Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomberos

Written by: Susan Middleton Eyla

Illustrated by: Dan Santat

Before Reading

Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomberos incorporates simple Spanish vocabulary into its rhyme scheme, and highlights what life is like for five brave bomberos. Talk to your child about what s/he sees and what s/he thinks will happen in the story using questions like:

What do you think a firefighter's (bombero's) life is like?

What does a bombero do? 

{Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture? 

What do you think is going to happen in this story?

As You Read

Vocabulary Development

There are many Spanish words to learn in this book for non-native Spanish speakers, and for those who are bilingual, there are many words that might not be in a child's everyday vocabulary. The rhyme works so well with the Spanish that we highly recommend readers resist the urge to translate!  You can reinforce the Spanish words by pointing to the elements referenced in the illustrations when saying the Spanish word.  Then, encourage your child to repeat in both English and Spanish.


Making Connections

The array of facial expressions are perfect for making connections to how the individual bomberos are feeling while on the job. Ask “How do you think this firefighter is feeling right now?” Some pages have a range of 5-6 emotions. Pick each one out and use it as a springboard into upcoming elements of the story.  

For example, pages 11-12 have close-ups of each firefighter, showing determination while they battle the blaze, with the crowd admiringly looking on. Pick one out bombero's face and go deeper with your child about why (s)he looks so determined and how that might help him/her as a firefighter. Help relate this to another time your child has demonstrated a great deal of determination in order to accomplish a goal or complete a task (i.e. completing a puzzle, eating all of his/her vegetables, playing a sport).

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret

Discuss the story and themes with your child using questions like:

Who was your favorite bombero? Why? How are the bomberos similar? Different? Do any of those differences effect the bombero’s work fighting the fire? 

The bomberos are very brave. Can you think of a time when you were really brave? What is the bravest thing you have ever done?

Teamwork is a really important part of this story. When was the last time you worked together with friends or classmates to do something? What was the result? Do you prefer working alone or with a team? (Find examples throughout the day when you and your child work/play together and alone.)

{Flip to an illustration} How are the bomberos feeling in this illustration? Worried? Determined? Scared? What do you think the bombero is thinking?

Activity: Firefighter Hands!

Supplies: Red Paint, Construction Paper (Red, Skin Tones), Elmer’s Glue, Red and Blue Glitter

Source: Tippytoe Crafts


A good read like Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomberos can always be enhanced with an activity that helps continue the conversation around teamwork, which is core to this book. This activity is a visual representation of how firefighting teams are connected when working together.

  1. Paint your child's hand and make a handprint in the middle of a piece of white paper.

  2. While the handprint dries, cut out five circles from the various skin toned papers. Cut out five fire hats (it is helpful to have these pre-cut if possible and then have your child choose five of each).

  3. Draw a face on each of the firefighters. Even for a child not drawing "faces" at this point, ask him/her to draw something that "looks" like determination for the face.

  4. Glue the faces and hats to the ends of the fingers and thumb in the handprint.

  5. Add one stripe of glue across the hand to represent a firehose. Dust red glitter.

  6. For the water rushing out of the hose, apply several crisscrossing stripes of glue and dust with blue glitter.

You now have five expressive bomberos of your own, battling a fire as a connected team!



Firefighters are there to come to our rescue but there are ways that you can help your child be prepared in case of an emergency. Check out this cool fire safety website for information on what your child can do to stay safe! And don't forget: stop, drop, and roll!