#1299 – STANLEY’S FIRE ENGINE by William Bee


Stanley’s Series, Book 9
Written and Illustrated by William Bee
Peachtree Publishing 8/1/2020
32 Pages   Age 4—8

Genre:  Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes:  First Responders, Firefighters



The newest book in William Bee’s much-loved Stanley series, Stanley’s Fire Engine, invites young readers to explore everyone’s favorite emergency vehicle, the fire truck, with firefighter Stanley and his friends.

Stanley keeps his fire engine in tip-top condition because it needs to be ready for anything. It has a tall ladder, a big water tank, and a long hose. When the fire station receives a phone call that Charlie’s barbecue has gotten out of control, it’s Stanley to the rescue. CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! Out of the way! Stanley’s on the job to save the day! (from publisher)

Opening Sentences

“It’s going to be another busy day at Stanley’s Fire Station.”

Why I like Stanley’s Fire Engine

Young boys will love the Stanley’s Fire Engine. Stanley does a variety of jobs, all to help his friends. Young boys, and some girls, will enjoy seeing Stanley as a first responder. In the fire station, Stanley works with Peggy to keep the fire equipment clean and ready for any emergency. The fire engine has “very long ladders.” One of the ladders require a vertical spread because it reaches so high up. Stanley stands on its rungs while Peggy works the controls.

Along with keeping the fire equipment clean and in working order, Stanley once again sets a good example while helping his friends. He puts out the fire at Charlie’s annual barbeque, cools friends off with a spray of water, rescues Little Woo and his teddy from a tall tree, and oversees a fireworks show (in case of an accident). At the end of Stanley’s busy day, he returns home and follows his normal nighttime routine he follows in every story of the series: dinner, a bath, and bed; making Stanley’s stories perfect bedtime reading for toddlers transitioning from board books to picture books.

The illustrations are basic with large, easy to recognize objects, separated by solid black lines, which deepen the colors (primary and secondary colors are used). Good use of white space helps a child focus on the images. The Stanley books are a great choice for story-time. The illustrations, thanks to those black lines, are easy to see from a short distance. Taken as a whole, Mr. Bee again gives the reader a lovely, clean presentation.

The text is simple with a few complex words related to fire engines (firefighting is actually absent from Stanley’s Fire Engine). Repetition (“the very long ladders” and “the VERY long hoses”) and onomatopoeia are used to help children remember words and items. The fire engine bell sounds, “CLANG, CLANG, CLANG!” warning others to “GET OUT OF THE WAY!”

Young children will enjoy learning about Stanley and his interests and occupations. After reading Stanley’s Fire Engine, the 9th picture book in the Stanley Series (of picture books and board books), they will wonder what Stanley has done and what he will do in the future. Stanley has been a builder, farmer, and mailman. He has run a diner, school, garage, store, and train.

Stanley has more adventures on the way for young children to eagerly await. In 2020, Willian Bee and Peachtree introduced Stanley’s Paint Box and Stanley’s Tool Box (both in the board book series).

Illustrations Rendered in digital

To Learn More About the William Bee:
website:  http://www.williambee.com/
blog:  http://williambee.blogspot.com/

Available at Amazon:  Stanley’s Fire Engine

Also Available New in 2020:  Stanley’s Paint Box and  Stanley’s Tool Box


STANLEY’S FIRE ENGINE. Copyright © 2020 by William Bee. Published by Peachtree Publishing, Atlanta, GA.

Originally published in Great Britain in 2020 by Jonathan Cape, an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s Publishing.


Copyright © 2020 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
[407-word count—review only]

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NEXT UP: PB – I Love My Fangs by Kelly Leigh Miller – S&S BYR

AND THEN: MG – The Girl and the Witch’s Garden by Erin Bowman – S&S BYR




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