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Going Beyond The Book - Reviews of Jewish children's books
Using Literature to Build Jewish Values in Your Children

The Jewish children's book 'The Bravest Fireman'
Let's go "Beyond the Book" with
The Bravest Fireman

Ages 2-4

Do not be fooled by the recommended age 2-4 for this timeless story. It could also read ages l2 - l4 or even 20 - 40.

A little boy experiences what happens when a small fire breaks out on his street - his family leaves the home immediately, the fireman are called, the hoses are connected and fire is put out.

That plot is juxtaposed on the thoughts and feelings expressed by a little boy who lives down the block. He fantasizes that he is part of the fire department and he becomes THE BRAVEST FIREMAN as he responds to the alarm, slides down the pole, drives the fire truck, holds the heavy hose, fights the heat and smoke to save a life. Like any hero HE DOES IT ALL .

The images of how he does all this are captured by the drawings. Just a few, simple illustrations on each page show what is important to all the elements that go into being a fireman, as our little fireman says:

“The smoke will sting my eyes
and fill my throat. But the
Torah says, “Saving one life is
Like saving the world.”

To go beyond the book with The Bravest Fireman takes us to new levels of consciousness. The events we witnessed first hand on 9/ll has raised our level of awareness, so that we will always look at skyscrapers and planes with new feelings. We might even see life as Torah sees life - a world - a future- infinite generations.

How do we teach “ regard for life” on a child’s level? We could start with teaching our children not to step on the unsuspecting ant or that he or she has a moral obligation to free the innocent firefly.. We must point out that by this level of goodness and kindness, they have indeed saved a life..

Ethics of the Fathers tells us
Who is Wise? He who learns from every person
Who is Mighty? He who subdues his inclination
Who is Rich? He who is happy with his portion
Who is Honored? He who honors others

And now when we ask: Who is a Great? Our children will truly answer: The Bravest Fireman

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