Tito, the Firefighter/Tito, el bombero
Title: Tito, the Firefighter/Tito, el bombero
Author: Tim Hoppey
Tito can speak both English and Spanish. Dual language serves him well in his East Harlem neighborhood. When he goes to the store he may ask for leche y huevos. Or, he may ask for milk and eggs. When asked how old he is, he might say eight in English or ocho in Spanish. Tito’s bilingual ability seems natural to him and he uses both languages with ease. Tito admires his neighborhood bomberos (firefighters), especially his firefighter friend, Richie. He longs to ride in the fire truck and he dreams of being a bombero himself someday. But he never dreamed that speaking both English and Spanish would actually help save the day. He does just that when he has to go along on an emergency call to interrupt Spanish directions so the bomberos can make it to the right location. A New York City firefighter himself, Tim Hoppey has a deep understanding of the community in which he works. The communication between the young boy and the firefighter in the story is something that Hoppey has experienced first hand. The mutual respect between the characters is clear. The New York atmosphere of Tito’s active neighborhood is appealing and rendered in energetic shades of red and brilliant primary colors. The architecture of the fire station, Tito’s apartment building, and the lively market, are depicted with attention to detail and a flair for the unique culture of this area.
Children’s Bilingual Picture Book—Embedded Spanish words in English text. Key word bilingual (English/Spanish) vocabulary.