cover image EMERGENCY!


Margaret Mayo, , illus. by Alex Ayliffe. . Lerner/Carolrhoda, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-87614-922-5

"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.)