The Fire Cat by Esther Averill is a perfect book for emergent readers. Pickles is a young cat with big paws who wants to do big things. He takes us on his journey, which leads to his adoption and transformation into a good fire cat. Readers will rejoice when Pickles finds a place where he belongs.
This book is a great way to introduce key lessons to young students, including comparing and contrasting, making connections, and analyzing vocabulary words. Including storyboards with these activities will enhance creativity and comprehension through the visual nature of storyboarding!
Pickles is a young cat who is yellow with black spots. He has big paws and wishes he could do big things with them. But he can not find anything big to do.
Pickles’ home is in a barrel in an old yard where there is nothing big to do. So, Pickles spends his time running after little cats that run into his yard. This is a bad thing but it is all Pickles thinks he can do. Mrs. Goodkind, Pickles’ only friend, feeds him and offers him a place in her home. She gives him toys to play with and a chair to sit in. Pickles does not like it there and decides to go back to his barrel.
One day, he chases a little cat up a tree. He sits near the little cat and does not let her climb down. After a while, a storm comes and the wind and rain blow furiously. Pickles finally lets the little cat down but Pickles cannot climb down himself. He is stuck!
Mrs. Goodkind calls the fire department, and they come to rescue Pickles. Fireman Joe climbs up the ladder and brings Pickles to safety. Joe and Mrs. Goodkind talk about how Pickles is a cat who wishes to do big things. Fireman Joe decides to bring Pickles to the firehouse.
Pickles meets the Fire Chief, and he tells Pickles that if he learns to be a good firehouse cat, then he will let him live there. Pickles decides he needs to learn to do what the firemen do. Pickles learns how to slide down the fire pole, how to jump into the fire engine and sit up straight while the truck races to a fire, and how to help hold the water hose.
The Fire Chief loves how Pickles has been a hard worker and he decides to make Pickles their official Fire Cat. He gives Pickles his own fire hat. Pickles is told that a Fire Cat must be nice to everybody, so Pickles learns to become friends with the other cats.
Pickles is called to a rescue; it is one of Mrs. Goodkind’s cats. He rescues the cat from the same tree Fireman Joe had rescued him from. Mrs. Goodkind thanks him and tells him that she knew he would do big things. Pickles the firecat rides home on the engine, happy and proud.