Think & Play the Social Scouts Way™: Firefighter Leo to the Rescue!

(14 customer reviews)


In stock

SKU: 11216A561 Category:


Leo is a little boy who wants to play firefighter, but, how? While reading, kids will actively follow along with Leo and learn what firefighters do, where they work, what they wear, what special gear they need and all the ways they help the community. Once Leo thinks about all the things he knows about firefighters, he can imagine himself as one too. Now he’s ready to gather up his firefighter toys and put out the fire, rescue the people and save the day! With a handy parent’s guide and colorful cut-out sequence pictures at the end of the book, children can also pretend to be firefighters and have their very own rescue mission too.

14 reviews for Think & Play the Social Scouts Way™: Firefighter Leo to the Rescue!

  1. Charles Ashbacher (verified owner)

    Five out of five stars
    This is an excellent book describing what is a common play theme for children, pretending to be a firefighter. Leo is a boy that has aspirations to role playing as a firefighter, but he is uncertain as to exactly what firefighters do and how to accurately emulate them. In this book, Leo is stepped through the process of determining what firefighters do so that he can pretend to do their job.
    Early in the book there is the very important sentence, “Before Leo can play firefighter, he needs to think about everything he knows about firefighters.” This hooked me on the book immediately, for the young reader is being instructed to research their play topics. something that I have rarely seen in books for children.
    There are those that might consider this to have a dampening effect on play, but that is nonsense. Children try to be as realistic as they can in their play and the child that researches their topic before engaging in their pretending will have more fun. Especially when it is a job category that is so critical to society and regularly featured on television.
    Parents will find this to be a quality book, it can accurately be described as an educational primer for make-believe.

  2. Michelle Perry

    As seen on

    I was recently introduced to a book written by speech pathologists Heather Marenda-Miller and Amy Wilhem based on a concept they use in their therapy group, Social Scouts. Being the mom of a special needs child, I am big fan of social skills classes. They have made my son’s life a great deal easier over the years. This book however is aimed not necessarily at children like my son, but at the growing number of children growing up in a technology driven world a world of video games, smart tablets, Netflix binges, and CGI instant gratification. With the cutting edge technology making life easier for all it is ironic that some children have forgotten, or maybe never even learned how to stretch their own imaginations and just make believe.

    In this first book of a ten book series “Think and Play The Social Scouts Way”, young Leo would like to pretend to be a firefighter. Rather than just telling Leo to go play, the book offers him step by step instructions on how to play successfully. It encourages him to think about everything he knows about firefighters; who they are, what they wear, what equipment they use, where they work and what kinds of jobs do they do, and so on. Then gather his props, dress up clothes, and toys to use as make believe equipment or people to rescue. Only then is he ready to play.

    I love how the make believe play is built up step by step, expanding on what the child knows and encouraging him to think beyond that to what may happen next. This creative process is one they will use in many situations throughout their lives and is why learning to imagine is such an important step for our kids as they grow up.

    In the back of the book is a handy parents guide and color coded flash cards outlining the entire process of “Let’s Plan,” “Let’s Play,” and “Let’s Put Away.” This interactive book is geared toward children ages 3-7 and their caregivers. While the book isn’t aimed at special needs kids so to speak, as a parent of one I appreciate the approach as it lays out its visual cues in simple, yet profound concepts.

    My kid-lit co-reviewer AKA ” my son”, was immediately drawn to the old school illustrations. He said it reminded him of my old picture books that he loved so much as child, like Curious George or the Harry the Dog series. I have to agree with him, the illustrations by Alen Haljevac are simply precious. They bring the book to life with large colorful full page pictures that are sure to catch and inspire the attention of any child. The Boy also says that a book like this one would have been fun in one of his social groups. As a caregiver, I also believe it would have been a fun project to read through the book and play pretend with him.

    Whether this book is used for entertainment or education it will be a welcome addition to any Kid Lit library shelf.

  3. Dayschool Diva

    As seen on

    My students love to read and play along with Leo!

