White Ravens: Brazil
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 135
Par um fio
(Within a Hair's Breadth)
São Paulo: Edições Paulinas, 1992.  p.
wordless book - ecology - humor
By tossing away a match, plucking a flower, shooting at a bird, a carefree little man walking along triggers a chain reaction which leads to his painful fall from his apparently secure, outlined, rectangular world. In a compelling yet humanitarian way, in a sequence of only twelve drawings, the connection between careless actions and the destruction of the foundations of one's very life become apparent - even for very small children. (3+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 136
Iococca, Liliana (text)
Franco, Siron (illus.)
Eu, você e tudo que existe. Fábula ecológica
(Me, You and Everything Else that Exists. An Ecological Fable)
São Paulo: Ática, 1991.  p.
creation - ecology - air - trees - memory - myth
Ecology books are enjoying a boom in Brazil. As in other countries, some of the books are either junk or merely well-meaning. Liliana laccoca puts her trust in simple, poetic language, allowing a mythical world to emerge in which a beginning and an end (that becomes a beginning again) are optimistically woven together. And a colorful tree spreads its branches both at the beginning and the conclusion of the book. In between, the components of the world being conjured up here - animals, Indians, property- marking fences, suffocating smoke, people rousing themselves from lethargy and forgetfullness - are all depicted in an abstract fashion and extravagant and powerful colors. (7+)
Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 137
Nunes, Lygia Bojunga (text)
Yolanda, Regina (illus.)
Fazendo Ana Paz
(The Making of Ana Paz)
Rio de Janeiro: AGIR, 1992. 54 p.
artist's life - fiction
Fazendo Ana Paz tells of the process of literary composition. While the description how of the figure Ana Paz and her environment - above all the figure of her father - consistently elude the narrator's creative designs occupies the story level, an artistically consummate story materializes on the discourse level. The individual phases of the writing process are recounted mostly in the dialogues between the child Ana Paz and the narrator. Other figures, a young girl and an old woman who extorts an optimistic view of the future at the end of her days, are discovered to be stages of a single life. L.B. Nunes frequently describes the creative process in its dramatic, even tragic dimension (Tschau, We Three), but never before with such a light touch and an earnest, self-ironical cheerfulness. The Brazil of today in which the figures are anchored, the shadows of the military past and the social conditions in which they live and move, give the story its depth and compelling power, extending beyond the purely artistic set of problems. Whoever is fortunate enough to experience Nunes in the theater with the stageplay Ana Paz - in which she assumes all four roles - will gain an additional appreciation of Ana Paz, especially where the reader's own imagination had attributed its own particular intonation to the figure. (13+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 138
Paes, José Paulo (text)
Maia, Luis (illus.)
Poemas para brincar
(Poems to Play By)
São Paulo: Ática, 1990.  p.
poetry - language games - nonsense
José Paulo Paes is a good poet. That is a well- known fact. Illustrator Maia skillfully stages his laconic linguistic games, striking rhyme couplets, nonsense narratives and original definitions on the graphic plane. In bright colors, with delicate yet resolute strokes, he separates the figures into their component parts, sets them down opposite each other, allows the evocative images to meander across the pages. Many-layered yet with clear contours, the illustrations present occasions for continually new and amusing discoveries in harmony with the text. (5+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 139
Assassinato na Floresta
(Murder in the Jungle)
São Paulo: FTD, 1991. 223 p.
(As aventuras de lvo Cotoxó)
detectives - environment - Indians - Amazon - productive cooperative - criminality (inter- national)
The list of characters on the first page promises a story full of action and suspense since the young police reporter and his friends have already become well-known through their escapades in two other novels (see also White Ravens 1991). This time Cotoxó discovers that the India rubber collector Raimunda, who apparently died a natural death, has actually been murdered. Tracking down the clues leads first of all into the jungle and then into the highest circles of international high finance. The people behind the crimes are mercenary farmers. And everything is done under the cover of environmental protection organizations. Whoever is interested in contemporary background information on Brazil and the "Calha Norte" and also in reading for pleasure will gladly overlook certain pasha tendencies still exhibited by the hero. (15+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 140
Rocha, Ruth (text)
Azevedo, Vera (illus.)
O mistério do cademinho preto
(The Secret of the Black Booklet)
São Paulo: Melhoramentos, 1991. 56 p.
detective story - literature - school - mystery
The protagonists of this book, 15-year-old Maria Emilia and her school friend Pedro, easily learn "how one writes a book," On two levels, one "real", full of everyday situations and conversations about the joint book project and a second, the one of the developing novel, the experienced author R. Rocha treats different aspects of literary creation, e.g., the narrative perspective, poetic logic and style, bringing in her literary models quite incidentally. At the conclusion, Maria Emília burns what she has already written since she now knows that one has to start in a completely different way. (14+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 141
Saldanha, Paula (text)
Yolanda, Regina (illus.)
Do outro lado do mar
(On the Other Side of the Ocean)
Rio de Janeiro: Salamandra, 1992. 47 p.
childhood - nature - sea
A short preface, seven lines long, introduces the theme: the continually recurring "Once upon a time" when life on an island was heavenly, when fishermen still lived on the beaches, when the water was clear and only the ferry's shrill whistle gave any indication that there was a connection to the foreign world "on the other side". The author is talking about Paquetá, an island in the Bay of Rio, now flooded with real estate speculators. In thirteen song-like chapters ("Time, Change", "Friends, Family, Country"), the author calls up shadowy scenes of her own life, universally conveyable. Her mother's black-and-white linoleum cuts accentuate the static memory image, Paula's prose describe the regularity and the dark tone of the waves. (10+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 142
Zatz, Lia (text)
Lopes, Fernando (illus.)
Belo Horizonte: Lê, 1992. 24 p.
school - reading - fantasy - football - fear
In a few pages, using still fewer words, the fear of his teacher is unfolded: everything Galileu reads is wrong, he constantly mixes up words and really gets rattled when the teacher ridicules him (the jeers are graphically highlighted). Thanks to the psychology of the author, after the school vacation the teacher cautiously searches for clues to the boy's speech blunders and opens up the world of poetry to the whole class in the process. The drastic illustrations convert the panic of the child and his linguistic mix-ups into placard and caricature-like art form. (7+)
Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 1995 - 128
Lago, Angela (illus.)
Cena de rua
Beto Horizonte: RHJ, 1994.  p.
Latin America - City - Homeless Child - Poverty - Ostracization - Outsider
This wordless picture book shows scenes of everyday life of a street boy caught up in the vicious circle of poverty, hunger and theft, between the cars in the heavy traffic of a big city where he scrapes a living as a streetside seller. Though he appears to be in close contact with people, passersby react to him with fear and aggressively reject him. His yearning for security remains unfulfilled. The oppressive scenes on the black-bordered double-page spreads are bathed in an artificial light. The flat, glaring colors elucidate the aggressive, threatening atmosphere of the big city. Unusual perspectives underline the confinement and the chaos, everything is in motion, there is nothing offering him support or protection. In this book Angela Lago shows a completely new side of her many-facetted talent. The Brazilian illustrator has already won several international prizes. In 1994 she was the Brazilian nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Prize (6+)
Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 1995 - 129
Rangel, Paulo (text)
Moura, Ercília (illus.)
