Planet Picture Book


Giant Amazon Water Lily

My picture book selection for Brazil has something of an international flavour with creators and translators drawn from Argentina, Portugal, Bulgaria, the UK, Canada, the US . . . as well as Brazil! Purely unintentional and glorious proof, I think, that stories travel across languages, lands and seas.

Brazil has some fabulous homegrown children’s book authors and illustrators, of course. I particularly enjoyed this post by author and blogger Brynn Barineau, She provides a brief bio of five Brazilian children’s authors, including Ana Maria Machado, Sonia Junqueira and Eva Furnari, and also highlights some suggested titles by each in Portuguese and English (where available).

Last year, in a list for WorldKidLit Month of wondrous wordless picture books from around the world, I included The Little Barbarian by Brazilian writer and visual artist Renato Moriconi (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2018). Moriconi won Brazil’s prestigious Jabuti Award for Best Children’s Illustration in 2014 for the Brazilian edition of this book.

And you can’t write a post about Brazilian picture books without mentioning Roger Mello*. Last year, I spied one of his recent titles You Can’t Be Too Careful, translated by Daniel Hahn (Elsewhere Editions, 2017), in my local library and leapt on it. It’s a brilliantly busy circular story, but I’ll admit that it took me several readings to get to grips with it. Keep your eyes peeled for another translated title from the same team: Charcoal Boys by Roger Mello, translated by Daniel Hahn is due to be released by Elsewhere Editions later this year.

Here are the three titles I have chosen to review:

Along the River by Vanina Starkoff, translated by Jane Springer (Groundwood Books, 2017)

Lines, Squiggles, Letters, Words by Ruth Rocha, illustrated by Madalena Matoso, translated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Enchanted Lion, 2016)

Happiness is a Watermelon on Your Head by Stella Dreis, with text by Daniel Hahn (Phoenix Yard Books, 2013)

Reviews, as usual, to follow over the next couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy this selection!

* Roger Mello is also the illustrator of Feather by Cao Wenxuan, a stunning title that I reviewed in my selection of picture books from China.

[Image: Giant Amazon Water Lily by CameliaTWU, made available under a creative commons licence. Source:]


Leave a Reply to Pippa Cancel reply

  • Fantastic to hear about Writers from around the world. Being an expat in Asia and a kidlit writer I love how stories travel the globe too! Come visit us in Singapore some time as we have some great Writers and illustrators based here 🙂

    • Hi Pippa,

      Thanks for your message. I’m glad you’re enjoying this picture book adventure. I do have plans to visit Singapore shortly on this journey . . . but not in person this time. What a wonderful place to be based as a writer!

      Best Wishes,