THINGS THAT HAPPEN
“Some say that teenagers do not know anything about life. Therefore, in the rare cases where I know anything, I make a point of not telling anyone. There are certain dangers in sharing deep thoughts when you have an acne colony on your forehead – it is not by chance that I am speaking to you on an anonymous basis.”
Things that happen, the first book by Inês Barata Raposo, and also the first title in Bruaá Editora’s juvenile collection, is a story about friendship and the end of friendship in adolescence. A work that the jury of the Branquinho da Fonseca Award honored for its narrative dexterity, language plasticity and an unusual ability to use irony and an in-depth sense of humor to allude to some of the central themes of a teenager’s life.
A singularly funny book, from a singularly writer, where every page starts with the word “Supposing”, sending us into a wide-range of scenarios filled with impossibility and sillyness. We all know that there are lots of things we’re not supposed to do. Of course. But can we help ourselves not to think about them? Here’s a collection of the most eccentric possibilities that will surely springboard every reader’s imagination: “Supposing I could be any size I wanted to be…” ; “Supposing I collected old hair from a barber shop and sent it in parcels to people I didn’t like…” ; “Supposing a funny old fortune teller told me I was going on a journey and just to bamboozle her I stayed home for the rest of my life…”.
Supposing you read “Supposing… and you laugh so hard that you can’t stop for the rest of your life.
Once upon a time a stranger arrives at a place where the king and his people lived in great peace. He doesn’t look like them. In fact, this stranger is so big and the people so small, that neither can communicate and the uneasiness and hatred that the most harmless of outsiders can engender start a well known chain of events : guards, clueless politicians, the threat of military force. “The Stranger”, again relevant today, is a small story filled with big themes that celebrates in a hopeful way the victory of acceptation and empathy over ignorance and prejudice.
Mr. Narcissus has a certain attraction for shop windows, mirrors and all that can reflect his beautiful figure. That is why, every single day, he takes time to look at himself in the window of Boutique Esmeralda, a newly opened shop below his house. What he doesn’t know is that behind the shop window is Matilde, the employee that sees him everyday doing gestures and throwing looks that are hard to ignore. Separated by the shop window two hearts beat: Matilde’s for Mr. Narcissus and Mr. Narcissus for himself. How will these two love stories meet?
THE LOST SOCK
An universal fact: everyone has already lost a sock. Some escape, but come back, others simply vanish into thin air. But in this book there’s still hope to find the sock that went missing, because, unlike those that disappear without leaving a trace, this one as unraveled a clue that challenge us to look for it. So let’s follow the red thread through the snowy landscape and allow ourselves to be surprised by the characters, places, details and, above all, by the solution for this mystery of the lost sock.
NOTHING EVER HAPPENS ON MY BLOCK
His name was Carlos Alberto and, as far as he could see, nothing ever happened in his block. He dreamt of parades, haunted houses, ferocious lions and tigers and even fireworkds. But what did he have ? Nothing. Nothing that he could see. But if we look carefully, se might see a couple of things that escaped Carlos Alberto : a fire rages, a man digs up some buried treasure, an unlucky postman, a parachute lands, an ambulance is called and other different scenes that unfold offering a pictorial counterpoint in bright color that will offer hours of fun to readers.
JOÃO AND THE MONSTERS
One of the many fears one can have when night falls is that of monsters under the bed. Did this ever happened to you? In this book we will meet João, a boy who knows that it’s ok to be afraid and that sometimes it even makes you do very brave things. That was what happened that night, when he decided to face the monsters that were under his bed. A little story about the great courage of João that, with much suspense, reserves us a final surprise that will leave everyone with a smile, except the monsters, of course.
