Review Detail

 
Kids Fiction
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

For Lovers of Fire Trucks

KAI TO THE RESCUE features a little green and white pumper truck, Kai, who moves into a station house with three large red and white fire trucks. Each truck has their job, but Captain Chuck, the hook-and-ladder truck—belittles Kai and treats him as a nuisance rather than part of the team. The other two trucks, an equipment truck and a chemical pumper truck, are a little more supportive, but while the three big trucks sleep, Kai decides to color himself red to try to fit in a little bit better.

Kai’s first day on the job brings a fire that requires all the trucks to perform their best—and Kai is up to the challenge. By the end of the day he’s back to his normal green color and he has shown the others that small size can be an advantage in some situations. Kai is officially part of the team!

Kids love fire trucks, and there’s no doubt they’ll love Kai. The illustrations are great, but the narrative is uneven. Moments of rhyme are interspersed with regular prose and it’s difficult to get into a rhythm when reading the text aloud. Captain Chuck speaks in rhyme—and he repeats the last word of his declaration multiple times. It’s silly and distracting, and not in a good way.

Overall, the illustrations win the day, as does the lesson that size and color don’t matter. Plus Kai is a really cute hero. There are plenty of preschoolers who will love this book.

My thanks to the publisher and YA Books Central for a copy of the book in exchange for my unbiased review.

Good Points
A really cute hero

Perfect for fire truck loving preschoolers
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