The Fire Station Early Reader

Annick. (Munsch Early Readers). Sept. 2022. 40p. Tr $19.99. pap. $5.99. Tr ISBN 9781773216560; pap. ISBN 9781773216461.
K-Gr 2–Each story in Munsch’s early reader series follows the misadventures of one child with a couple of other characters, usually adults. In 50 Below Zero, Jason keeps getting woken up by his father’s snoring and sleepwalking. He tries unsuccessfully to wake his father up, and is finally forced to drag his father into the house and put him in a hot bath. In Angela’s Airplane, young Angela goes to the airport with her father, where she ends up in an airplane. She pushes buttons, causing the airplane to take off. I Have to Go! has Andrew repeatedly telling his parents and grandparents that he doesn’t have to pee, only to turn around and need to go. The Fire Station follows Sheila and Michael as they visit a fire station, hop on a fire truck, and get taken to a fire where the smoke colors them in yellow, green, and blue. Their parents don’t recognize them when they get home, and they have to take baths. In Thomas’ Snowsuit, Thomas refuses to put on his snowsuit over and over again. Clothes end up getting switched between characters, and at one point Thomas’s teacher and Thomas are in their underwear. Pre-reading and post-reading activities in each story encourage the development of reading skills. In each book, the text has been shortened—not rewritten—from the original picture books, leaving the story with what feels like missing pieces. For example, in this version of Thomas’ Snowsuit, readers never know why Thomas doesn’t want to wear his snowsuit. The illustrations also come from the original picture books, reflecting the style of the original books with Martchenko’s charming line drawings.
VERDICT Purchase where Munsch’s books are popular; otherwise, an additional purchase.

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