Join us in celebrating Brazil's book birthday! We sat down with Musa Ana Siqueira to learn all about the inspiration behind this book.
But first, a little bit about BRAZIL.
Let's spend a day in Brazil! Ride the ônibus to the beach, drink sugar cane juice at the feira, and play capoeira. Brazilian author Ana Siquiera and illustrator Ana Matsusaki draw on their personal experiences living in Brazil to create this appealing board book as part of the Our World Series for very young readers.
What inspired you to begin writing, and how is that connected to this book?
I always loved creating and telling stories. My first poem I wrote when I was six years old. It was a poem thanking God for sending me a new flower (my sister) after I lost my twin brother. Very deep. From then on, I never stopped writing. Then after having my kids, I decided to write for publication. I got two books published in Brazil and one got an award from the prestigious “Academia Brasileira de Letras.” But life happened and I took a break from writing from 1992 until 2019. Wow. I just decided to write again, when my 2nd-grade students asked me to write them a story, in Spanish, about the Duck Song (a viral video). I wrote it, I sold it (in thirty minutes!) and I decided to write picture books again. I am so thankful for my students. They inspire ideas and dreams every day.
My book, since it's all about my country, makes me feel happy and proud. And for me, it reminds me of this song I love, "Isso Aqui, Que é?"
Where did you get the idea to write this particular story?
My super amiga Denise Adusei gave me my name to Kate de Palma who contacted me to write this story. The idea from it: all my memories from my and my children’s amazing childhood in this beautiful, happy country.
What was your favorite part of the publication process with this story?
I loved that my editor Autumn Allen invited me and the illustrator, also Ana, to have a conversation together about the illustrations. It was so insightful. It was there that we decided to show the diversity that exists in Brazil, and Ana included children from different races, different abilities, and different body shapes.
What message are you hoping readers will take away from this story?
The whole series has a beautiful message that goes along with the main message I want to spread to the world through my books. The little ones will relate with kids all over the world, understanding that even though we are so different, we are all the same and we’re connected through our universal emotions and our humanity. I am so proud of being part of this series.
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