A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Julie Andrews Edwards (Mandy).
- Happy birthday to National Geographic magazine, first published in 1888.
- Itâ€™s Halloween Safety Month. Lots of time to practice before the big day!
- National Book Month begins as well.
- During Squirrel Awareness Month, read the Scaredy Squirrel series by Melanie Watt.
October happens to be Fire Pup Month. But even old dogs can learn new tricksâ€”and today I will be writing about a cat, not a dog!
This year Iâ€™ve been meeting with a group of childrenâ€™s book experts and enthusiasts to choose a small library of the best childrenâ€™s books. Through this project I have gained an appreciation for authors of books for beginning readers (like the I Can Read series) who can tell a story that children want to go back to again and again. Although a great number of these titles have been published over the years, few have stood the test of time.
So I am enthusiastic for the book of the day, Esther Averillâ€™s The Fire Cat.Â First published in 1960, and a book whose fifty-year anniversary went largely unnoticed, The Fire Cat introduces us to Pickles, a yellow cat with black spots. Looking like a feline Dalmatian, Pickles experiences a misspent youth. He chases other cats into trees and drives Mrs. Goodkind to despair. Like her name suggests, she truly wants to help him, and eventually, she calls the fire brigade to rescue him from a tree.
The fireman takes Pickles to live in the firehouse. From then on Picklesâ€™s life takes a dramatic change for the better.Â He learns to slide down a fire pole, go out on missions, and even gets designated a Fire Cat. Now wearing his fire helmet, Pickles makes up for his old bad behavior and helps a young cat get down from a tree. Although the book has been divided into three chapters, in sixty-four pages The Fire Cat contains an entire story, with a beginning, middle, and very satisfying end. The text has been enlivened with animated illustrations of Picklesâ€”either chasing cats or in the firehouse. Combining two favorite subjects of childrenâ€”cats and trucksâ€”and filled with action, adventure, and humor, The Fire Cat has been one of the favorite first books for children for more than fifty years.
The Fire Cat makes me aware of how desperately we need great authors to create books for the children who have reached the stage when they can finally say: â€śI can read. I can read. I can read it by myself.â€ť
Hereâ€™s a page from The Fire Cat:
Originally posted October 1, 2012. Updated for .