As uvas do Marengo : Memórias de um menino bem comportado
(The grapes of Marengo: the memoir of a well-mannered boy)
Belo Horkonte: Lê, 1993. 148 p.
Brazil/Childhood/Boy - Memoir/Boy
A nine-year-old boy wants more than anything else to be allowed to spend a day at Chacará de Marengo. Actually nothing more than a resort for day excursions, he imagines it to be more tempting than paradise. Under the provision that he and his brothers not get into too much trouble, the father, a very busy gynecologist, agrees to fulfill this dream. In retrospect the nearly grown-up narrator depicts the often comical efforts the boys made to meet the father's requirement. But in the end it is all in vain. Chacará de Marengo remains an unfulfilled childhood dream. Paulo Rangel succeeds in giving a very vivid description of family life through his witty narrative and to-the-point portrayal of the catastrophes in everyday life. (14+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1996 - 164
Azevedo, Ricardo (text/illus.)
Pobre corintiano careca
(Poor, Bald »Corinthians« Fan)
São Paulo: Melhoramentos, 1995. 104 p.
City life - Poverty - Family - Fatherlessness
The thirteen-year-old José Pedro lives with his mother in poverty bordering on misery in São Paulo. At the center of his life are the soccer club »Corinthians« and Camila, the girl he is equally crazy about. He is burdened by the lack of a father and tries to explain or justify it by inventing stories in which reality keeps getting mixed up with his dreams and longings. The author suceeds in writing a sensitive, well-developed narrative about this young protagonist's everyday life, feelings and family problems. (12+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1996 - 165
Lago, Angela (text/illus.)
O personagem encalhado
(The Person Who Got Caught)
Belo Horizonte: Lê, 1995.  p.
(O siso do riso)
Gnome - Book - Trap
In this small-sized, nearly textless book with greyand- white double-paged illustrations the space between the two covers is the scene of an ingenious episode. A little, jaunty spindly man - a sort of gnome - accidentally lands in a story, slips down into centerfold and finds himself trapped, only able to get out again with extraordinary exertion. Angela Lago has skillfully worked this original, unspectacular idea into a highly entertaining picture book. (4+) ☼
Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 1996 - 166
Mello, Roger (text/illus.)
Uma história do boto vermelho
(A Story of the Red Porpoise)
Rio de Janeiro: Salamandra, 1995. 63 p.
Brazil/Amazonia -Porpoise/Transformation/ Man - Hunting - Myth/Loss
This story, which is set on a river and in a small village in a remote region of Amazonia, tells of a red porpoise who has the power to turn himself into a young man at certain times. This creature, whose legendary existence captures the imagination of the village inhabitants but also feeds their hunting instinct, makes the acquaintance of the young girl Joana. Their affection for each other grows, but for two reasons can have no future. On the one hand, neither one of them can completely and permanently overcome the boundaries of their worlds, i.e. their different elements; and on the other hand, Joana can only just barely save the porpoise from the death which her people plan for him. So in the end he leaves his familiar habitat and retreats to distant waters. In a poetic manner and changing narrative patterns, in accord with the peaceful course of life at the river or the dramatic turns of plot, this story unites old traditional stories with a story of our own times. In a simple and subtle manner this story tells how our world becomes ever poorer and more prosaic through man's dominance. There is no longer room for the extraordinary, the magical. It becomes surpressed, surviving only in the world of legends and myths. (11+)
Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 1996 - 167
Orthof, Sylvia (text)
Meus vários quinze anos
São Paulo: FTD, 1995. 64 p.
Woman - Old age - Social role
Violeta, a 75-year-old woman from Rio de Janeiro, can look back on an active life. Her memoir is divided into five chapters, each of which covering a fifteen year period. Violeta's memories include happiness and disappointment, love, friendship, good-byes and losses, each followed in spite of it all by a new beginning. With a light humorous touch this book summarizes the life of a woman full of zest and ripened by life's experience, thereby making common clichés about marriage and old age questionable. (12+)
Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 1996 - 168
Ziraldo Vito Grandam. Uma história de vôos
(Vito Grandam. A Story of Flights)
São Paulo: Melhoramentos, 1995. 142 p.
Boy/Uncle - Family
At the center of this first-person narrative by a 17-year-old boy is Vito Grandam, his uncle, whom he greatly admires and worships like a hero, though he is only a few years older. In different episodes the life story of the narrator is assembled piece by piece: adventures he shares with his uncle, family circumstances and difficulties, the separation of his parents, life with his father, all his hopes and dreams. The author, an internationally known illustrator, draws here a very vivid and sensitive portrait of a boy coming of age. (12+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1997 - 173
Chamlian, Regina (text)
Alexandrino, Helena (illus.)
A cuca vem pegar
(The Cucu will get you)
São Paulo: Ática, 1996. 40 p.
(Contos de espantar meninos)
Brazil/Folktale - Witch - Cannibalism - Nighttime - Kidnapping
In the series »Contos de espantar meninos« (Tales to scare children), Regina Chamlin retells fantastic folktales and stories found in the Brazilian tradition, accompanied by the prize-winning artist Helena Alexandrino. This volume relates the story of Julinho, a young boy, who is kidnapped by the witch, Cuca. She steals children from their beds at night and takes them to her castle, where she will eventually make a meal of them. Fortunately, he and others are saved when the witch eats much too much other food and explodes from flatulence. he full-sized color illutrations and black-and-white line drawings depict the magical character of the witch's castle and the bizarreness of this spooky but funny tale. (8+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1997 - 174
Goldin, Alberto (text)
Ohtake, Tomie (illus.)
São Paulo: Berlendis & Vertecchia, 1995.  p.
(Arte para Criança)
Ohtake, Tomie - Painting - Arts
In this ambitious series of art books for children each volume brings together one artist and one author, both from Brazil. The author creates literary pieces for each of the artist's works being presented in order to make their approaches to art more accessible. These are less information books than creative encounters, invitations to get involved with visual art. In this book Alberto Goldin tells the lyrical tale of the »life« and travels of a waterdrop based on the abstract pictures of the painter Tomie Ohtake. (10+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1997 - 175
Mello, Roger (text/illus.)
Bumba meu boi bumbá
(<Brazilian folklore dance>)
Rio de Janeiro: Agir, 1996.  p.
Brazil/Folklore - Bull/Slaughter - Punishment/Rescue
Bumba meu boi is an amusing drama-filled dance in the traditional Brazilian folklore. In essence it deals with Pai Francisco, who cuts out the tongue of a bull to satisfy the cravings of his pregnant wife. He is - or should be - meted out a cruel punishment, but is saved when the animal is revived. Roger Mello re-tells the tale here in verse form on the basis of tales in Brazil's oral tradition. His illustrations make use of the ornamental patterns of the Indian folklore in conjunction with elements of modern art: geometric stilization, cubist disproportion and compositions resembling colage. Those who know Mello's work will be once again fascinated to see that he does not confine himself to any one style, but is always trying out new techniques. (10+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1998 - 164
Angelo, Ivan (text)
Azevedo, Ricardo (illus.)
Pode me beijar se quiser
(You can kiss me if you want to)
São Paulo: Ed. Ática, 1997. 160 p.
