A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Portuguese / Portugal

Barriga da baleia
(The stomach of the whale)

Gonçalves, António Jorge (text/illus.)
Lisboa: Pato Lógico, 2014. – [40] p.
ISBN 978-989-98470-4-0

Sea – Shipwreck – Whale –
Thirst for adventure – Picture book

A Sunday morning can be awfully dull when one’s parents show no sign of getting up. So rambunctious Sari runs down to the beach, where she meets equally adventurous Azur. The two head to sea in Azur's self-made boat, but before they long capsize in a storm, and Sari ends up in a whale’s stomach. But clever Azur saves his friend from this labyrinthine shadow realm filled with eery, threatening creatures by grabbing a shovel, digging a hole and letting the sea water drain out. When Sari climbs hale and hearty out of the mouth of the stranded giant, she cries so bitterly over the banked sea animals that her tears fill the sea back to the brim. António Jorge Gonçalves, winner of the Prémio Nacional de Ilustração 2013 for his illustrations for Ondjaki’s young adult book “Uma escuridão bonita”, here makes his debut as children’s book author. The evocative and atmospheric pictures recall a shadow theatre in which the characters act like scissor cuts cast in front of backdrops in a reduced number of colours. (Age: 4+)