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New York's Bravest
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375821961, Hardcover)Mary Pope Osborne (of Magic Tree House fame) honors the 343 firefighters who died on September 11 by retelling a 19th-century legend about another heroic NYC blaze battler.
Eight-feet-tall with "hands as big as Virginia hams," Mose Humphreys cuts a classic tall-tale figure, lifting trolley cars over his head and rescuing babies inside a stovepipe hat. And, echoing the World Trade Center attacks, "when others ran away from danger, Mose ran toward it." New York's Bravest follows the firefighting exploits of the mythic Mose and "his boys" in dramatic, near-theatrical spreads, right up to a fateful hotel fire near the Hudson: "All night, Mose ran in and out of the building, rescuing bankers, bakers, shoemakers, dressmakers, preachers, and politicians." But when the smoke clears, Mose is nowhere to be found. His fellows nervously hope that he's simply disappeared to drive a mule team in the Dakotas or to mine gold in California. But no, an old-timer later surmises, "Truth is, Mose is right here. He's marchin' with us in our parades. He's kickin' up his heels at our fancy dances.... And whenever we climb our ladders toward a blazing sky, he climbs with us."
Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher ably carry the alternating spectacle and pathos in New York's Bravest with colorful, outlandishly staged paintings. And while Pope Osborne's solemnity can border on maudlin (not surprising for a tribute), she ultimately succeeds in honoring our common potential for hope and simple courage, with the understanding that, while the bravery of one fancifully gifted individual might not be all that remarkable, the bravery of many--on and after September 11--certainly is.) (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:47:34 -0500)
Tells of the heroic deeds of the legendary New York firefighter, Mose Humphreys.
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