(Série sinal aberto: Humano)
Brazil/Country life - First love - Growing up
Miguel lives on an estate where his father earns the family's meager existence as field laborer. Miguel's quiet, uncomplicated life changes when his headstrong manner draws the attention of Doutor Nelson, the owner of the estate. The twelve-year old, who had hoped to join the circus, is sent to school instead. He is used by Nelson as a courier for love-letters and experiences his own first love experience with Lindinha, the daughter of his patron. In a clear, gentle language, sensitive but not sentimental, the author depicts Miguel's at times painful and saddening experiences at the end of his childhood. (10+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1998 - 165
Cruz, Nelson (illus.)
São Paulo: Paulinas, 1997.  p.
(Sonhar para acordar)
Vinci, Leonardo da - Monument - Dream - Memories
All alone at night in the little park of the large city he stands on his pedestal: Leonardo da Vinci - a lifeless, timeless stone monument. Then birds land on him, awakening him from his rigor. Birds? Flying! Memories come flooding back: flying machines, first attempts of flight, anatomical studies, sketches, an empty canvas soon to become the portrait of Mona Lisa. At the break of dawn the dream is over, Leonard steps again onto his pedestal. Nelson Cruz tells this wordless picture book, leaving room for the reader's ideas to »fly«. His pictures, done in water colors and gouache, are witty and yet mysterious in their portrayal of dream and reality, yesterday and today. (8+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1998 - 166
Eboli, Terezinha (text)
Lima, Graça (illus.)
A lenda da lua cheia
(The legend of the full moon)
Rio de Janeiro: Ediouro, 1997.  p.
Brazil/Legend - Kaxinawa - Indio - Moon
This book in the new series »Lendas brasileiras« tells a traditional tale of the Kaxinawa tribe which deals - like many other legends - with one aspect of the origin of the world. Where did the moon come from, and why does it »go to the heads« of so many people? Because it was once a head too - the severed head of a warrior, no longer of any use on earth, which took its place in the sky. The illustrations reflect very well the atmosphere of the text. The stylizing pictures - glowing color chalk on roughly structured black paper, fit well with the mysterious nocturnal tone of the legend. (6+) ☆
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1998 - 167
Grupioni, Luís Donisete Benzi
Viagem ao mundo indígena
(Journey to the world of the Indios)
São Paulo: Berlendis & Vertecchia, 1997. 48 p. With illustrations
(Coleção Pawana; 1)
Knowledge about the native Indian inhabitants of Brazil is usually quite vague and incomplete. Here the anthropologist Luís Grupioni offers the reader more insight into those groups and their greatly varying history, culture and language. This volume contains five short stories which depict everyday situations of children and youth of five different ethnic groups. They are supplemented with further information, photos, illustrations, maps and bibliographical details of additional sources of information. (9+) ☆
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1998 - 168
Mello, Roger (text/illus.)
Rio de Janeiro: Agir, 1996.  p.
Ship - River monster - Adventure
Maria Teresa, a widely travelled, but also rather timid ship with a lion's head, tells about its life on the River São Francisco and gives a flowery account of its highly dangerous encounter with the fierce river monster. Roger Mello has composed this story in lyrical, melodic verses and created exceptionally charming illustrations in warm, glowing colors. With a light and souvereign touch he ignores the rules of size, proportions and perspectives. His spacious panorama illustrations capture Maria Teresa's dramatic fantasies and the colorful life on the river. (6+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1999 - 169
Göbel, Anna (illus.)
Os dez amigos no campo
(The ten friends in the countryside)
Belo Horizonte: Formato, 1998.  p.
Counting - Arithmetic - Laughing - Friendship
On a green meadow under a blue sky boys and girls begin to frolic about, first one, then two, and finally nine. They play merrily and laugh about themselves silly, apparently without any reason. The fun, however, comes to an abrupt end when the tenth one appears and drives the wild gathering apart with a badsmelly joke. This thin, small-sized picture book introduces the numbers one to ten and simple arithmetic (adding and subtracting) in a persuasively simple and enjoyable manner. Anna Göbel's figures are grotesque caricatures in a motley of colors and use expressions and gestures that will make the reader-viewer laugh. (4+)
(A second book on this theme is titled: Os dez amigos no lago)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1999 - 170
Rua do Sol
Rio de Janeiro: Ed. Nova Fronteira, 1997. 184 p.
Brazil (Northeast) 1910s - Small town
The place is northeastern Brazil at the beginning of this century. The story focusses on Paulinho, who lives with his parents and brothers and sisters in a small provincial town. The narrative describes the everyday life of the family as well as their friends and neighbors. The experiences of the children, the awakening sexuality of the teenagers, the worries of the adults, their joys, sorrows and moments of mourning, such as when the mother dies. All in all, the book conveys a very dense, atmospheric panorama that allows the reader an exact, empathetic view of the figures, their lives and feelings. (13+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1999 - 171
Reyes, Yolanda (text)
Cuéllar, Olga (illus.)
Aguiar, Luiz Antonio (trad.)
Sobral, Marisa (trad.)
Um amor grande demais
(A love too great)
São Paulo: FTD, 1997. 29 p.
(Coleção histórias de colégio)
First love - Longing - Shyness - Speechlessness
Mauricio is 15 years old, tall and thin as a beanpole and quite inhibited around other kids. When he falls head over heels in love - »with all his soul and body« - his entire life is dedicated to only one goal: Juanita. But he doesn't know what he should say to her. In his mind he goes over the words over and over again, but when it comes to the test, he fails. Thanks to unexpected help, he finally delivers his message, but Juanita has a mind of her own.... The Colombian author narrates this story about the feelings and fears, that overcome someone who is in love, with ease and no embellishments. Although quite slight and heavily illustrated, this is a story for not quite so young children. (9+) ☼
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1999 - 172
Sisto, Celso (text)
Porque na casa não tinha chão
(Because my home had no floor)
Belo Horizonte: Dimensão, 1997.  p.
(O menino e o Poeta)
Family - Growing up - Freedom
This is one of five books in a series of texts by Celso Sisto. In sparse, poetic prose the author supplies us with a slightly cryptic text whose meaning only gradually becomes fully understood. It is the story of a boy's process of splitting away from his family and his search for freedom and independence. The individual family members are described visually as living on different »continents«, but in the end the family is a »country« and the protagonist is living »abroad.« As accompaniment to the text Lula has created unusual illustrations foil and scratchboard technique. Restless and wild, they reflect the intense psyche of the adolescent. (10+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 1999 - 173
Vieira, Isabel (text)
Navarro, Décio (illus.)
Conta com a gente
(You can count on me, you can count on us)
São Paulo: FTD, 1997. 181 p.
(Coleção um olhar para dentro)
In fourteen chapters that fit together like a patchwork quilt this book depicts life of a middle-class family with typical problems such as marriage crisis, divorce and the parent's search for new partners. Isabel Vieira challenges the classical models of marriage, family and family bonds. As an alternative she favors an open form of the concept that corresponds with the new, heterogeneous forms of life-style in western industrial countries. Family is not a matter of blood relations, but of who you can trust absolutely and who in turn can count on you. The narrative is written in a youthful style of speech. (13+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2000 - 161
Aleixo, Ricardo (text)
Miranda, Regina (illus.)
