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The Firehouse Light Library Binding – May 25, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2–The history of firefighting is told through the story of a four-watt electric lightbulb that was installed in a wooden shack in Livermore, CA, more than 100 years ago. The bulb remained continuously lit as the shack became a fire station and the equipment progressed from horse-drawn carriages and water buckets to the fire engines and hoses of today. Nolan's unassuming storytelling is perfect for reading aloud. The line "Day after day, year after year, the lightbulb did not burn out" introduces each decade and the inventions it brought. Lafrances's acrylic paintings have a traditional, folk-art feeling as rural and small-town scenes evolve into modern cityscapes. An afterword and a photo of the lightbulb still burning today are included. This is a fascinating story that will appeal to those looking for a unique perspective on American cultural history.Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Starting with volunteer firefighters “a long time ago,” this picture book explains and shows how firefighting and a community transform through time. A four-watt bulb installed in the firehouse during horse-and-buggy days glows through decades of change: from horses to automobiles; from axes and buckets to hoses and oxygen masks; from radios to television and computers: and from small town to contemporary city. The narrative successfully knits firefighting and history into a fast dash through the twentieth century, ending with a final page that explains that this account is based on fact. A real 109-year-old four-watt bulb continues to light a firehouse in Livermore, California. Flat, folk-style acrylic illustrations feature fluid, sinewy human figures amid a variety of vintage fire trucks. A good choice for children who seek offbeat nonfiction, this is also a fresh approach for units on community helpers. Grades K-3. --Linda Perkins --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tricycle Press; 1 edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582463468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582463469
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,432,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son picked up this book at the library at age 2...because it had a truck on the cover. I thought it would be too long and involved, but right away it was one of his favorite books. He's four now and he and his 2-year-old sister both love it. I expect they'll both love it for years to come, because you can never be too old for this book.

It's a neat history of both the light itself, but also of firefighting over time, and change over time in general. What a great way to introduce history and change to little and bigger kids. I love it myself. Oh, and a bonus--my kids have learned to "stop, drop, and roll" from this book!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book! Not only is the story a beautiful one but the artwork is a delight as well!! This book needs to be on the shelf of all families!! And not just for the little ones! I enjoyed this as much as my children did!!

I highly recommend this book as a precourser read to a trip to the fire department...and to be enjoyed for years after that trip!
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Format: Hardcover
Smoke began to pour from a building and a cry rang out in the night, "Get the hose cart! Grab the buckets!" Some people ran to the house while others ran "toward the wooden shack where the firefighting equipment was kept." Someone held a lantern high as they pulled their equipment out to hurry to the fire. Holding lanterns aloft and searching through the dark to gather their equipment was not easy, but one day when a man gave the firefighters a lightbulb it made their job easier. Ten years soon passed by and the shack was no more, but the light still shone brightly. It was a four-watt lightbulb that "was never turned off," a bulb that "glowed no brighter than a handful of fireflies."

Instead of hanging in a wooden shack, the lightbulb made its home in a firehouse. Times were changing and "the clopping of horses' hooves" were joined by the honking of car horns. Twenty years passed and the lightbulb was joined by others that shone much brighter. Thirty, forty, and fifty years passed and the light still gave its light to the station. The times were changing, but the little lightbulb had not. The town had grown, and "workers were busy building new schools, hospitals, highways, libraries, and ice cream shops." The volunteer fireman was no more and paid firemen had taken his place. Sixty years, seventy, eighty, ninety years passed. Why did this little lightbulb continue to shine? Would it ever go out?

This is an amazing story of a lightbulb that gave a firehouse light "for more than one hundred years." The amazement in this book is not just about the bulb, but is also a mini-treatise on how the history of the fire department and a town has evolved through a century.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We live in Livermore where this story is based on. I did not know this book was written until a friend said she bought it at Amazon. So I bought 2. One for each of my adult kids, who visited this firehouse as children. Now we will have the story for the grandchildren.
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Format: Hardcover
Very good book was good. I really enjoy how the author wrote the book going through the years of the town. I gave this to my father in law from the grand kids since he is a firefighter and collects fire fighting stuff and he really enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Firehouse Light is wonderful book. It is a joy to read to your kids and it is a book that you will want to keep in your permanent collection. The book follows the light through 100 years of history from bucket brigades to computers. The suspense of whether the light will last from decade to decade is moving. The illustrations are excellent. The picture of the firemen watching the man on the moon on TV at the firehouse is special, for example. The prose is wonderful. There is a very nice balance between the story of the light and the surrounding history over the last century to keep your kids very interested. They will want to have it read to them again and again. I highly recommend this book to your family and know that you will want to keep it for years to come. The idea of the small little light staying lit year after year and thereby allowing the fireman to find the equipment that allows them to help the townspeople has an almost spiritual quality to it. I can see why the light is so celebrated by the book. You and your children will enjoy this story.
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