    I am always looking for colorful and enticing books as a resource for my students as we explore the world around us. Teaching through a theme based curriculum we incorporate books, arts & crafts, poetry, music and songs, fingerplays, manipulatives, toys, field trips and community resource visitors — and most importantly imagination, play and fun to fully explore the new concepts we introduce to our pre-schoolers. One of my students enthusiastically wanted to share his new book with his class, and it fit right in with the way we learn in our class! His show-and-tell offering quickly led to a new purchase to my library when I saw how engaged the children were while listening to the story. Each page inspires conversation as the children think along with Leo about all things firefighter. Soon the children were calling out their answers and ideas as they helped Leo get ready to become a firefighter. Since it was October we were in the midst of our Fire Safety week, and with cues and clues from Leo and each other, the next day the children embarked on a dramatic adventure. We provided blocks, shirts, paper towel tubes, red and yellow tissue paper (for fire), toy trucks, a large cardboard box, crayons, paper badges, and dolls and puppets during dramatic playtime. Boys and girls alike joined in to build a block fire station, box firetruck, pretended to be firefighters and/or people & pets who needed help. Our scheduled field trip to the local fire station was the next week and the firefighters at the station were amazed at how much the children knew about their jobs. The hardest thing was containing their enthusiasm and pride in their knowledge as they shouted out all the answers to firefighters’ questions! I would highly recommend this book to teachers, parents, grandparents, care givers and anyone who loves to read and play with children. The children will turn to this book again and again with the colorful pictures and bonus sequence cards included. Bravo!

    Yes, I would recommend to a friend

  4. Daniella Lodge

    My kids and I love to read this book together. It feels like our firefighter Leo has entered our home, fires are put out and stuffed animals are rescued. Its layout keeps us engaged and stimulated transforming reading into play. This book provides an interactive and fun way to read. An essential method to create love for reading in children. It also allows for a great way to bond and get creative. I highly recommend it.

  5. zaben

    As seen on

    Great story for developing kids’ imagination!

    My four-year-old loves this book. He loves firefighters and every time we read this book together he plays around the house afterward pretending to be a firefighter. This book has a great way of showing kids how to be imaginative. We love playing pretend games at home developing our kids imagination and this book has a great way of showing those steps. It is written in a very kid friendly way with simple and logical storyline that kids can understand easily. The illustration is absolutely stunning with beautiful colors and clarity of drawings.
    I highly recommend this read for you child. You won’t be disappointed.

  6. Katia Daher-Anenberg

    As seen on

    We love this book

    My kids and I love to read this book together. It feels like our firefighter Leo has entered our home, fires are put out and stuffed animals are rescued. Its layout keeps us engaged and stimulated transforming reading into play. This book provides an interactive and fun way to read. An essential method to create love for reading in children. It also allows for a great way to bond and get creative. I highly recommend it.

  7. Oh My Bookness

    As seen on

    Wonderful book. Teaches, but is also a wonderful, smart,creative read.

    Children’s books play a great part in a child growing up and learning to read, and understanding the meaning of sharing. Reading Children’s books can also help a child learn to use their imagination to their fullest extent and explore the vast possibilities. For example, by going off on a adventure with their newly opened imagination. Books can also be shared, be read together or just while lounging and relaxing.

    What’s so wondrous about children’s books is the inspiration of what a child may want to grow up to be. Books are one of a child’s best advisor, a coach as I may say to what they dream of becoming when they grow up.

    Amy and Heather has created a children’s book “Firefighter Leo To The Rescue”, it’s a great learning book of how a child name Leo learns to pretend to be a firefighter. Leo helps to explain to the reader of what a firefighter is and what their job entails.It explains what a firefighter job is and also everything about them. Then Leo knows what he needs to imagine to be a firefighter, it’s something he can use his imagination to play by himself and have a good time.

    The illustrations are well thought out to and and helps teaches young readers how to pretend and to have fun of being a firefighter. This book has also sequence cards to play with to put in order of what comes first in fire fighting playtime and corresponding shapes to show to ‘Plan, to Play and to Put it Away’.

    I enjoyed this book very much with its smart illustrations and the fun way of learning about Fire firefighters and how to have fun with your imagination.

  8. Maria B.

    Amazing interactive children’s book!!!

    The book “Think and play the social scouts way: Firefighter Leo to the Rescue” by Heather Miller-Marenda and Amy Wilhelm is a remarkable interactive children’s book. The illustrations are vibrant and helpful in discovering how to think and play as firefighters. Both of my granddaughters ages 3 and 4 enjoy the adventures of Leo the firefighter! Thank Heather and Amy for your passion and I wish you all the success!!!

