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Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite
Playing With Fire: Bart Learns a Hard Lesson About Fire Danger by Sylvia Yordanova is a well written story that begins with Bart and his friends going out to play and have fun in the forest one day. Bart decides to build a small fire to cook a hot dog. When he is finished, his friends put pressure on him to put out his fire. Bart, however, doesn't think it is a big deal, and is annoyed, but appeases his friends and puts it out by dousing it with water, and stomping it out. When he catches up to his friends, he is chastised about being careless and warned about the danger of fire in the forest. Bart gets upset with his friends, and separates himself from them. When Bart gets hungry again, he lights another fire to roast some marshmallows, and falls asleep. He awakens to the smell of smoke. His small fire has grown, animals are running away, and now the blaze surrounds him. He recognizes the immediate danger, starts to panic, and calls out for his friends to help him.
Ms. Yordanova has done an excellent job of describing just how dangerous starting fires can be, and even worse if left unattended. With the help of the characters Charlie the dog, Oberon the tortoise, and Bella the fox, she conveys how it is everyone's responsibility to be conscious about fire safety. Playing with Fire is well put together with illustrations that really bring her story to life. I feel that Sylvia's approach to educate children, schools, and libraries in fire safety is very admirable. To get her work in front of as many people as possible, links are included for multi media activities and book bundles. All I can say is, wow! well done!