Quem faz o quê?
(Who does what?)
Belo Horizonte: Formato, 1999.  p.
In this poem Ricardo Aleixo unites a verb with a noun in each verse: »To look, that is with cats« or »To blow, that is with the wind,« etc. These minimalist sentences and the free play of associations are congenially extended in Regina Miranda's illustrations. Joined together merely through the consist glowing red background, these sparse pictures each show only a part of the whole. Eyes stand for the cats and signal seeing. A leaf stands for the autumn wind and signals blowing. This book is fascinating in its radical simplicity. By this limitation to only a few concepts and visual details, it invites the reader-viewers to exercise their imagination and mental facilities. (3+) ☼
Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 2000 - 162
A odalisca e o elefante
(The harem slave and the elephant)
São Paulo: Cia. das Letras, 1998. 100 p.
Harem - Elephant - Love - Freedom
In the palace of a smug Sultan, Laila is being prepared for her future role as a Harem wife whose only purpose is to please the eyes and heart of her master. It is Leila's ears that cause the Sultan's almost religious ecstasy and let him forget that Leila has quite peculiar habits. She prefers to retreat into a quiet tower and become engrossed in books or gaze at the caravans traveling out into the endless desert. When Leila is 15 years old she becomes enamored with a white elephant. Her un- wavering affection makes it clear to the jealous Sultan that love and the wish for freedom cannot be tamed. This unusual but quite natural story of unconditional love is told in an extraordinarily lyrical and yet unpretentious and flowing voice. The joyful, nearly weightless prose is laced with a finely ironical tone. (12+)
Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 2000 - 163
Lago, Angela (text/illus.)
São Paulo: Melhoramentos, 1999.  p.
This is yet another proof that there is no limit to the artistic ways of playing with the alphabet. The square book - small-sized with a sturdy cardboard cover and robust spiral binding - approaches its subject both through the text and the illustrations. On each of the bluish anthracite double spreads there is a challenging word riddle for a certain letter on the left side; the whole alphabet appears on the right side, in which several - depending upon the question - are portrayed as objects and figures. By opening up a flap, one finds the solution, supplemented by saucy, witty illustrations that are related in an imaginative way to the question and the letters - encouraging the reader's own creative impulses. (5+) ☼
Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 2000 - 164
Lembi, Eustáquio (text)
Mello, Roger (illus.)
Eu me lembro
Belo Horizonte (MG): Ed. Dimensão, 1997. 30 p.
(Coleção eu me lembro) (Coleção navegar)
Child - Everyday life - Memory
A young girl relates to the reader short anecdotes and episodes from her life. Like mosaic stones they fit together to form a whole to reveal the specialness of unspectacular, ordinary things. Written in a lyrical prose, this tall, narrow book is accompanied by full-paged color illustrations. The illustrator plays with color and soft, stylized shapes in an imaginative, surrealistic manner, overstepping the basic rules of accurate perspective. (10+)
Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 2000 - 165
Quintella, Ary (text)
Negro, Maurício (illus.)
São Paulo: Global Ed., 1998. 22 p.
(Coleção magias infantil)
Puberty/Male - First love - Cat
Fourteen-year old Beto gets a new housemate, a red tomcat named Alemão. He watches this very individualistic cat that gradually begins to adjust to its new surroundings and takes its first steps »outside«. The boy recognizes certain similarities between himself and the animal. Both of them are in a confusing phase of growing up and having their first experiences with the opposite sex. This short narrative is told in the first person from Beto's perspective, divided into 33, at times very short chapters of only a few lines, depicting single episodic situations that are linked together. This book for older readers is designed in the unusual format of an oversized picture book. (13+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 165
Barbosa, Rogério Andrade (reteller)
Lima, Graça (illus.)
Duula a mulher canibal : um conto africano
(Duula, the cannibal-woman : an African fairy-tale)
São Paulo : Difusão Cultural do Livro, 1999.  p.
Cannibalism - Fear - Africa/Fairy-tale
Duula, who had turned into a man-eating monster during a draught in her childhood, has captivated twins, a girl and a boy, who can escape the deadly danger. One will recognise well-known motifs in this retelling of a Somalian fairy-tale: like Hansel and Gretel, the children are fattened; like Little Read Riding Hood, they ask the monster about its terrifying appearance; and like the people of Israel, they get away through the parting sea. The impressive illustrations, inspired by the shapes and colours of Africa's desert landscapes and everyday culture, poignantly mirror the children's fear. (6+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 166
Boas, Marion Villas (text)
Vilas, Ricardo (music)
Pimentel, Marcelo (illus./design)
Mistérios da Pindorama
Rio de Janeiro : Ampersand, 2000. 63 p. Includes 1 CD
Brazil - Folk literature/Character - Environmental destruction - Environmental protection
Well-known characters of Brazilian folklore play an important role in this book of adventure stories. There is Boitatá (a fire-snake), or Curupira (an Indian with inverted feet). In every story, one of these characters solves an environmental problem (deforestation, water pollution etc.) and fights for the protection of nature. Songs of protest against the destruction of the environment, equally operating with elements of Brazilian folklore, complement the texts. The book design (recycled paper and black-and-white illustration remeniscent of African and Amerindian art) contributes to the integrative concept of this attractive environmental book. (5+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 167
Cruz, Nelson (text/illus.)
Chica e João
Belo Horizonte - MG : Formato, 2000. 39 p.
(Coleção histórias para contar história)
Brazil <18th century> - Portuguese man - Slave - Social prejudice - Love
Based on historical facts, this story tells of the love between a Black slave and a Portuguese diamond trader, a love that was an absolute scandal in the eyes of the 18th century colonial Brazilian society. The story has its origins in the province of Diamantina; today, it is well known all over the country. The memories of the slave Chica and the images – of architecture or fashion, for example – transport the reader back into those times. The characters move through the large-formatted colour- illustrations as if on stage, while extreme perspectives and optical distorsions add visual momentum to the dynamics and drama of the story. (8+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 168
José, Elias (text)
Landucci, César (illus.)
A vida em pequenas doses
(Life in small doses)
São Paulo : Global Ed., 2000. 77 p.
(Coleção jovens inteligentes)
Everyday life - Family conflict
The title of this slender volume is programmatic: Elias José, known for his short stories, writes in »small doses«, that is in 70 very short stories, about little everyday things, about love and life. In his bare prose, he focusses on one single situation of conflict or crisis (divorce, separation, unwanted pregnancy, etc) and concentrates on the inner life of the characters, on their psyche and memories. The book is a collection of suggestive frozen moments, and it is up to the reader, to reconstruct or even constitute the story from this extracted narrative material, reduced to its very essence. (14+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 169
Nunes, Lygia Bojunga
Rio de Janeiro : Agir, 1999. 170 p.
In the works of the Andersen Award-winning author objects often play a prominent role, they might even become agents. In this story, the protagonist is a 100-year-old bed, that had already been put aside but then found another purpose. In a true odyssee, it moves from one place to the next – to a favela, an antique shop, for example, or on an old photograph – and to humans of diverse social background and living conditions. They all face crises and they all are on the quest for their identity. In her characteristic narrative style full of poetic imagery, the author creates a series of touching and original episodes. (11+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 170
Sandroni, Luciana (text)
Fukue, Roberto (illus.)
