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Sparky the Fire Dog
Sparky the Fire Dog
By author: Don Hoffman   Illustrated by: Todd Dakins
Product Code: 
Binding Information: Hardback 
3 and up
In Stock
Price: $7.95

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Meet Sparky. This adorable Dalmatian puppy--who's celebrating his SIXTIETH birthday--is an important member of the team at the fire station. But he's more than just a cute character in a book: Sparky is the official spokesdog for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and what he has to say can actually save lives. This canine hero rescued a little girl and her family, and now he's helping kids become junior fire inspectors right in their own homes.

In colorful, appealing illustrations, Sparky takes a group of young animals through the neighborhood, pointing out hazards, giving basic fire prevention and safety tips, and showing them how to be prepared in case of an emergency. From having a working smoke alarm to being careful with candles and knowing where your exits are, Sparky's advice may be the most important thing children--and their parents--ever learn.

Visit to learn more about Sparky, his birthday celebrations, fire safety tips, and to download fun games and activities.

About Sparky:
Sparky turns 60! Sparky the Fire Dogr was created for NFPA in 1951 and has been the organization's official mascot and spokesdog ever since. Sparky is a widely recognized fire safety icon that is beloved by children and adults alike. Millions have learned about fire safety through educational lessons and materials featuring his image. As an influential figure in fire prevention, his success can be attributed to collaboration with firefighters and others to educate the public on important prevention and safety measures. In addition to connecting with the public through public service announcements and his featured role in Fire Prevention Week campaigns each October, Sparky has a very active website,

  Barefoot Mommies - November 15, 2011
I’m about a month late in telling you about National Fire Prevention Week. And, while the official week is over, I don’t think there’s ever a bad time to remind people about fire prevention and safety. I live in a city where much of the housing stock is over 75 years old (my house is at least 125 years old). There are house fires all too often.

And, despite all of that, it wasn’t until my daughter’s class did a unit on fire safety last month that our family of 5 (plus the cat!) even thought about an escape plan. We have one now and I am thankful for being able to read Sparky the Fire Dog to my kids for a serious, yet not overly scary, read about the importance of planning and prevention.

My kids loved the book. My daughter, who is 6, read it to her brothers (ages 2 1/2 and 5 months) at bedtime during National Fire Prevention Week. Then, she brought it in to school for sharing. She really enjoyed it and liked making sure we weren’t breaking any of Sparky’s rules.

If you are trying to teach your kids about fire safety, I would HIGHLY recommend this book. It’s really nicely written and the illustrations are great. My kids all enjoyed it. (Well, I can’t speak for the baby, I guess )And, at under $10, it’s a nice gift for any future fire fighters on your shopping list!

Also, Sparky has a GREAT website with activities and downloads. Check it out!

  Lehigh Valley Live - October 7, 2011
This year is the first time the National Fire Protection Association's official mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog, is talking to kids via a picture book. It's written by Don Hoffman and illustrated by Todd Dakins.

The colorful book tells the story of a Dalmatian that has a superhero dream about visiting all of his neighbors to protect them from fire hazards in their homes.

He tells Mrs. Sheep about testing and changing the batteries in her smoke alarms. He rouses Mr. Alligator from his nap because he fell asleep with a fire burning in the fireplace and a space heater turned on. Mrs. Turkey needs to display her house number prominently by the front door so firefighters don't have trouble finding her in an emergency.

Sparky the Fire Dog offers a thorough account of fire safety tips families need to follow to prevent a blaze. The book talks about establishing a 3-foot safety zone around the stove where kids can't play and extinguishing candles when you leave the room. After reading it with my 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, my son pointed out our household doesn't have an "escape plan." Consider it homework.

The book doesn't delve into the "stop, drop and roll" tips or other suggestions for leaving a burning building. I suppose that's heavy material for the small children for whom the book is intended.

The book does a good job of raising kids' awareness and doing it in a fun, upbeat way. My favorite part is when Mrs. Sheep, who's hanging laundry in her backyard, answers Sparky's call with, "Hello! I'm out baaaack."

Like my son, some kids might use the book's lessons to hold their parents accountable for following safety recommendations. I hope we never need our smoke alarms or an escape plan, but we can't be too careful when our children's lives depend on it. - October 6, 2011
Sparky the Fire Dog by Don Hoffman is a fun and educational story about a legendary pooch that teaches children about fire safety. In real life, Sparky is the mascot for the National Fire Protection Association. Hoffman released this tale in honor of Sparky's 60th birthday and National Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 9-15, 2011).

Told from the point of view of Sparky, this story is engaging all the way through. After Sparky saves a little girl from a house fire, the crew at Fire Station Number 5 makes him an honorary member of their team; he even gets to sit up front in the fire truck with the captain! At night, he dreams of being a super hero, leading a team of Junior Investigators throughout the town teaching fire safety. They warn Mr. Alligator to the dangers of space heaters and Mrs. Flamingo to the hazards of unattended burning candles. They even talk to Mrs. Yak about cooking safety.

In his super hero dream, Sparky addresses most home fire safety situations, offering tips for members of the entire family, even down to creating an emergency evacuation plan. At the end of the story, Sparky wakes to the sound of the fire house alarm ringing, reminding him why he loves his job.

