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AimeeAnn Blythe
Ginger's Fireworks Safety Tips

3rd book in Ginger Series

This educational and delightful story weaves together children's Fireworks Safety, fun, and friendship as Ginger and her pals charm the townspeople and join the July 4th town parade.

Blythe’s third story in her Ginger series (after Ginger Meets a Leprechaun and Makes a Wish) follows Ginger, a russet-colored deer inspired by a real-life animal, as she joins her pals for a July 4th parade. After convincing her forest friends that a hike to Bee Branchville is just the ticket to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, Ginger and crew find the city’s streets deserted, with closed signs hanging on the store windows. When the group spots a board advertising the town’s 4th of July parade—and asking for helpers to man the Fireworks Safety float—Ginger promptly dons her customized holiday sunglasses and signs on.

The animal stars in Blythe’s uncomplicated tale deliver a crucial message: fireworks may be fun, but they’re serious business. As Blythe points out in the backmatter, there are “over 10,000 injuries yearly associated with fireworks,” and many of those happen to young children. To promote a dazzling —and safe—4th of July, Ginger and her friends share safety rules on their float, ranging from “older children should use fireworks under close adult supervision” to “never point or throw fireworks at another person.” Each rule is accompanied by bright graphics with warning signs, allowing younger readers a visual representation of fireworks dos and don’ts.

Blythe’s digital illustrations feel bland in places, sometimes static and repetitive, with varying styles for individual characters giving some spreads an inconsistent patchwork look. Younger readers may find the bold colors and individual animals entertaining (particularly Ginger’s squirrel friend, who vows to take an acorn on their walk into town, just in case hunger strikes on the road). The story’s implication—that using fireworks without safety considerations can be deadly—sounds grave but is important, and Ginger’s parade ends in a happy celebration, including a glittering outdoor fireworks display. Blythe’s photograph of the real-life Ginger will delight younger readers, as will the suggestion to use glow sticks or silly string for a safer July 4th option.

Takeaway: Animal friends share dos and don’ts for fireworks safety.

Comparable Titles: Kate Riggs’s To the Rescue!, Jenny Cable’s PJ the Flame.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: B-
Editing: B
Marketing copy: B