Martin Muser: The fire brigade arrives in the nude

Die Feuerwehr kommt nackig her.
(The fire brigade arrives in the nude)
Illustrated by Sabine Kranz.
Carlsen 2023.

The title sparks curiosity: Is the fire brigade putting out fires without any clothing? Yes, indeed! And the excitement is ablaze in this first reader. Yet it all starts off quite harmlessly. “This is the house where Mika lives,” is written on the first double-spread next to a yellow apartment house in which everything seems peaceful. Then we see the firemen showering, sleeping, and playing cards – but already on the next page they are racing in a red fire truck to the house where Mika lives. How and why this came about then evolves page for page in a crazy, intertwining and rhymed storyline. There is Mr. Luft, who calls the fire brigade; tomcat Wolpert, whom Mr. Luft has stumbled over; and the people upstairs who are always romping about. Then the mouse peeks out of her mousehole, and there is Mika … Stop! No spoilers! The short words and sentences are matched with colourful, vignette-like pictures, creating light reading pleasure, during which there is lots and lots to discover! (Age: 6+)