Living in Brazil – by Chloe Perkins
I was super impressed with this book. It’s told from the perspective of Marco, a young boy living in Brazil, who takes us on a tour of his country. He explains about the different regional areas of Brazil and a bit about Brazil’s history, but he also takes it to a more personal level, explaining about his family, what he likes to eat, and what he does at school. I thought this was a great introduction to Brazil for kids – it introduces some of the big picture history, geography, and culture without getting too encyclopedic, but also brings in a personal story of a specific child’s life that kids can relate to. This is a new series that is still being published, and I’m excited to get my hands on the other books as they come out.
The Rainforest Grew All Around – by Susan K. Mitchell
The text of this beautifully illustrated book can be sung to the tune of “The Green Grass Grew All Around,” and provides a great introduction to rainforest plants and animals.
For the Love of Soccer! – by Pelé
Soccer is so important to Brazilian culture, and Pelé is so important to Brazilian soccer, that a study of Brazil didn’t seem quite complete without this book. This autobiographical picture book by the three-time world cup champion tells the story of how Pelé’s love of soccer got started, how he feels when he plays, and how important teamwork and sportsmanship is in his game. The illustrations are bursting with motion, and really drew my son into the story.
The Great Kapok Tree – by Lynne Cherry
This is the story of a man who falls asleep when he is about to cut down a giant kapok tree in the Amazon rainforest. He is visited in his sleep by the many animals who use this kapok tree as their habitat, and these animals seek to convince him of the vital importance of this single tree to the way they live. With lush illustrations, this book serves as a wonderful window into the ecological interdependence of rainforest habitats.
Victoria Goes to Brazil – by Maria de Fatima Campos
This book follows Victoria, a young girl who lives in London, but who is now travelling to Brazil, the country where her mother was born. The book is journal-like in its presentation of Victoria’s travels – how she meets her extended family, what she sees and experiences, and her perceptions of this new country that she is distantly connected to. The photography is lovely, and the story is engaging.