Happy 60th Birthday, Sparky the Fire Dog!

September 13, 2011 (Watertown, Mass.) -The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced today that it has teamed up with Emmy-award winning and best-selling author Don Hoffman and illustrator Todd Dakins to create Sparky the Fire Dog®, a picture book to be released on October 1, 2011, in celebration of the NFPA mascot’s 60th birthday. The story, based on the life of America’s favorite fire safety dog, Sparky®, offers an entertaining and educational adventure filled with lessons and fire safety messages for youngsters.

Sparky the Fire Dog® was created for the NFPA in 1951 and has been the organization’s official mascot and spokesdog ever since. Millions have learned about fire safety through educational lessons and materials featuring his image. Sparky visits schools and participates in community events to spread fire safety messages, often accompanied by his firefighter friends. In addition, Sparky connects with the public through Fire Prevention Week campaigns each October.

“Sparky plays an important role in communicating fire safety to kids and families. This book is the perfect addition to the Sparky-themed website (www.sparky.org), games, and other children’s activities that are currently being utilized to help children and their caretakers learn important safety messages in a fun and entertaining way,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications.

About the Book

Meet Sparky. This adorable Dalmatian puppy is an important member of the fire station team. He’s rescued a little girl and her family, and now he’s helping kids become junior fire inspectors right in their own homes. In colorful, appealing illustrations, Sparky takes a group of young animals through the neighborhood, pointing out hazards, giving basic fire prevention and safety tips, and showing them how to be prepared in case of an emergency. From having a working smoke alarm to being careful with candles and knowing where your exits are, Sparky’s advice may be the most important thing children—and their parents—ever learn.

About the Author and the Illustrator

Don Hoffman is an Emmy Award-winning author and a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Fellow. His titles include the recent million-copy bestseller, A Very Special Snowflake. Todd Dakins is an award-winning artist who has been a featured illustrator for Milwaukee Magazine. He is also the illustrator of all of Hoffman’s books.

About Imagine Publishing, a Charlesbridge imprint

Imagine is a publisher of unique and eclectic books for children and adults. Imagine’s list includes the Peter Yarrow Books imprint, in partnership with legendary singer/songwriter and best-selling author Peter Yarrow of the iconic trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Books in this imprint include The Night Before Christmas, as well as the New York Times picture book bestsellers Over the Rainbow and Take Me Out to the Ball Game, with CD performances by Judy Collins and Carly Simon, respectively. When You Wish Upon a Star will be released in October 2011 and will include a CD performance by Judy Collins.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org for more information.

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