Friday, December 18, 2020

Review of "Magnus at the Fire," by Jennifer Armstrong

 Review of

Magnus at the Fire, by Jennifer Armstrong, ISBN 0689839227

Five out of five stars

One of the best animal books ever

  Magnus is a powerful horse, one of a team of three that live at the firehouse and when the fire alarm sounds, are quickly hitched to pull the steam pumper to the fire. They are fleet and fearless, standing steady amid the chaos around the fire. Once the fire is out, they calmly pull the pumper back to the station.

 One day, a mechanical fire engine arrives at the station and the team of three are literally put out to pasture. Still believing in his usefulness, when Magnus hears the fire alarm go off, he jumps the fence and races after the fire engine until it arrives at the fire. The firefighters do all they can to discourage Magnus, but he persists.

 One day the alarm sounds and while it is on the way to the fire, the motor on the fire truck quits. The firefighters and many men nearby try to push it the rest of the way, but they can’t move it. Thinking quickly, one of the firefighters runs to Magnus and brings him to the engine. Creating a makeshift harness out of a hose, Magnus is hooked to the fire truck. Despite the heavy weight, with the assistance of the human pushers, Magnus is able to pull the truck close enough to the fire.

 This is a great story about animals and their sense of loyalty to the tasks they know. While Magnus has been replaced by advancing technology, he still wants to do what he has been trained for. At the end, he is retired to a happy life of eating well and pulling children in a wagon.

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