cover image Firefighter Flo! (Big Jobs, Bold Women)

Firefighter Flo! (Big Jobs, Bold Women)

Andrea Zimmerman, illus. by Dan Yaccarino. Holiday House, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5157-9

This inaugural entry in a series focused on women workers opens and closes with a cheer that should rev up young audiences: “Hey, yo!/ Firefighter Flo!/ You’re a hero!/ You’re a pro!” Zimmerman’s rhyming narration remains at a fever pitch as Flo, a firefighter portrayed with brown skin, rouses the firehouse crew, portrayed with varying skin tones, in the middle of the night: “The smoke is thick!/ Flames have spread!/ Come on, crew./ Out of bed!” With percussive onomatopoeia pumping up the action, Flo drives the team to a burning house, and leads their response efforts (“The water rushed. The hoses gushed. SSSSHHHHH!”). When Flo spots a frantic dog still trapped inside the building, she breaks through the door with an axe, and as the fire roars around her and the building starts to collapse, she gets the pooch to safety. Yaccarino’s punchy graphics are in full force, employing lots of eye-catching red and black as well as some terrific visual winks (the firefighters wear matching red plaid pajamas in the firehouse, and their dalmatian’s spots are Ben-Day dots). The story ends with a good night wind-down, but Flo’s bravery is served up with five-alarm excitement. Ages 3–6. (Nov.)