IF APPLES HAD TEETH
If apples had teeth what would happen? They would bite back, of course! And if pickles were tickled? They would never be sour. If you open this book, you will also find out what would happen if turtles were chickens, if mushrooms had hair, and many other IF’s. Published for the first time in 1960, this was Shirley and Milton Glaser’s first children’s book together. A list of all sort of objects and animals that defy definitions and drag us into a world of nonsense full of vivid color illustrations that are just as funny and improbable as the text. A very funny book that is colourful, zany, and utterly refreshing. Guaranteed to start a whole rash of fresh IF’s. Bruaá
A CRAZY MIXED-UP DAY…
“A crazy mixed-up day : Thirty brainteasers“ is one of the almost ninety broadcasts for chidren that Walter Benjamin, one of the most influential of 20th-century thinkers, wrote and delivered over German radio from 1927 to early 1933. Transmited between Radio Berlin and Radio Frankfurt, Benjamin’s broadcasts covered a fascinating array of topics: the Lisbon earthquacke, the eruption of Vesuvius, the flooding of the Mississippi River, and many many more. In this particular text, Benjamin proposes a intriguing and funny story about Heinz who is looking for the solution of a riddle. As we read along we need to find 15 mistakes and try to answer 15 questions. Each correct answer to a question gives you two points, because many of the questions are more difficult to answer than the mistakes are to find. All solutions are presented in the end (no peeking). Do you accept the challenge? Bruaá
Sofia and Camila are best friends. Sofia has a lot of spots and Camila has freckles. Camila told Sofia that the milky way fell on her. But, as everyone knows, stars don’t shine on your skin. So, those who fell, decided to live disguised as freckles. Sofia and Camila’s favourite game is to explore each other’s skin, drawing their friendship between spots and freckles. During the game, drawings of all sorts start to appear: animals, paths, numbers, landscapes and all the stories that their able to create. A game that we will also be invited to play. Bruaá
THE BEAR THAT WASN’T
The Bear knew that when geese fly south, and leaves begin to fall from trees, it was a sign that winter was coming and soon the forest would be covered in snow. It was time to hibernate. However, when he wakes up a few months later, the Bear will not have the forest waiting for him, but a huge factory that was built there during in his sleep. Where was the forest? Where was the grass? Where were the trees? Where were the flowers? What place was that? The Bear feels lost in this strange place, but he’ll feel more lost when everyone at the factory tells him that it is not a bear, but a silly man who needs a shave and wears a fur coat. Will the Bear be able to convince them otherwise? Published in 1946, this hilarious text by Frank Tashlin contains all the hallmarks of a timeless masterpiece. An indispensable book for bears and humans of all ages. Bruaá
More than half-century after its first edition we have “dogcided” to give a second life to this precious little book created by a not so little artist. The book that, like its author, seemed “dorgmant” is a conpendium where the reader finds rare canine breeds represented by the typical drawing style of Tóssan, the “dogsigner” of this humorous gallery where we are even invited to make our “dognation” in a blank page left expressly for that purpose. We’ll leave you now in the company of Tóssan’s humor and his timeless “dogcile” friends. Bruaá
THE HOUSE THAT FLEW AWAY
Getting home after a day’s work and finding your house flying. There’s an upsetting situation. What can you do? Who to ask for help? Houses don’t come with an instructions manual, but even if they did, would anyone remember of including a chapter on flying houses? This story is about that rare phenomenon: a house that, out of the blue, decides to take off. And because for such unusual events there isn’t an easy solution, the owner of this house doesn’t know what to do. Where do you start when your house flies away? The fire department? The police? The civil aviation department? Not easy at all. Still, every cloud has as a silver lining. Houses, just like everything that is important and essential in life, shouldn’t be left out of sight. Bruaá
DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?
