The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine

Published May 2, 2009 by Dallas

fire_engine

The fact that Donald Barthelme (1931-1989) wrote a children’s book is one thing. The fact that it’s as much of a mind ripper as The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine is another thing entirely. Printed in 1971,¬†Barthelme’s ever-direct flash fiction style is paired with illustrations comprised entirely of copyright free 19th century engravings (genius time saving! genius money saving) to tell the tale¬†of a little girl named Mathilda who wishes she had a fire engine in her back yard but instead discovers a mysterious Chinese house. From there she meets pirates, elephants, a one-man-band and a whole slew of other characters so absurd you would swear the book was edited by a kindergarten class. If you don’t already have a copy, Overlook put out a beautiful new edition in 2006 which is perfect for anyone looking to totally freak-out some kids brains in the best possible way. A definite baby shower stunner.

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