Who has time for hugs when they're busy fighting fires, driving an ambulance, and rocketing off to Mars? This little boy and his sister pretend to be all kinds of heroesbut they won't take a break to give Mom a hug. She reminds them that even firefighters hug their moms, but it's beginning to look like she will never get a cuddle!
PreS-Gr 1-In this celebration of the imagination, a busy youngster concocts a series of pretend games, using toys, furniture, household objects, and even his baby sister to complete each scenario. First, as Big Frank, he puts on his protective gear, grabs Firefighter Sally, rushes to a burning building in a hook-and-ladder truck, and uses a long-hosed vacuum to battle a blaze. Next, as Officer Dave, he and Rex the police dog (his sister) place a wagonload of stuffed-animal criminals safely behind bars. As the creative child takes on these and other intriguing roles, his mother asks him repeatedly to pause long enough to give her a hug, but he is always too involved to stop his play. The sought-after squeeze is finally awarded on the last page. The boy narrates his adventures in accessible language that expresses his excitement and provides inventive details. Mom's recurrent request makes a familiar refrain that adds a bit of humor to the story and helps to connect the child's flights of fancy to the everyday world. Mixing realistic images with shimmering textures and soft edges, the artwork extends the text and fleshes out each scene. Golf clubs stuck between an ottoman and an easy chair become the gears of a front loader, a ceiling fan becomes a Coast Guard helicopter, and stacked-up boxes make a perfect rocket. A good pick for sparking pretend play and maybe even an occasional embrace.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.