  9. Robin B.

    A Great Gift Idea for Every Kid in Your Life!

    I stocked up on these books and gave them to all of the kiddos in my life for the holidays. From babies to toddlers and beyond, they all loved learning about Leo’s quest to imagine his day as a firefighter. Such a creative story! Loved the beautiful illustrations as well. This will definitely be part of my child gift-giving set from now on.

  10. Bridgett P.

    let’s plan, let’s play, let’s put it away!

    Beautifully illustrated children’s book series that draws upon a child’s imagination and exercises pretend play skills. I love the unique “let’s plan, play, and put it away” sequence cards that are provided at the back of the book. This is such a fun book to read with young children, and such an amazing teaching tool!

  11. Amanda Dunyak

    As seen on

    With who, what, and where questions, each page gives the children something to think about and a chance to use their imagination. Questions such as “who is a firefighter,” “what does a firefighter wear,” and “where does a firefighter work,” children can call upon their knowledge of firefighters to answer the questions that the book poses, as well as using the pictures for prompts. Adults who are reading to the children can use these same pictures to prompt additional questions that the book may not ask outright. In addition to promoting creative thinking, “Firefighter Leo” also helps to expand a child’s vocabulary, introducing unfamiliar words such as the various parts of a firefighter’s uniform, places in the community, and additional things that a firefighter might be responsible for, aside from extinguishing fires. The story also teaches children sequencing, telling the reader what Firefighter Leo needs to do before and after certain events, and using words like first, then, and last to describe the steps Leo needs to take when he plays firefighter.

    Each page gives the reader countless opportunities to start a conversation and there are endless answers that the children can provide. You can read the book all at once or take it slowly, making a whole week worth of lessons out of it. You can even take a trip to your local firehouse to see the pages brought to reality! The end of the book offers sequence cards and a page of instructions for the adults to set up games and activities with children. This is a book we will be returning to quite frequently, for sure. My charges love books and they love to read (we are currently reading the Harry Potter series), and the more they can interact with a book, they more attached to it they become, and are likely to keep returning to it, until they can eventually read it by heart! I see Firefighter Leo to the Rescue quickly becoming one of those books.

    I highly recommend this book for children ages 3-5. I think for children ages 6-7, it’s a judgement call. I don’t think that my 7-year-old would have really been interested had I not been reading it (and having fun with it) to her brothers, but that’s not to say that every child her age would have the same reaction. If you have children of multiple ages within that age range, I can almost bet that this book will be a hit! I will definitely be on alert for the next book in the series!

  12. Stephanie Shultis

    Love the interactive feature of the book. It really encourages the reader to think and apply while also adding his or her own twist of imagination. The beginning part of the book requires you to think about information about firefighters that will help you play firefighter after. The sequence cards in the back are great and include “let’s plan,” “let’s play,” and “let’s put away” cards. Looking forward to using these when my son is a little older! Overall, an awesome book with great pictures! I highly recommend this book to others!

  13. Molly

    So much fun!!

    I bought this book to read and interact with my 4 year old. We have a fun time reading about Leo and now my one year old is getting on on the action too! They both enjoy the pictures and love to pretend play firefighter with me. It’s an easy way for me to get down on their ‘level’ and be imaginative with them.

  14. Rebecca Perry

    My son received the first two books of this series as a holiday gift. We are so greateful to have received these, and they have quickly made their way into our favorite reading rotation. While my son is only 15 months, I love the opportunity for him to begin creative thinking which he can take into an active play environment! Additionally, I love how these characters take on roles that are sometimes scary to younsters. These books aid in broadening children’s knowledge at an early age of who these people are, why they wear certain clothes, have the tools that they do, etc. I hope these help to bring a sense of ease, and an even greater curiousity about these people he may come into contact with in our community/his life. Can’t wait to read what comes out next!!

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Meet the Illustrator

Alen Haljevac came to Los Angeles in 1994 with a passion for illustration, design and fashion. He earned his degree in Advanced Fashion Design from the FIDM in Los Angeles. He gained his experience working for various entertainment and design companies. Currently he is working in the toy industry. Alen feels extremely excited to be part of the Social Scouts™ book project, working with an amazing creative duo such as Heather Marenda-Miller and Amy Wilhelm.