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by Dave Horowitz ; illustrated by Dave Horowitz

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-399-54850-5
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Even monsters have their off days sometimes and need expert help.

In this humorous rhyming book that acts as a simple explanation of EMTs’ important work and their equipment, Gus, an EMT and “amboolance” driver, is blue and has three eyes, two yellow horns, and fangs—a monster, in other words. Sally, Gus’ paramedic partner, is a White-presenting human. This duo caters to monsters, whom they ferry on their “Monster Squad bus.” Readers are cautioned never to say “quiet” around them. That’s because an ambulance has urgent work to do and needs to sound its siren—LOUDLY—as it hurries patients to the hospital. Afterward, the otherworldly creatures acknowledge the EMTs as heroes. The book does double duty. While it aims to be somewhat straightforward about EMTs’ duties, it’s packaged as a light monster story—appealing to child audiences, especially around Halloween. It provides some useful information; numerous items (some tongue-in-cheek) are labeled throughout (the lack of a pronunciation guide for such terms as defibrillator and kraken may prove challenging); and there’s even a glossary, though some terms are included for comic effect. The rhymes are bouncy and witty, and onomatopoeic sound effects are included in large capitals where needed to add drama. The comical, energetic illustrations are attention grabbers; the monsters are laughably weird and nonfrightening. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.875-by-14.375-inch double-page spreads viewed at 83% of actual size.)

Here’s one to have fun with as we cheer for essential medical personnel.

(Picture book. 4-7)