2010 - present

2010 - present


FIRE ENGINE NUMBER NINE, by Michael Austin, was named Picture Book of the Year by Booklist.

A PRESENT FOR MILO, by Michael Austin, was awarded both the Parent's Choice and Mom's Choice awards in 2011.

JUNKYARD, by Michael Austin, was named one of the Kansas State Reading Circle Primary Titles in 2015.

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Published September, 2016

"Following Fire Engine No. 9 (2015), Austin looks at maritime emergency vehicles.In Austin' s second No. 9 book, the youngest readers find a gripping, exciting ocean rescue conducted by a mixed-race, mixed-gender team using intriguing vehicles and tools: helicopter and boat, with assists from the lighthouse and trucks on the dock. The crew seems to be going through its ordinary duties when the weather changes and a distress call comes in.


The text is minimal: words repeat and appear in typeface that increases in size to convey urgency: "MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! // GO! GO! GO!" Bold, graphically splashy artwork captures the stormy, swelling sea and the rescue in motion. A sailboat has crashed against rocks with a sailor and dog on board. Dramatic tension is heightened when horizontal scenes switch to vertical when the helicopter drops the Billy Pugh basket to pick up the stranded boaters. Never heard that term before? Don't worry: endpapers feature the pieces of equipment and their names. All's well that ends well. The squad gets the duo safely to shore as the sun comes out. An endnote includes tips for caregivers on water safety, and readers already savvy about the subject will be pleased to see that both the sailor and the dog are wearing life jackets. "Hooray! Hooray!" (Picture book. 2-5) "


-Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)


"In this water-based follow-up to his well-received Fire Engine No. 9, Austin once again employs onomatopoeia and repetitive vocabulary to emphasize the story’s action. The oversize, subtly italicized graphic typeface draws readers into and propels them through the narrative. A boy and his dog are caught on a sailboat in a storm. Every visual component—a boat, a windsock, the rescue workers—is firmly rooted to the page, almost static, yet Austin’s use of brushwork and color for the background creates a sense of urgency and dynamism, the visual contradiction adding to the excitement. This title relies on color and simple images to convey the drama of a water rescue and the importance of the teams that do that work, from the visceral jolt of the illustrated glossary on the endpapers to the water safety information page at the end of this story. VERDICT A brilliant little book not just for emergency services fans. Highly recommended."


Lisa Lehmuller, School Library Journal (Starred Review)



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