What book is this? What animal is this? Hold the page to the light and you will see. In most books you look at the page in order to see the pictures, but not on this one. To see the full picture, and find the solution to the animal riddles, you need to look through the pages. Created by Ed Emberley in the late 70s, this playful book was born without an expiration date. The design keeps its freshness, and the original and ingenious see through game proves once again the full interactive character of paper, which never ceases to amaze readers of all ages. Without batteries to run out, this book will be hard to put down. Bruaá
A book without words that says so much. A narrative where we see reflected all the returns and all the family reunions in that common house to which we never stop wishing to come back. We return to memories of spaces, smells, sounds and people that welcome us in their sameness or with the surprise of those little big details that strike us for the first time. With the return comes the unpacking of suitcases and ideas that we took so well packed when we left. But above all, and because not everything fits in a suitcase, it exceeds its weight, we continually return to renew energies where everything starts and finishes: family. Bruaá
FRIENDS FROM THE HEART
In this book we are taken by the hand of a little boy that lives in a neighborhood like many others. He wants to talk about his friends, his best friends. For that the little boy takes through the streets of his neighborhood. Funny enough this neighborhood is quite similar to ours: there’s a school, a bar, a house on the corner, a garden, high buildings. But the streets and the houses aren’t the only thing familiar, also the little boy’s voice sounds familiar, quite like ours… And the friends that he talks about seem like our own, because we all have best friends and we play with them in a neighborhood just like this one. This common ground that we all recognize, because we are all made out of friends and places. A poetic text by Cláudio Thebas wonderfully interpreted and amplified by the exquisite illustrations of Violeta Lópiz. Bruaá
Herberto is a slug and for him life couldn’t be better. His everyday occupation: munching mountains of lettuce with his friends until his belly is full and it’s time to sleep again. Still, one day, one more in search of the tastiest lettuce he can find at the garden where he lives, Herberto comes across other animals that show their amazing skills and seem very busy creating. Herberto is amazed at what they do and praises these true artisans, while wishing that he also could create like them. But he can’t. At least that’s what he thinks. The good news will be given by a moth. This is Lara Hawthorne’s first book, a talented new artist that will surely leave a trace in our memory with this story about the need to create that we all carry within. After all, we’re all born artists, right Mr. Picasso? Bruaá
THE THINKING BOOK
An everyday scene: a hurried adult trying to make a child obey his requests, on the other side, an imagination without schedules or hurries that seems to grow out of each impatient sentence said by the adult. Two worlds colliding and creating the child’s “I was thinking…” mantra, a stream of though born out of the constant curiosity about the world, the enchantment of things around us, from all the pieces of dust that float and shine in the sunshine to the most wild numbers one is capable of thinking: a billion, a zillion, a whillion, a gorillion, a hippopillion, a rhinocerillion, an elephantillion. A book that celebrates the freedom to daydream and that reminds us of the poet’s verses: you may give them your love but not your thoughts/ For they have their own thoughts./ You may house their bodies but not their souls,/ For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,/ which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.” Bruaá
KEEP IT LIKE A SECRET
When someone is born two new realities are always inaugurated: that of a baby and that of those who welcome him and are faced with what to give, show or tell who has just come into this world knowing nothing or almost nothing. How to receive in the best way possible this new family member and introduce him to the mysteries of life? Where do we start with this beautiful sleeping creature? With a toy for him to see, with something fragrant to smell? We can give him an apple, a leaf or show a bit of snow. But will he understand? All he knows is still very little, although he already knows that wants someone holding him tight. Perhaps the best is to search all that we want to share about this world and save it in songs, keeping everything as a secret that only to him can be trusted, so he knows it is something special, something good this his first day on earth. Bruaá
A NAME FOR THE DOG
