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Emergency Rescue!
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Illustrated by Christyan Fox

Children will love joining in with the siren noises as they race to the rescue with Cat and Dog. With bouncy rhyming text, humorous detail and a different colourful, sturdy pop-up emergency vehicle on every spread, the third title in this popular series is perfect for little heroes everywhere.

"With a very simple, fun rhyming and rhythmic text the story is a lively reading experience ... this book is ideal for a young reader to enjoy alone."

Louise Ellis-Barrett, WRITE AWAY


UK Hardcover • ISBN: 9780230528758

UK Flexiback • ISBN: 9780230528765

Click here for details of foreign language editions



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Move you pointer from side to side over the arrow bars to turn the model around!
(You may have to wait a moment, while hidden images are loaded, before the arrow bars start to work)

Illustrations © 2008 Christyan Fox. Reproduced by permission of Macmillan Children's Books,

After featuring construction vehicles in the last Cat & Dog book, Dig It, Build It!, emergency vehicles seemed like an obvious follow-up.

I looked at emergency vehicles from all over the world to come up with an archetypal design for each model. Here are some of my reference photographs for the ambulance along with the prototype model.

Whenever I design one of Cat & Dog’s pop-up vehicles I try to give it an archetypal feel so it will be easily recognisable to young readers.  For the vehicles in this book I looked at lots of photographs of emergency vehicles from different countries to help me arrive at a set of internationally recognisable designs.  I passed these photographs onto Christyan Fox, the illustrator, so that he could also refer to them.  Having said this, the finished models are still fairly close to United Kingdom emergency vehicles, since the book was commissioned by my UK publisher, Macmillan.  One slightly awkward compromise is on the three road-vehicles, where the steering wheel is positioned in the centre of the cab instead of on the right, as it would be in the UK, or on the left, as it would be in many overseas countries.

I usually try to tackle what I think will be the most difficult model first, the theory being that if I can crack that, I can be confident that the rest of the book will work too.  For this book I thought that the Mountain Rescue helicopter would be the most difficult as the structure of both the tail boom and rotors had to be cantilevered out from a relatively small base. As it turned out, the helicopter design went relatively smoothly and I was able to complete it in less than a week.  Ironically it was the fire engine, which I’d assumed would be the easiest because of its boxy shape, that took the most time and I spent nearly two weeks making prototypes before I was happy with it.

The first cover Christyan did for the book showed the helicopter in daylight, but he subsequently modified it to show the same scene at night. Move your mouse over the image to see the modified version. Can you spot the one object that was moved in the picture?

Once I’d finished the paper-engineering, I turned to the text. This proved to be a lot easier than for the last Cat & Dog book and the first draft was quite similar to the final one – although it still took six months to get from one to the other!  While the text to the earlier books concentrate on features of the vehicles, the text to this book is centred on the activities of the emergency services. This gave me a wider vocabulary and more scope for subject matter, so it was relatively easy to come up with an appropriate rhyming text. My original title for the book was To the Rescue!, but it turned out that Macmillan had already published a pre-school book with that title, so we eventually settled on Emergency Rescue!

While I was finalising the text, Christyan Fox began work illustrating the pop-ups and page spreads.  One of the most appealing things about the Cat & Dog books is the liveliness of the spreads, which are packed with amusing details.  As well as the usual bee and mouse hidden on each spread, the animal builders from Dig It, Build It! make an appearance. I know Christyan gives some thought to which animals are suited to which activities and I think that the elephant fire-fighters - one of whom is seen using his trunk as an additional hose - are particularly inspired.

Emergency, emergency. Race to the rescue with Cat and Dog in five fabulous pop-up machines. Featuring a police car, ambulance, fire engine, lifeboat and helicopter learn who can help and how. A famous masterpiece has been stolen - call the police. When there has been an accident and someone needs help fast - call the ambulance. If smoke is in the air - call the fire brigade. When a boat is sinking fast - call a lifeboat and when a climber has had a fall - call the helicopter mountain rescue team. It is important that from a very early age children learn about each of the emergency rescue services and their unique roles.
Teaching children about this through the medium of a story and lovable characters such as Cat and Dog means that the concepts are accessible, understandable and memorable. Children are introduced to situations in which each of the emergency services may need to be called,. The sights and sounds that may accompany each vehicle are explained as well the occupants.
With a very simple, fun rhyming and rhythmic text the story is a lively reading experience. The pop-ups in the middle of each double page spread provide an added dimension to the story allowing the reader to see in 3-D each of the emergency vehicles. With cartoon style drawings and a lot of colour this book is ideal for a young reader to enjoy alone and also for parents, carers or teachers to use as an educational and instructional resource.

Louise Ellis-Barrett, WRITE AWAY

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