Fire trucks are cool and fire safety is an important topic for every family. Reading books about fire safety is a great way to start a lesson or discussion. Here are 20 children’s books about firefighters and trucks we have reviewed over the years. Some we loved and some… not so much. As always we want to hear your opinion about the books we feature so leave a comment telling us your take on these books.
Fire Fighters (In My Neighborhood) by Paulette Bourgeois is a great book. This is a book for preschoolers who want to go a little more in depth with fire safety and what fire fighters do. My son loves this book and at the height of his fire fighter obsession asked for this book a lot. Of all the fire themed books we’ve read I think this one is probably the best choice to use when discussing fire safety with young kids. It’s far too long for toddlers though .
The Little Fireman by Margaret Wise Brown is a tremendously odd little book. The story is about a big fire fighter and a little one who both rescue 15 fat ladies from fires and then upon returning to the fire stations eat bowls of pink ice cream. Are you still with me? Odd right? Well the magic of books especially ones with bright colors and a subject that is well loved by the child reading it is that even odd things get a pass. My son really liked this book and happily added it to his favorites for a long time.
Firefighters A to Z by Chris L. Demarest is an alphabet book that teaches about fire safety and the danger firefighters face every time the alarm sounds. My son is fascinated with firefighters right now, he loves to dress up as one at preschool and we often take the long way home to swing past the station and see if the engines are in or not. He loves this book but I don”™t think your child needs to have the level of obsession mine does to enjoy it.
The Great Big Fire Engine Book by Tibor Gergely was written in 1950 and was a great tool to talk about how firefighting has changed in the last 60 plus years. The illustrations are fantastic and I loved that my son who was 4 when we first read this immediately noticed some of the differences . No air tanks, only Caucasian men and the firemen all held on to the sides of the truck. But his biggest observance was the lack of radios and walkie talkies. I love the art work in this book and your kids will too.
Firefighters to the Rescue by Kersten Hamilton is a beautifully illustrated look at the heroic happenings of a group of firefighters. Unlike many of the other books on this list we never bought this one, because we took it out from the library so often. The retro illustrations are so beautiful and the refrain of “Firefighters to the rescue!” is so fun that my son was absolutely drawn to it. It’s simple and doesn’t go into too much detail which makes it a good choice for kids under 4.
Firefighters: Speeding! Spraying! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell is a wonderful rhyming book all about the work firefighters do. After only reading it twice my son was rhyming along with the simple but well crafted text. I liked that there was a mix of male and female firefighters, that the text incorporates information about equipment as well as tasks the firefighters complete on a call. Perhaps my favorite thing about this book are the details in the illustrations by Viviana Garofoli, the soot on the faces of the rescued and firefighters, the unique angles used in the illustrations and the fun colors. Great book!
The Little Fire Engine by Lois Lenski is a simple little book about a fire engine that goes to put out fires. Nothing special but every time my son sees it at the library he won’t let it go. In 6 months we’ve taken it out 4 times. I think the bright retro illustrations and the simple text is what makes it so appealing.
Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms by Christine Kole MacLean was disappointing. The illustrations are adorable but it seemed like the author was writing the book more for moms to read than for kids. While some books successfully entertain both parents and children, this one wasn’t very entertaining for anyone. I really wanted to like it, and maybe you will but I won’t be adding it to any must-read lists any time soon.
I Want to Be a Fire Fighter (Sesame Street) by Linda Lee Maifair was a Goodwill find and a great bargain considering we have read this book countless times. Yes it’s a character book but it’s a good one, besides who doesn’t love Grover? In it Grover is getting ready to have a visit from his uncle who is a firefighter and so he decides to play pretend firefighter. He dresses up ( using a mix of found items – yay for creativity) and then after his uncle arrives they visit his fire station. He gets a tour and finds out why there is dinner on the table but no firefighters anywhere, because they are out on a call. In a simple narrative there is a lot of great information.
Big Frank’s Fire Truck by Leslie McGuire is another book that manages to tell a good story and fit a heck of a lot of facts about firefighters and all the different things they do as part of their job. My son loved Big Frank, probably in part because he’s so big he almost looks like a firefighting super hero. What I liked was how the book did a good job explaining not just about how they fight fires but how firefighters also teach fire safety, check alarms at businesses and attend to car accidents. The text is long it was a great fit for my son was 4 but I wouldn’t try to read the whole things to a child who is much younger than that.
Flashing Fire Engines by Tony Mitton is a favorite at our house. Normally even after my son and I read the books we review I grab them to do the write-up, this is on my son’s shelf where it always is I know the whole thing off by heart as does my son, so no need to grab it for reference. The book is a rhyming masterpiece, somehow keeping up the rhyming pace as it explains how firefighters fight fires and rescue people! Details like what gear they wear, and how hoses and hydrants work are included as well as ladders and sirens. My son loves this book and as an adult who has read it hundreds of times it’s fun to read, even over and over again.
