cover image Radio Man: A Story in English and Spanish

Radio Man: A Story in English and Spanish

Arthur Dorros. HarperCollins Publishers, $16 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-021547-7

Toting his omnipresent radio, Diego and his family of migrant farm workers leave a tiny cabin and head for the cabbage fields. Though the music on his radio brings him joy, the boy is sad to bid farewell to his friend David when Diego's family takes to the road looking for more work. The voices of various Spanish- and English-speaking announcers (``Hello. You're tuned to Bird radio, of Phoenix, Arizona''; or `` Ahora, anuncios de KMPO '') chart Diego's travels as the family makes temporary stops across the Southwest and eventually heads north to the apple orchards of Washington State. Wherever they go, Diego searches for David. Fittingly, it is through a call-in program on his beloved radio that Diego communicates with his buddy, bringing the story to a heartwarming close. Spot art separates English and Spanish on text pages that alternate with affecting, primitive-like acrylic paintings. While there are a few other books about children of migrant farm workers (for example, Amelia's Road , Children's Forecasts, Aug. 9), the Dorros' work is noteworthy in presenting a protagonist who would be just as interesting in another milieu. A brief glossary translates eight Spanish phrases incorporated into the English text. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)