O sítio no descobrimento : a turma do Picapau Amarelo na expedição de Pedro Álvares Cabral
(The people of the »Sítio« discover Brazil : Picapau Amarelo and his friends on Pedro Álvares Cabral's expedition)
São Paulo : Ed. Globo, 2000. 132 p.
Lobato, José Bento Monteiro/Literary character - Cabral, Pedro Álvarez - Brazil - Discovery <1500>
Some of the characters that Monteiro Lobato, the »father« of Brazilian children's literature, created more than 70 years ago, and who still enjoy immense popularity in Brazil, make their reappearance in this book. A rag-doll, a corncob, a cook, two children and their grandmother travel back in time and take part in the »discovery« of Brazil by the Portuguese Pedro Álvarez Cabral in 1500. They see and witness everything on this great voyage of discovery, but they don't interfere with the course of history. The narrative, written in humorous, playful prose, will stimulate the reader's imagination with plenty of fun-filled scenes and original ideas. (8+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2002 - 161
Azevedo, Ricardo (text/illus.)
Histórias de bobos, bocós, burraldos e paspalhões
(Stories about fools, imbeciles, donkeys, and simpletons)
Porto Alegre : Projeto Ed., 2001. 63 p.
Folktales/Brazil – Luck – Lucky devil
This book presents four tales from Brazilian folklore. The author preserves the original nature of the tales with his skilful and entertaining style; at the same time, he creates his own, contemporary version by incorporating new elements and motifs from other fairy- and folktales. The uniting element of the tales are the protagonists, who all suffer from a remarkable lack of intelligence: »daft heroes«, who fail in their tasks, create havoc and confusion but end up winning the big game without much of their own doing. Black-and-white illustrations reminiscent of silhouettes harmonise very well with the text. (10+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2002 - 162
Braz, Júlio Emílio (adapt.)
Dansa, Salmo (illus.)
São Paulo : FTD, 2001. 109 p.
(Série no meio do caminho)
In recent years, Brazilian children's literature has increasingly returned to those roots of Brazil that link them with the Indian aborigines and the history and culture of Africa. The present book assembles eight African tales: myths and fairytales about the basic questions and secrets of life – one of which is death. Retold in a style suitable for contemporary, young readers, they nevertheless preserve the character of African folklore and the immediacy of orally transmitted literature. Fascinating black-and-white illustrations, effectively exploring the effects of light and shadows, complement the vivid and gripping narrative. (10+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2002 - 163
Coelho, Raquel (text/illus.)
A arte da animação
(The art of the cartoon film)
Belo Horizonte - MG : Formato, 2000. 43 p. + supplement
(No caminho das artes)
Cartoon film – Trick film
This non-fiction book introduces children to an exciting topic in an attractive and lively way. With the help of innovative, vivid illustrations obviously indebted to the visual language of audio-visual media, the author explains the techniques, possibilities, and secrets of her trade. The pictures and the simple text make this popular topic accessible to children. The book is complemented by a didactic supplement primarily designed for educators; it offers ideas for activities inviting the children to experiment themselves with the basics and techniques of the art of cartoon-film-making. (9+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2002 - 164
Hetzel, Bia (text)
Jardim, Felipe (illus.)
Sonkin, Flora (illus.)
Rio de Janeiro : Manati, 2000.  p.
Human – Character – Pig
Human characteristics and behaviour are often associated with certain animals. This picture book takes up the idea in a witty and entertaining way: It explores the so-called »pig-spirit« that, once it takes hold of us, can determine our gestures and words. Bad mood, violence, rage – all those »base« feelings and instincts slumbering deep down in our human soul can be awakened by the pig-spirit. The rhymed verse, which makes fun of »piggish situations «, resounds with natural musicality and lends itself wonderfully to reading out loud. The expressive, brightly coloured illustrations, which suitably complement the text, reflect the unruliness and highlight the comic side of the subject. (6+) ☼
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2002 - 165
Lima, Ricardo da Cunha (text)
Calvi, Gian (illus.)
De cabeça pra baixo
(Head down, feet up in the air)
São Paulo : Companhia das Letrinhas, 2000. 55 p.
Children's poetry – Writing poetry – Nonsense
An air-balloon that's scared of heights, a vacuum cleaner that's allergic to dust, a flying lettuce: Ricardo da Cunha Lima's poems teem with comic absurdities. The poet juggles around with ideas and words and creatively explores the playful, spontaneous side of language. His poems break rules and mix up the normal order of things to open new windows onto the world and change the way we ordinarily see things. The colour-illustrations take up that playful mode. They, too, turn the world upside-down – head down, feet up in the air – and kindle the imagination of young readers. This is not merely an anthology of poems; it is also a book about the art of writing poetry, encouraging children to try their hand at rhythms and rhymes. (7+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2003 - 162
Andrade, Carlos Drummond de (text)
Drummond, Mauricio Graña (ed.)
Drummond, Pedro Augusto Graña (ed.)
Quando é dia de futebol
Rio de Janeiro : Ed. Record, 2002. 271 p.
Brazil – Football
One comes across many texts about football in the works of author Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902-1987). Some of these texts, including so far unpublished ones, are assembled in this anthology: poems, reports, stories, and newspaper articles – timeless or written for specific occasions, such as the World Championships. Even without being a fan and knowing Brazilian football inside out, one reads these thoughts about sport, society, and life with great delight. The national sport No. 1, which plays a primordial role in everyday life, in human relations, and even in politics, grants revealing insights into this football-crazy country. (13+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2003 - 163
Falcão, Adriana (text)
Lollo, José Carlos (illus.)
Luna Clara & Apolo Onze
São Paulo : Salamandra, 2002. 327 p.
Adolescence – Travel – Adventure
Young author and script writer Adriana Falcão entangles the characters of her novel in a suspenseful, fantastical plot. The two young protagonists, Luna Clara (Clear Moon) und Apolo Onze (Apollo Eleven), encounter different people in just as different settings and fall from one adventure into the next. It’s mostly due to director Chance, who weaves together the strands and decides whether people meet or miss each other. The novel, characterised by a figurative, innovative language, takes the reader on a tour through a different, magical world, which reflects the feelings of many adolescents: such as insecurity, instability, and revolt. (12+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2003 - 164
Machado de Assis, Joaquim Maria (text)
Cruz, Nelson (illus.)
Conto de escola
(A school story)
São Paulo : Cosac & Naify, 2002. 28 p.
School – Truthfulness – Venality – Lie
The text of this book was written by Machado de Assis (1839-1908), one of the best known Brazilian storytellers. Taking an everyday situation during a school class as a starting point – a child receives a coin for allowing his mate to copy off of him – fundamental human questions are exemplified: fear, seducing, venality, truthfulness, and lying. Nelson Cruz, nominated as Brazil’s candidate for the Andersen Award in 2002, lends expression to the characters’ feelings with his vibrant pictures. His illustrations, painted in his characteristic, dynamic style, bring the old Rio de Janeiro with its colonial buildings and narrow, steep streets back to live again. (7+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2003 - 165
Neves, André (text/illus.)
Sebastiana e Severina
(Sebastiana and Severina)
São Paulo : Difusão Cultural do Livro, 2002. 39 p.
