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Awesome Engines


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It's all action in this noisy, busy book of emergency vehicles, jam- packed with fire engines, police cars, ambulances, lifeboats, breakdown trucks and rescue helicopters ... Ages 3+.

About the Author

Margaret Mayo is an acclaimed storyteller and author of several bestselling children's titles. A former teacher, she uses her wide-ranging experience with children in her writing. She lives in Brighton.


"Help is coming! It's on the way!" With that reassuring refrain, Mayo and Ayliffe (previously paired for Dig Dig Digging) team up once again for a paper-over-board book about specialty vehicles, this time narrowing their focus to 11 machines that come to the rescue on land, water and sky when a crisis hits. For instance, on a spread that begins, "Forest fire blazing emergency!" Mayo introduces fire-fighting planes that "zoom up and away./ Swoop, swoop, swooping, water scooping,/ Help is coming. It's on the way!" Ayliffe translates the scene into cut-paper collage layering torn yellow and orange paper to give depth and animation to the flame, and depicting the water dropped by the plane with a gauzy, translucent paper. Ayliffe renders the rescue vehicles as a large, center-stage presence in most of the spreads, sure to please fans of big trucks. A potent combination of timely subject matter and a bright, upbeat presentation of vehicular heroes in action. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

PreS-An engaging subject and bold, colorful illustrations guarantee this picture book an enthusiastic audience. Mayo showcases 11 emergency vehicles, highlighting the circumstances in which each might be of service. Four-line verses accompany each oversized spread, and a turn of the page brings a new scene, a fresh crisis, and a different vehicle. This fast-paced approach may leave some children wishing for more detail on fewer subjects, but in fact it suits the energetic rhythm of the text. If Mayo's rhymes occasionally falter and some word choices seem weak (can cars really "dash"? How do fire-fighting planes "scoop" water?), most listeners won't even notice as they eagerly examine Ayliffe's bright, collage-style illustrations featuring people of all ages in diverse roles and a range of ethnicities. When at last all of the emergency calls are over and "the rescue vehicles are all tucked away," odds are good they'll be called out again by eager listeners who will want to revisit the scenes and appreciate how quickly help arrives.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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