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The Best Brazil Kids Books

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The Quest for Z
Written & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

From an award-winning author comes a picture book biography that feels like Indiana Jones for kids!

British explorer Percy Fawcett believed that hidden deep within the Amazon rainforest was an ancient city, lost for the ages. Most people didn’t even believe this city existed. But if Fawcett could find it, he would be rich and famous forever. This is the true story of one man’s thrilling, dangerous journey into the jungle, and what he found on his quest for the lost city of Z.

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From My Window
Written by Otávio Júnior & illustrated by Vanina Starkoff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What do you see from your window? This #OwnVoices picture book from Brazil offers a first-hand view of what children growing up in the favelas of Rio de Janiero see everyday. A vibrant and diverse celebration of urban community living, brought to life by unique, colorful illustrations that juxtapose brick buildings with lush jungle plants.

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Pele, King of Soccer/Pele, El rey del futbol: Bilingual Spanish-English
Written by Monica Brown & illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After preparing well for a first soccer match, Pinkalicious is angered by a rival team’s jokes about the Pinksters’ pink soccer ball which they kick off the field, forcing Pinkalicious to chase after it, but as luck would have it, Pinklalicious’ unicorn, Goldilicious, is waiting and sweeps up her up on an imaginative journey that offers just the encouragement Pinkalicious needs to return to the game. Simultaneous.

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The Explorer
Written & illustrated by Katherine Rundell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner Katherine Rundell comes an exciting new novel about a group of kids who must survive in the Amazon after their plane crashes. Fred, Con, Lila, and Max are on their way back to England from Manaus when the plane they’re on crashes and the pilot dies upon landing. For days they survive alone, until Fred finds a map that leads them to a ruined city, and to a secret.

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The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont
Written by Victoria Griffith & illustrated by Eva Montanari
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Profiles Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who made great strides in the invention of flight.

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  • A Dream of Flight - Years before the invention of the modern airplane, Alberto Santos-Dumont dreamed of flying. As a boy, he was mesmerized by the machinery on his father’s coffee plantation in Brazil and went on to study science and engineering in France. Soon his groundbreaking—and sometimes silly—inventions became the talk of Paris, especially after he set his sights on building an airship that could bring the world’s people together. His small stature and big ideas earned him the nickname “Le Petite Santos.” This is the story of Santos’s successful race for the Deutsche Prize, and his many failures along the way. Chock-full of cool diagrams, charming Parisian scenes, and graphic novel-style spot illustrations, A Dream of Flight will have young readers looking to the sky and scheming up their own aerial inventions.

  • Neymar: A Soccer Dream Come True - Just in time for the 2018 World Cup; a non-fiction picture book about the best soccer player in the world—Neymar.

  • The Best Tailor in Pinbauê - The first book written and illustrated by Eymard Toledo shows one boy’s pluck when his beautiful town is ruined by the arrival of a gray, dusty factory. Uncle Flores is the best tailor in the small river town of Pinbauê in Brazil. He used to make beautiful dresses and colorful costumes for the carnival, but nowadays he only makes gray uniforms for the factory workers. The houses are covered with dust from the factory, the river water is murky, and everything is drab. Edinho, his nephew, comes by every day after school to help cut and iron the cloth and listen to his uncle’s stories. The best ones begin with Once upon a time…. But when the factory tells Uncle Flores they don’t need his uniforms anymore, Edinho comes up with an ingenious idea to get his uncle back to work and make everyone in town happier and brighter. Soon Uncle Flores’s house is the most popular one in town… In The Best Tailor in Pinbauê a small act of beauty in the midst of environmental degradation reminds young readers of their own agency and of the life-affirming strength of family and community.

  • Lea Leads the Way - Lea Clark is all set for an animal-discovery adventure! She’s never been to a rainforest before, and her mind is filled with exciting thoughts about the animals she’ll get to see and the pictures she’ll get to take deep in the jungle. During a hike with her brother through the Amazon rainforest, they discover a baby sloth that is badly injured. Lea quickly decides she must do all she can to help the little sloth survive. But as she learns more, she wonders? Is that the right thing to do?

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