Fire Engines by Anne Rockwell has been a favorite at our house for a long time. I found it at a thrift store for twenty-five cents and I am definitely getting much more than my money’s worth! It’s a cute book with easy text and cute cartoon dalmatians as fire fighters. I particularly love that there is a fire boat in the book since we often see those around here. Simple book for fire engine lovers from an author who is consistently well-loved by both my kids.
LEGO City: Fire Truck to the Rescue (Level 1): Fire Truck To The Rescue! by Sonia Sander is another great Lego book for emergent and early readers. If your child is like my son and loves fire fighters and fire trucks this is a great book. Not just because of the subject matter but also because they may already be familiar with how some of those words look in print, giving them some confidence to tackle this book solo! My son likes to make stations out of Duplo and act out this book after reading it. It’s also a favorite for rides in the car.
Richard Scarry’s Busiest Firefighters Ever (Little Golden Books) is a throwback to my childhood and one thing I know for certain is that when you are excited about a book your kids will be too. I told my son how much I loved Richard Scarry books as a kid and he was that much more excited to read. The story is familiar but there is something about Busytown that just makes the story more fun. The goofy details and cartoony vibe makes this a great book for younger kids but my son who is 5.5 years old still loves it.
All Aboard Fire Trucks by Teddy Slater is never where i expect it to be in my house, because my son carries it around to read all by himself. No at 3 he isn’t reading yet instead he’s memorized much of this text and likes to sit and go over the many types of fire vehicles that are discussed in this very detailed book. I have learned a lot from this book. It covers the basics but also goes into the more specialized fire vehicles like airport firetrucks, foam units for chemical fires, and bulldozers used in forest fires. If your child gasps every time they see a firetruck, can tell a pumper from a ladder, and dreams of fighting fires, they will love this informative book!
Firehouse! by Mark Teague is a book that taps into the dreams of all kids who want to grow up to be firefighters. Edward the dog goes to visit the fire station and while he is there there is an emergency and he saves the day. Even though the story seems basic and kinda mediocre the author / illustrator gets right to the heart of all the kids reading this book and let’s them imagine themselves saving the day. I love that it’s so powerful and gives children that desire to be heroic like Edward.
Tonka: Fire Trucks by Melissa A Torres. This is a Tonka book and has wheels that really roll which has served us well while traveling. It serves double duty as a book and a toy. The book itself isn’t bad either- which surprised me because novelty books like this usually underwhelm me. This book covers all the major types of vehicles used to fight fires, a pumper, an aerial ladder truck, a fire chief’s truck, a rescue truck, and a fire boat. Just the right amount of info is given for each and the illustrations support the text well. If your child isn’t into fire trucks I wouldn’t go searching out this book but if they are it’s a worthy addition to your library of fire truck books.
Even Firefighters Go to the Potty: A Potty Training Lift-the-Flap Story by Wendy and Naomi Wax is another favorite of my son but I wasn’t as impressed. It’s hard my son loved it and since he loves Firefighters, Policemen, etc.. knowing they use the potty too was great motivation for him. My concern was that there were very few women in this book. I think it’s important to show women being astronauts, police officers, and construction workers. The text was funny, the flaps were fun to reveal but I am on the fence, even though my son loved it.
Firefighter Frank by Monica Wellington was a huge score at the library. My son and I both love this author/illustrator and have read many of her books, but this one has never been available, and I can see why. The author has a knack for sharing information with her readers in a fun, simple way that is perfect for preschoolers. This book is no exception to her other great books. I particularly enjoy some of the vocabulary she uses in this book about Firefighter Frank, words like shrill, intense, and exhausted. They aren’t obscure words but they are not often seen in books geared to those as young as this one, and the context is supportive so that even a young child can help decipher the meaning of the words. The book itself tells a simple( and common) story but between the author’s ability to tell the story better than other authors, and the bright and beautiful illustrations this book stands out from the firefighter crowd.
A Small Christmas by Wong Herbert Yee is about as perfect a Christmas book as my son could ever read. My son is obsessed with firefighters, he rescues his baby sister all day long and the sound of sirens are pretty much a given day or night in our house. Fireman Small is a tiny firefighter that children immediately relate to because he is little. His heart is big though and so is his courage. In this installment, though it’s not a fire he rushes to, but Santa’s aid. Your child doesn’t need to be as nuts about firefighters as my son is to enjoy this sweet holiday book.
Do you have a favorite fire truck or firefighter book we didn’t mention?This post contains affiliate links.