Friendship – Love – Envy – Jealousy
This story, which takes up elements of the popular culture of North-Eastern Brazil, contains clearly lyrical as well as tragic elements: a blend particularly typical for this region. Two good friends, who make lace together for a religious festival, turn into enemies because they fall in love with the same young man. Their attempts to make up again lead to adventurous and fantastical events. In the text and in the original mixed-media illustrations, the young author and illustrator has successfully transposed themes and motives of Brazilian folklore to a form in keeping with the times. The highly figurative language idiom of the people living in the arid North-East of Brazil can clearly be perceived in the verses and the pictures. (5+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2003 - 166
Queirós, Bartolomeu Campos (text)
Cafiero, Mário (illus.)
Menino de Belém
(The boy from Belém)
São Paulo : Moderna, 2003. 32 p.
Child – Everyday life – Child labour – River
The author tells about the life of a rowing boy in the city of Belém in lyrical prose. The readers learn about the tough everyday life of working children, but at the same time, a touch of magic can be sensed in this work on the water just as in the river itself and in the surrounding nature. The reader and onlooker discovers the stream, which plays such a fundamental role for city Belém, the fruits, ships, humans, living quarters, and typical foods of Northern Brazil. One is enchanted by the imagination of child, who cannot read the alphabet, but instead knows how to read the seasons and water currants. The light illustrations add a lively impression of the characteristic colours and pictures of the tropical region. (7+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2003 - 167
Vilela, Luiz (text)
Spínola, Cláudio (illus.)
Histórias de bichos
São Paulo : Ed. do Brasil, 2002. 80 p.
Man – Animal
In seven stories about animals, the well-known contemporary Brazilian author relates appealing examples of the manifold relations between man and animal. The engaging texts provoke the reader to think about issues such as reason, love, or human vanities. The story of a mother and a son, for example, who bring up a puppy against the will of the father, convincingly describes how the hardhearted father gradually changes thanks to the presence of the animal. In another story, a boy who chases a bird is suddenly confronted with unexpected doubts and feelings of guilt when seeing the dead animal. Brown-and-white, sketchy prints accompany the texts. (8+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2003 - 168
São Paulo : Melhoramentos, 2002. 40 p.
Family – Grandfather – Grandchild – Dying – Death
This story is about family relationships. It is centered around the close ties between a grandfather and his granddaughter and explores various themes: the view of life held by young and old people, memories of times gone by, and the question frequently asked by children about why we have to die and lose loved ones. The book gives no easy answers. The author approaches the question with great understanding for and insight into children’s experience without using the word »Death« even once. Because no clear-cut answers are given, there is enough room for children to find their own explanations. The illustrations reflect the dreams, doubts, and discoveries of the little girl protagonist. (5+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2004 - 157
Azevedo, Ricardo (text)
Massarani, Marina (illus.)
Trezentos parafusos a menos
(Three hundred screws loose)
São Paulo : Companhia das Letrinhas, 2002. 134 p.
Family – Inheritance – Search for identity – Happiness
The Souzas are an ordinary family and full of all those idiosyncrasies that are simply part of life. When they suddenly inherit a fortune, their lives radically change. The nervous, cranky father Luis quits his hated job, takes guitar lessons, and becomes a talented musician. Mother Ruth, who spent her life worrying about her weight, fulfils her life-long dream by taking up professional training to become a nurse. Adopting the point-of-view of 10-year-old daughter Tatiana, Ricardo Azevedo delivers a humorous and fast-paced account of people who don’t let their good fortune slip by and set a new course that helps them grow and find happiness. (9+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2004 - 158
José, Elias (text)
Scatamacchia, Cláudia (illus.)
Deu doideira na cidade
(Crazy things in the town)
São Paulo : Martins Fontes, 2002. 116 p.
(Escola de magia)
Town – Magic
Tonho is outraged. Even though his cousin Otávio lives in the bustling metropolis of São Paulo, he pretends that nothing happens there worth mentioning. Instead, he asks Tonho for the latest news from Catitó. No problem! Catitó may be a small town, but it certainly has a lot to offer. In his letters, Tonho convinces his cousin that life out in the provinces can even be quite crazy. There are ghosts, rebellious objects, or a miraculous metamorphosis – without the slightest surgical intervention – from Paulo to Paula. In an unpretentious, subdued tone, Elias José relates short and whimsical episodes from the life of a rather weird town. (6+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2004 - 159
Nestrovski, Arthur (text)
Eugênia, Maria (illus.)
Bichos que existem & bichos que não existem
(Creatures that exist and creatures that don’t)
São Paulo : Cosac & Naify, 2002.  p.
Animals – Mythical creatures
This imaginative and inspiring ‘encyclopaedia’ offers a colourful journey through a very diverse world of animals. Beside the commonly-known cow, Brazilian jabutis, and giant ants, seahorses, camels, and the tropical bird Uirapuru, the book also portrays some extremely unusual specimens, such as the headless mule popular in traditional folk tales from Brazil, the legendary bird called Phoenix, and the ever-smiling Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The witty, playful texts and the captivating, highly graphical illustrations in bright colours make this book a particularly attractive and enjoyable read. (5+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2004 - 160
Oliveira Neto, Godofredo de (text)
Mello, Roger (illus.)
Ana e a margem do rio : confissões de uma jovem Nauá
(Ana and the bank of the river : confessions of a young Nauá)
Rio de Janeiro [et al.] : Ed. Record, 2002. 206 p.
Amazon – Indios – Female adolescence – Missionary school – Cultural conflict – Interculturality – Search for identity
Ana, a girl from the Nauá people, attends a missionary school run by Salesian nuns in the Amazon. At this juncture of two very different worlds, she attempts to reassert her origins and find her own way. From chapter to chapter, the narrative shifts between Ana’s account of daily life at school and a legend from the oral tradition of the girl’s tribe. As retold (and slightly modified) by Ana in a school essay, this Indian legend reflects the influences resulting from the encounter with Western culture. Without resorting to exotic or romantic stereotypes – as often happens in books about Indian cultures – the wellknown novelist dresses a convincing portrait of Ana’s quest for identity. (13+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2005 - 154
Brito, Ronaldo Correia de (text)
Lima, Assis (text)
Sandoval, Andrés (illus.)
O pavão misterioso
(The mysterious peacock)
São Paulo : Cosac Naify, 2004. 67 p.
Girl – Captivity – Rescue – Love
The so-called »literatura de cordel« (string literature), which is very popular in Brazil, is usually created by well-known artists, singers, and woodcarvers in limited editions and sold on the markets dangling from strings – hence its unusual name. This adaptation of one of the most famous books of this genre tells the story of beautiful Creusa who is rescued from her father’s home, where she was kept ›prisoner‹, with the help of a mysterious peacock. The particular attraction of this book stems from the combination of the text characterised by traditional Iberian and Arabian elements and the bold modern illustrations rendered in shades of red and green. (10+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2005 - 155
Lima, Douglas Silva (text)
Lago, Ângela (illus.)
Belo Horizonte : RHJ Ed., 2004. 23 p.
