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Scout for things your children might like to read. Use their interests and hobbies as starting points.
Summary: Tito loves the firehouse. Every day Richie, one of the firefighters, and Tito exchange hellos. One day, as Tito passes the firehouse a man is shouting. Richie needs his help, because he doesn't speak Spanish, and, ultimately, Tito gets to ride in the firetruck to help Richie. This is a bilingual picture book.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 9
Age of Child: Read with 4-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: Our preschooler loved this book. As soon as we finished reading it, s/he wanted to practice Spanish and show off the words that s/he knows.
Adult Reader Reaction: This was fun to read … and for parents with rusty Spanish, not overwhelming at all. We have a number of bilingual books in our library, but this was the first one to prompt our child to want to practice her skills.
Pros: The story moves quickly, with Spanish integrated in the English text. For kids who love firefighters, this will only whet their interests to ride on the truck. There is a vocabulary list in the back.
Borrow or Buy: This can go either way. If you're building a library with bilingual books or transportation/careers for pre-readers, add this to your list. Otherwise, you'll still want to borrow it at the library.
Educational Themes: The principle value is in introducing Spanish. That said, there are other things to do. You can teach safety skills, and how to report fires. You can also bring the book to life by visiting a firehouse or