This book is perfect for children up to age eight, although some older ones may learn from the safety tips offered. The friendly, colorful illustrations by Todd Dakins adds a new level of educational fun to this already inspiring story. Although written for Fire Prevention Week, Sparky the Fire Dog is great any time of year. A must-have for every classroom and household, it turns what is a boring subject for some children into informative fun.

  Kid Focused - October 11, 2011
10/9-10/15 is National Fire Safety Week, and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) mascot, Sparky, also turns 60. To commemorate this milestone, Sparky stars in his first ever picture book, Sparky: The Fire Dog

In the 35-page hardcover book written by Emmy-award winning author, Don Hoffman, Sparky The Fire Dog narrates a story of being a hero in his neighborhood while also packing the book with useful fire safety tips.

The book is perfect for young audiences at home or to share with in the classroom. Older elementary school aged children will also enjoy reading the book on their own.

  Booktalking - October 12, 2011
Meet Sparky. This adorable Dalmation puppy–who’s celebrating his SIXTIETH birthday–is an important member of the team at the fire station. But he’s more than just a cute character in a book: Sparky is the official spokesdog for the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), and what he has to say can actually save lives.

Sparky the fire dog takes a group of young animals through the neighborhood, pointing out hazards, giving basic fire prevention and safety tips, and showing them how to be prepared in case of an emergency. From having a working smoke alarm to being careful with candles and knowing where your exits are, Sparky’s advice may be the most important thing children–and their parents–ever learn.

  Biblioreads - September 15, 2011
I really liked this easy to read, engaging story about Sparky The Fire Dog but give it + + + + + because it's filled with such important information that kiddos will read and remember. It will introduce fire safety to little ones and kiddos up to age eight. Follow Sparky as he travels the neighborhood with his junior inspectors and reminds friends about things like having a three-foot safety zone around the stove, never letting candles or fireplaces burn unattended, changing the batteries in smoke detectors, having a family plan to escape the house if it's on fire and more. Written in such a way that children will learn and remember what Sparky tells them, this book is a must have for every household.
  In the Pages - September 15, 2011
National Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15 this year and I have just the book to help you celebrate!! Sparky the Fire Dog by Don Hoffman is PERFECT to help teach our little ones some fire safety tips while enjoying a fun book! The illustrations are lively and fun - Todd Dakins mastered the feel for this story - the characters are friendly and the book has such a fun "water spot" technique that captures the fire/water theme - LOVED that!! Sparky the Fire Dog was a collaboration with the National Fire Prevention Association - and you know you can trust the content. I love how at the end of the book they go back over all of the tips they have taught you while you were reading - a great recap - and one kids will remember as each tip starts with the first letter of an animal name. This is a great book to add to your fire safety theme - and we are always looking for new books on this theme!!
  NC Teacher Stuff - September 20, 2011
One of the highlight weeks of a preschool or kindergarten year is National Fire Prevention Week, which is October 9-15 this year. We either visit a fire station or ask firefighting personnel to visit our classrooms. It's an important week as we teach children to think about how they can promote fire safety in their homes. An old ally in helping to publicize the need for fire safety is 60 years old this year and he is the subject of a new book.

Sparky the Fire Dog is a member of Fire Station Number 5 as a result of his heroics in alerting firefighters to a young girl's burning home. During the day, Sparky sits next to the captain in the fire truck. At night he dreams of being a superhero who alerts others to potential dangers in and around their homes. In his dream, he leads a group of Junior Inspectors in visiting homes in the neighborhood. They change batteries in Mrs. Sheep's fire alarms. Mrs. Flamingo is alerted to an unattended candle burning in her house. Ellie the Elephant and her mother share the escape plan they have created. Sparky and his friends go from house to house doing good deeds related to fire safety. A fire alarm awakes Sparky and he races to the fire truck remembering how much he loves being a fire dog.

Sparky the Fire Dog is an engaging vehicle for discussing fire safety with young children. The narrative of the story weaves in tips which can be used for teaching fire safety in the classroom. This book would be an excellent resource for preparing children who are about to visit a fire station or receive a visit from firefighting personnel. The class could create a list of safety tips contained in the book. You could use these tips to create an illustrated booklet where each child illustrates one page that has a safety tip written on it. Another activity would be to draw a T chart and ask students which safety tips are known and which ones are new knowledge.

Other activities such as drawing a home escape plan can be found at A good home activity for children and adults would be to review the inspection checklist.

  Donna Bowman Bratton - September 17, 2011
Meet Sparky, the adorable Dalmation spokesdog for The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA,) the leading advocate for fire safety. Since his debut in 1951, millions of people have learned about fire safety through Sparky's extensive educational programs.

NFPA teamed up with Charlesbridge Publishing and Emmy-award winning children's author Don Hoffman for a brand new Sparky adventure just in time for Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15. Illustrator Todd Dakins' charming art adds a whimsical appeal for young readers.

Follow Sparky and his newly-deputized junior fire inspectors, Roger Rhino, Ellie Elephant, and Iggy Iguana as as they inspect the animal neighborhood homes looking for fire dangers. By story's end, ten fire safety tips have been shared. Young readers will learn the importance of smoke alarms, fireplace and candle safety, cooking safety, safe storage of lighters and matches, BBQ grill safety, family escape plans, visible house numbers, and the 911 emergency phone number.

After reading this book, grab a young child and head over to Sparky's very own website full of fun activities, games, video clips, animated shorts, and additional safety tips.