Street kid – Poverty – Human dignity
Ângela Lago’s impressive picture book »Cena de rua« (Street scene), first published in 1994, attracted worldwide attention. The sequence of pictures without words follows a child who is trapped in the vicious circle of poverty and scrapes a living by working as a street vendor. Lately, a writing competition that focused on this book was held for Brazilian teenagers. The 16- year-old author – who made it to the competition final – expresses a child’s thoughts that revolve around dreams for the future and the issue of human dignity. For the design, Ângela Lago used the colours and a few details from her original drawings. The rhythmic verses read like a rap recitative and thus perfectly match the protagonist’s harsh reality. (9+) ☆
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2005 - 156
Machado, Ana Maria (text)
Teixeira, Elisabeth (illus.)
(Paving the way)
São Paulo : Ed. Ática, 2003.  p.
Artist – Explorer – Longing – Search
This book by the Hans-Christian-Andersen-Award winner of 2000 pays homage to famous writers, artists, and explorers of the past. They all shared the desire to overcome obstacles and walk along new, untrodden paths and made great efforts to achieve this. Among them are Tom Jobim and Carlos Drummond de Andrade from Brazil as well as the Italians Dante Alighieri and Marco Polo. The brief poetic text (partly written in verse) is accompanied by large-format colour illustrations. Depicting wide landscapes that reach all the way to the horizon, the pictures symbolise the transgression of totally different kinds of horizons by the people featured in this book. (6+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2005 - 157
Mello, Roger (adapt./illus.)
(The ship called Catarineta)
Rio de Janeiro : Manati, 2004.  p.
Ship – Shipwreck – Sea
The story of the ship called Catarineta, handed down from one generation to the next through oral storytelling, is well-known in the Portuguese-speaking world. The Brazilian author and illustrator has carefully studied numerous versions of this tale. The result is this vivid text, written for the stage, that makes young readers live through the disastrous shipwreck and the eerie calm, and share the protagonists’ hunger, loneliness, longing, and desperation. Roger Mello’s widely-praised artistic style can easily be recognised in this book’s imaginative double-page illustrations and small vignettes. The wild, energetic, playful pictures rendered in bright colours capture the story’s intensive atmosphere in a unique way. (10+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2005 - 158
Munduruku, Daniel (text)
Borges, Rogério (illus.)
Você lembra, pai?
(Do you remember, Daddy?)
São Paulo : Global, 2003.  p.
(Coleção temática indígena)
Brazil – Munduruku People – Childhood memories
In this autobiographical book for child (and adult) readers, the author – who is a member of the Munduruku people living in Northern Brazil – recalls memories from his childhood and youth. The topics range from initiation rites and social relationships to encounters with the ›white‹ culture. The poetic and literary text, written in a melodious language and free from any bitterness or accusations, is also a declaration of love to the author’s father, a Munduruku mage. Beautiful, four-colour mixed-media illustrations show the life and customs of the Munduruku people. (7+) ☆
(O Melhor Livro para a Criança – Fundação Nacional do Livro Infantil e Juvenil; 2004)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2005 - 159
Prandi, Reginaldo (text)
Rafael, Pedro (illus.)
Xangô, o Trovão : outras histórias dos deuses africanos que vieram para o Brasil com os escravos
(Xangô, the thunder : other stories about African gods who came to Brazil with the slaves)
São Paulo : Companhia das Letrinhas, 2003. 63 p.
Afro-Brazilian – Myth – Folk tale – Gods
In the last years, numerous Brazilian children’s books have focused on the roots of this country, in which the traditions of the European and African immigrants join those of the indigenous people to form a multi-faceted culture. This title featuring nine tales brought to the Portuguese colony of Brazil by slaves abducted from Africa is an excellent example of this tendency. The retellings of these traditional oral tales about various gods called »orixás« are written in a clear, beautiful language. Accompanied by colourful mixed-media illustrations that are slightly reminiscent of African art, the stories offer a fascinating introduction to the universe of a diverse and rich culture. (9+) ☆
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2006 - 156
Bocheco, Eloí Elisabete
Beatriz em trânsito
(Beatriz on her way)
Porto Alegre : Nova Prova Ed., 2005. 110 p.
Orphan Girl – Daily life
Little Beatriz, who has been living with her grandmother, uncles, and aunts since her mother’s death, is the protagonist of this sensitive narrative. The readers accompany the girl as she lives her daily life and walks the winding roads of human existence determined by farewell, loss, and other substantial experiences. A remarkable feature of this novel is the number of intertextual elements from folklore and religion, imaginary creatures from the folk literature of Southern Brazil, as well as works from world literature that Beatriz and her friends are reading, that are woven into the story. Thus, two vastly different worlds meet in the book’s characters, their culture, and their reading experiences. (10+)
(3º Prêmio Nacional Casa de Cultura Mário Quintana; 2005)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2006 - 157
Furnari, Eva (text/illus.)
(Tic <Proper name>)
São Paulo : Ed. Ática, 2005.  p.
(Sonho e fantasia)
Order Chaos – Rule – Magic – Witch
Eva Furnari, a multiple award-winning author and illustrator, is renowned for her trademark sense of humour, again very palpable in this picture book, in which text and pictures create a wonderful unity. Cacoete which is actually the term for a nervous tic – is the name of a superbly organised city whose inhabitants strictly abide by every single rule. Even the streets, let alone the people themselves, are put in alphabetical order. Yet, one day, little Frido meets the witch Nurcia, and Cacoete suddenly witnesses a few surprising changes. The funny illustrations show the city, its inhabitants, and their behaviour in a lot of details. Particularly entertaining is the contrast between the initial order and the chaos caused by the witch. (8+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2006 - 158
Gabriel o Pensador (text)
Bueno, Daniel (illus.)
Um garoto chamado Rorbeto
(A boy named Rorbeto)
São Paulo : Cosac Naify, 2005. 45 p.
Outsider Individuality – Uniqueness – Self-confidence – Self esteem
Gabriel o Pensador is a popular Brazilian composer and singer. Yet, he is also a poet, and »Um garoto chamado Rorbeto« is his first children’s book. The fresh and original story told in melodic verses describes a unique boy who was accidentally registered after his birth as Rorbeto instead of Roberto, as he should have been named. Since he has six fingers on one of his hands, he hides this hand at school in his satchel. After a while, however, Rorbeto overcomes his shyness. With a lot of self-confidence, he shows his classmates why he is different and decides to become goal keeper of the school’s football team. The witty illustrations are created in a combination of collages and computer graphics. The layout and design of the colourful pages will remind readers of (their own) exercise books at school. (7+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2006 - 159
Marinho, Jorge Miguel
Lis no peito : um livro que pede perdão
(Lis in the heart : a book that asks for forgiveness)
São Paulo : Biruta, 2005. 181 p.
Youth Love – Search for identity
Inspired by the works of Clarice Lispector, one of the great Brazilian writers of the 20th century (1925-1977), Jorge Miguel Marinho tackles the topic of adolescent life revolving around passion, happiness, and the search and discovery of the world and one’s own identity. The novel focuses on the love between two teenagers and on a probably unforgivable »crime«. The readers will easily understand the protagonists’ doubts and insecurities. They are cleverly drawn into the story because they are constantly invited to take a stand on the protagonists and their actions. Each chapter opens with a quotation by Clarice Lispector which makes this ambitious book an invitation to read this writer’s existentialist novels, novellas, and tales. (14+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2006 - 160
Queirós, Bartolomeu Campos
O olho de vidro do meu avô
(My grandfather’s glass eye)
São Paulo : Moderna, 2004. 48 p.
