A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Portuguese / Brazil

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Hiratsuka, Lúcia (text/illus.)
Rio de Janeiro: Pequena Zahar, 2014. – [48] p.
ISBN 978-85-66642-17-9

Japan / 1900 – Rural life – Childhood – Parents / Child – Picture book 

Brazil is home to a large Japanese community. Many immigrants came to the country during the first decades of the 20th century. With this picture book, Lúcia Hiratsuka (b. 1960), third-generation Brazilian citizen of Japanese descent, pays homage to her grandmother Orie, who immigrated to Brazil as a young woman. Orie’s memories of the old home-country resonate with the grand-daughter like quiet echoes of distant times and places. With cheerful, airy drawings on brown paper, Hiratsuka recalls events from her grandmother’s childhood in the country. Orie’s relationship to her parents, who work as river boatmen, is dominated by feelings of security and trust. The family’s simple life alongside and on the water follows nature’s rhythm, as does the text. Gently swaying like a boat and serenely flowing like time, it conveys sensory impressions, such as the strong arms of the father, the smells borne by the wind, or the bustling noise of the nearby town. (Age: 4+)