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Through my work-at-home travels I have encounter many, many amazing people. Gladys Elizabeth is one of those people
I “met” Gladys while being the project manager for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Gladys Elizabeth Barbieri has been an elementary school teacher for almost 20 years. She loves to teach beginning reading and every night makes wishes when the stars come out and dance. She is also a bilingual children’s author and has written several delightful books including Pink Fire Trucks
I have to say Pink Fire Trucks absolutely charms me to my core especially the, “My Daddy says I can be whoever I want to be!” line in the book. I can just picture my own 8 year-old as Gladys Elizabeth in this story.
Pink Fire Trucks is a personal favorite because of the crazy occurrences that have happened around this story. The main character is Millie (my bff since 1981) and her father Juan Vázquez, a Puerto Rican man who was also a father figure to me. Millie has been involved in politics since high school, she was president of San Diego State and was a legislative aide in her 20’s. Now she is vice president of Planned Parenthood here in Los Angeles. When you read the story you will better understand her character.
Also, I got the story idea when I took my then 5 year-old niece to the fire station. I read this story at a local bookstore this past July and a mommy asked if the female firefighter was based on a true person. It was, but I felt weird acknowledging that due to privacy purposes. That mommy later emailed me informing me that the female captain had recently passed away.
As you can see, this story has been tragic and beautiful at the same time. These serendipitous coincidences blow me away. I couldn’t have written them even if I tried. This is why I love this book, not so much because of the story, but the background story.
Side note: PINK FIRE TRUCKS is a finalist in the category for “Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book -Spanish/Bilingual.”
You can connect with Gladys Elizabeth on her blog: https://gebarbieri.wordpress.com
Please also check out Gladys’ other bilingual children’s book Rubber Shoes HERE.