Brazil/1940’s Childhood memories
The works of Bartolomeu Campos Queirós, one of the most well-known Brazilian authors of children’s literature, are praised for their graphic, poetic, and emotional prose. This multi-award-winning autobiographical novel, in which Campos Queirós talks about his childhood in the 1940s, is also composed in a dense, lyrical language. The readers share the perspective of the curious, imaginative child who is full of astonishment as he describes his impressions of meeting people and discovering so many different things. Set in a time that seems long past but still very close to the present, this slim book makes children witness a childhood in a predominantly rural Brazil where large cities like São Paulo were still an exception. (12+)
(Prêmio Fundação Nacional do Livro Infantil e Juvenil FNLIJ, Best young Adult Book 2005; Prêmio Nacional Nestlé 2005)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2006 - 161
Vassallo, Márcio (text)
Moraes, Odilon (illus.)
O menino da chuva no cabelo
(The boy who had raindrops falling on his head)
São Paulo : Global, 2005. 22 p.
Football Rain – Imagination – Dream
This picture book tells the touching story of Arthur who dreams of becoming a professional football player. One day, as he is playing football with his friends, it starts raining and he becomes so enchanted by the rain’s poetic quality, that he totally wrecks the game. He forgets everything around him, looses his sense of time, the only thing that counts is the rhythm of the rain. This experience deeply influences the boy. No wonder that he doesn’t become a football player but a writer. This empathetic story, inspired by the author’s own childhood, is accompanied by delicate water-colour illustrations. They open up an additional dimension because they do not simply picture the action but rather emphasise the poetical aspects of the text. (6+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2007 - 158
Sapato de salto
(Shoe with heel)
Rio de Janeiro : Casa Lygia Bojunga, 2006. 274 p.
Abandon – Prejudice – Sexuality – Friendship
In her new book, »Sapato de salto«, Lygia Bojunga, the first writer in Latin America to win the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Award (1982) and winner of the ALMA Award (2004), again confirms her unique talent to deal with controversial themes in a sensitive and delicate way. This intimate story reveals the dreams and sadness of an orphan girl whose greatest ambition is dancing. One day, a man takes her into his home as nanny. The girl longs to be part of his family but soon realises that this isn’t possible for her. On the contrary, she is sexually abused by the man, an event which precociously starts her sexual life. In the course of the story, the main protagonist’s life becomes interlaced with the lives of many other characters whose actions are determined either by their humanity or their prejudice towards the girl. (14+)
Brazil (Portuguese/Guarani) - 2007 - 159
Karai, Luiz (text)
Abrahim, Rodrigo (illus.)
Massacre indígena guarani = Jurua reve nhande kuery joguero’a ague
(Guarani Indian Massacre)
São Paulo : Difusão Cultural do Livro, 2006. 23 p.
(Bilingual ed.: Portuguese and Guarani)
Indigenous culture – Ethnic conflicts – Brazil/History
In the small village of Kavure, the religious leader elects his successor. The new »pajé«, Jekupe, at once points out the dangers of living in the immediate vicinity of white men. When a premonition prompts him to propose that they move to a different area, part of the group doesn’t respect his authority and decides to stay. This causes a cruel war between indigenous and non-indigenous people. The story is set in the 19th century and reflects the ethnic conflicts that have been smouldering in Latin America for the past 500 years, terminating many native communities. The bilingual text is accompanied by watercolour illustrations emphasising the characteristics of the indigenous people and portraying their environment in detail. (8+) ☆
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2007 - 160
Machado, Ana Maria (text)
Martins, Maria Inês (illus.)
O menino e o maestro
(The boy and the maestro)
São Paulo : Mercuryo Jovem, 2006. 46 p.
Music – Talent – Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus – Samba
Teleco is a talented young percussionist at a samba school. When his aptitude attracts the attention of an orchestra conductor, a wonderful friendship begins. One day, the conductor introduces him to the music of a symphonic orchestra and Mozart’s work. The young boy and the great composer have one thing in common: Their outstanding talent is discovered when they are small children, so they work hard and do not have any time left to play. Mozart’s music inspires Teleco to think about his own future and opens up new perspectives for him. The illustrations help to join two musical genres – popular and classical music. Hans-Christian-Andersen-Award-winner Ana Maria Machado crafts a touching story about the meeting between children and music in general, and between two different periods. (8+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2007 - 161
O rapaz que não era de Liverpool
(The boy who was not from Liverpool)
São Paulo : Ed. SM, 2006. 127 p.
(Barco a vapor; 12 : Série vermelha)
Adoption – Rock music – Family – Identity
The »soundtrack« of Marcelo’s life has always been full of Beatles songs. Through the influence of his father, the 15-year-old first got in touch with the music of the Liverpool boys and was soon convinced that his own family resembled a rock band. However, one day, the boy suddenly realises that his brown eyes just don’t match with the blue eyes of his parents and his brothers. Marcelo assumes that he was adopted as a baby. He is tormented by inner conflicts and can’t stop discussing and questioning everything around him. The non-linear narrative makes this story particularly attractive, especially because of the protagonist’s flashbacks that serve as an attempt to get to the core of the unsettling revelations. (12+)
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2007 - 162
Salerno, Silvana (text)
Viagem pelo Brasil em 52 histórias
(Journey around Brazil in 52 stories)
São Paulo : Companhia das Letrinhas, 2006. 160 p.
Brazil/History – Folklore – Tradition
This book unites some of the most famous tales, fables, and popular stories of Brazilian culture. Over the years, all of these narratives have been influenced by various cultures, mainly European, African, and indigenous Brazilian. These ancient stories, which share the typical characteristics of folklore, were not lost because they are recognised as an important part of Brazilian people’s life, recording their habits and history. The carefully retold tales are grouped according to the geographic region of their origin. The texts are accompanied by expressive illustrations and by photos and notes that help to place each story into a wider context. This book was inspired by an anthology called »Volta ao mundo em 52 histórias«. (10+) ☆
Brazil (Portuguese) - 2007 - 163
Vilela, Fernando (text/illus.)
Lampião & Lancelote
São Paulo : CosacNaify, 2006. 51 p.
Popular culture – Middle Ages – Poetry – Fight
This book is written in the form of a »cordel« text, a verse narrative that constitutes an important genre of popular Brazilian culture. In it, the author crafts an unusual encounter between the medieval knight Lancelot and the legendary »cangaceiro« (bandit) Lampião. They compete in a verbal combat that evokes their different times, their habits, the imaginary of medieval literature, and the typical language and setting of northern Brazil. The result is a truly original story in each passage and every brushstroke. The very expressive illustrations in extra-large landscape format contain numerous allusions to the two different epochs and cultures: Whereas Lancelot’s universe is depicted in silver, a colour that was also used in medieval book art, the woodcut-like illustrations in copper, reminiscent of the printing technique of »cordel« literature, represent Lampião’s world. Both in the text and the pictures, the two different worlds are merged into a fascinating whole. (8+)