‘Emergency’ Book Review

Emergency: An imaginative fest for those in love with rescue vehicles



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Author - Margaret Mayo
Illustrator - Alex Ayliffe
Publisher - Orchard Books
Target Ages - Toddlers, Preschoolers, Early school-aged kids
Rating -  


"Help is coming - it’s on its way!”
If your child is into emergency vehicles, this action-packed, noisy and brightly-illustrated book is the perfect gift for her. There are loads of emergency situations and rescue vehicles coming to help the stranded.

The are more than ten vehicles including a police car, an ambulance, a crane, a lifeboat and fire-fighting planes. So everything is covered with the top team of these super vehicles out to rescue you on land, sea and air. The busy fire truck has “hoses sloshing, water swooshing” to put the fire out. The brave lifeboat sees “long ropes tossing, life belt dropping” when rescuing a boy stranded at sea. Mid-air, a mountain rescue operation is in full swing with the helicopter ‘hovering and whirring’ full throttle.



The book depicts exciting rescue scenes, fueling your child’s imagination and reassuring him that help will never be too far away. At one point, my toddler son was pointing at the the escaping burglars as if to direct the officers in their police car to where to catch them. In the flood scene, while the inflatable boats were out dealing with the crisis, he quickly pointed out to the dog stranded atop a little mud pile indicating how he should be rescued as well. That’s right; pets can’t be left out of rescuing!

The book makes rescue scenes come alive through its vivid visual descriptions and graphic language. “Bright lights flashing”, ambulance speeding “Whee-wow!”, crane “hooking, lifting, shifting”, snow plough “pushing, shoving, tossing, tunneling” and others will keep your kid hooked onto the book till it ends.

The author has worked well with the text as well. Repetitive sounds make for a pleasant reading and have been interestingly placed around the page. Along with a bright, bold and dramatic artwork, it makes for a fixating read. It is not hard to see how the team of Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe have produced another best-selling gem. It is one of their books from the ‘awesome engines’ range.

Key highlights and Rating

The book is a complete package of action-packed storytelling, graphic and eye-catching illustrations, and interesting noises that will be read to the end. It will leave your toddler child excited and your older child, contended and armed with the knowledge of their favourite machines. It will be much more enjoyed by preschoolers with a passion for emergency vehicles.

If you want to make it one vehicle-book this Christmas, make it this one. It will make their imagination go “swoop, swoop, swooping” and reassure them that no matter what, ‘help is on its way’.

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