorites!
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