The largest country in South America, Brazil covers three time zones and shares a border with every country in South America except Ecuador and Chile. About 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil, and the Amazon River, the longest river in South America, flows through the nation, too.
Ready to learn more about Brazil for kids? Here are three great books about Brazil to introduce kids to this magical place.
Jabutí the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale by Gerald McDermott
Author and illustrator Gerald McDermott brings Brazil’s folkloric past to life with his vibrant tale Jabutí the Tortoise: A Trickster Tale. The story takes us into the rainforests of Brazil where Jabutí enjoys his status as the jungle favorite. Not only does he boast a smooth, shiny shell, but he’s also gifted with the ability to play beautiful songs on his flute.
There’s more to Jabutí than meets the eye as many of his fellow jungle-mates have already found out, though. In fact, his music reminds Tapir and Jaguar of the tortoise’s past tricks. What’s more, the sweet notes of his tunes draw the bitter attention of Vulture who has no song of his own. When Vulture offers to fly Jabutí up to heaven for a music concert, the plot thickens. Come along on the ride as McDermott brings to life the invincible trickster tortoise from the tribal lore of the Tupi-Guarani and other peoples indigenous to the Amazon.
The Sock Thief: A Soccer Story by Ana Crespo and Nana Gonzalez
Written by Ana Crespo and featuring the delightful illustrations of Nana Gonzalez, The Sock Thief: A Soccer Story will make a soccer fan out of you and your little ones. It tells the whimsical story of Felipe, a Brazilian boy, who wants to play soccer but doesn’t have a ball. When it’s his turn to bring a soccer ball to school, he develops an ingenious plan.
Becoming the sock thief, Felipe raids his neighborhood in a quest to gather enough socks for a soccer ball. Along the way, he has to face off against noisy neighborhood pets including a tattling parrot. He leaves juicy mangoes in exchange for each pair of socks as he stuffs, twists, and turns them into a makeshift ball. At the end of the day, he returns each pair with a thank you note. The 2016 recipient of the International Latino Book Award for Best Latino Focused Children’s Book, you and your kids will treasure this charming read as well as learn a little Portuguese along the way.
Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art! by George Ancona
Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art! by George Ancona explores the energetic practice of capoeira and its rich roots in Brazil. The book begins at the Madinga Academy of Oakland where a group of girls and boys are learning the martial art’s acrobatic moves. Then, they play a game to the beat of traditional music. The book relies on action-packed photos (also by Ancona) to introduce young readers to this exciting practice that lets people express themselves through music and movement.
From Oakland, the story heads to Brazil for an exploration of this ancient practice. We learn that it developed more than four hundred years ago as a way for enslaved Africans to express and preserve their culture as well as defend themselves. We also learn about the ban that threatened to end the practice, how it was lifted in 1930, and the way that capoeira has since blossomed as a martial art. The book ends with a return to Oakland and an end-of-the-year ceremony where the kids get rewarded for their hard work with colored ropes indicating their levels of mastery.
Brazil for Kids
From the colorful folklore of the Amazon to a silly tale about a sock thief and a thrilling exploration of capoeira, these three books bring Brazil for kids to life. You and your kids will enjoy this literary trip to Brazil through captivating storytelling and stunning illustrations. You’ll also learn new facts about Brazil and even pick up a few Portuguese words.
Interested in learning more about a Brazil family adventure? Check out our Brazilian Amazon River Cruise itinerary. This family-focused tour takes you deep into the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. You’ll hike through a pristine forest, swim with river dolphins, explore waterfalls, and much more.
At Our Whole Village, we create tours carefully designed for families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference. We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.