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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Firehouse Light

by Janet Nolan
illustrated by Marie Lafrance

Religious/Secular Content:-no
Adult Content:-no
Mature Topics:-no
Strong/Inappropriate Language:-no
Drug/Alcohol Use:-no
Educational Value:-yes
Positive/Negative Message:-no

We recently ended our 2010/2011 school year with a trip to a local fire department. It was a pretty last minute deal but I am so glad that we went. The fireman was extremely detailed and the kids (especially my son who went clad in his very own fireman outfit) loved it! Afterward we took a trip to the library and like all other Mom's out there I decided to look for a book that would compliment what we had just learned.

I happened across The Firehouse Light book by accident and immediately fell in love with the illustrations. (What can I say, I am visual...pictures attract me!!) They were done using acrylics and are a feast for the eyes!!

Anyway, the book! It's story starts out with this line, "A long time ago, when horse-drawn buggies delivered ice to keep food cold, and laundry dried on ropes in the sun, fires were fought with buckets, axes, and hand-pulled carts with water hoses." As the story unfolds, we find out that these poor firefighters had to fiddle with with lanterns in pitch-dark sheds to quickly find the equipment they needed. Then, one day, and elderly citizen brings to the firefighters a gift of a single lightbulb.

The book then skips ahead 10 years with every turn of the page and the readers learn what life was like in that little town for its citizens and its firefighters after 10 years of having the light, 20 years, 30 years on up to 100 years. And that lightbulb, well, it stays lit.

At the 100 year mark the townspeople throw a long deserved celebration for their faithful lightbulb. And ya know what, in the afterward at the end of the story we learn that the bulb-the same lightbulb-is still hanging from a single cord twenty feet above the ground in the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department's Station #6. It even has its own backup generator (to keep it going), webcam and website: http://www.centennialbulb.org/.

It's an amazingly sweet story that teaches so much! First of all it teaches history; the evolution of fighting fires, the evolution of a town and the evolution of it's people. It teaches math; counting by 10's up to 100. And it teaches, although quite subtly, how important faithfulness and dedication are to our society.

This is a great book! I highly recommend it for all of your firefighting enthusiasts!!

1 comment:

  1. Just read this book! It was soothing and beautiful, and I felt the changes of the last century happily. I wonder though what age and temperment children it appeals to? I know it did to me at 35 yrs!


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phillipians 4:8