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Rescue Squad No. 9 by Mike Austin. Random House, 2016

“Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” The distress call launches Rescue Squad No. 9 into action. A boat and helicopter and their team of rescue workers speed to the aid of a young sailor and her dog when a storm strands them on rocks. Few words are needed in this action-filled story told primarily through the illustrations. Bright colors, bold figures, and skillfully crafted page composition lend movement and a sense of urgency to this successful rescue at sea. (Ages 2–6)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: As you read, explore print awareness. Ask the children how they know which direction the pages should go.
  • Talk: About how loud noises can be scary, but remind children that it means people are helping others. Encourage them to look for helpers.
  • Sing: A song about the weather, the ocean or helpers.
  • Write: Trace the safety gear on the end papers of the book.
  • Play: Reenact the story. Use toy boats or other objects you can pretend are boats.
  • Math or Science: Discuss water science and safety. Look at the information in the back of the book.

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