This book is made out of the conversation between a boy and a girl trying to name a dog. What kind of dog? We don’t know. The dog doesn’t exist, or maybe he exists but it’s still not theirs. But is it a he or she? Naming a dog is a serious matter and not always easy, especially if there is a wedding at stake and the engaged couple can’t reach an agreement. The choices are infinite, because there are names that are happier than others, names with only four letters, names with colors, names of places like Boston or Casablanca, names that for some of us are simple, but complicated for others. And how is this dog? Friendly? Brave? Big or small? Has anyone given a dog the name General Nuisance? If you are thinking about it you should know that there’s already one called General Pest. And you should also know how this story finishes. If it ever finishes… Bruaá
This is a deceptive book in its apparent simplicity of resources. At first sight it seems that we are faced with a story built on a model known type of oral tradition tales, accompanied by beautiful illustrations. In the first encounter with the book perhaps our attention is attracted by the presence of two languages, reading paths in opposite directions, the illustration technique and little more. However, it’s these constructive elements and others that, if analysed more closely, will show us a deliberately ambiguous book, open and propitiator of intense activity and inexhaustible production of meaning by the reader. Marcela Carranza
“I turned round suddenly and you’d gone. Did you get lost?”, says Arturo, realizing that he was alone. Who walked him disappeared. Of that person we know nothing: man or woman, rich or poor, young or old, because maybe none of that has any interest to a dog. Being his owner and companion is enough to him. Only that to reveal throughout the book his unconditional love in an endless quest, a construction of an old and well-known model of delivery, giving and friendship that asks nothing in return. Arturo merely underlines what we already know about man’s best friend. As Argos in the Odyssey, Arturo will wait the time needed for the return of his Ulysses, dreaming that image of pure happiness that is the encounter between a dog and its owner. Bruaá
TEXT: Davide Cali
PRICE: 12.50 €
THE QUEEN OF FROGS CANNOT WET HER FEET
“Once upon a time there was a lake, and in this lake there were frogs. Frogs who spent their days doing frog things: jumped and caught flies, took naps or played with dragonflies “, at the end of the day, animals like us sharing the fragility of routines. But the security offered by the repetition reveals itself always weak when broken by the unexpected, the minimum variation of the natural course of things. Just like it will happens to these frogs and their world, when something from heaven, PLOC, falls into the lake where they live and the necessary ingredients come together so we can watch a game of cause and consequence, a series of unpredictable events, where both characters and readers are far from imagining the end of this story. Bruaá
THE TIGER IN THE STREET
In the same way we think and we wonder how can a tiger appear in the street, as the poem by Daniil Harms, we also react with equal surprise how poetry is absent of so many people daily life.Surrendered to common places, put to sleep by wordy speeches, we watch the eroding of words bright and dissonant character. More than enough reasons to celebrate poetry and find in it the counterpoint and resistance against this state of affairs. So it appears this book: one more door, or window, if you will, for a poetry that summons a playful language of questions instead of answers, but above all, ageless poems that throw humor and absurd against beautiful hollow words that much contribute to the prejudice against poetry. Bruaá
WAKE UP, SLOTH!
The destruction of the forest, erected through a careful paper engineering, continues on each page that we turn, where the growing tension between the slow speed of the sloth and the fast pace of destruction by heavy machinery entangled in the forest builds up to a desolate scene where only a tree with the sloth is left, a threatening machine and an appeal, also ours: “Save yourself!”. In the following pages, the contrast between the best and worst that a man is capable of: on the left side, the silence where once all was life, on the right side, a turning point, an invitation to sow, to participate, to believe and hope. The forest is reborn, green and vibrant, but as vulnerable as before, reminding us that this story is far from over. Bruaá
TEXT: Sophie Strady
ILLUSTRATION: Anouk Boisrobert e Louis Rigaud
THE BEAR AND THE WILDCAT
One morning, bear was crying. His friend bird had died. Here are the first few sentences of an unique and poignant book, which poetic text involves us in an atmosphere of deep emotions, triggered by the themes of friendship and death: the bearing of a friend’s loss, the grief that unfolds between loneliness and anger, the misunderstanding, the memories, the farewell and the promise of a new beginning. It is indeed a remarkable book on the relationship between words and an illustration bounded by circular frames, functioning as a spotlight on the actors moving in scenarios that demand our full involvement and enjoyment in this game of shadow and light created by the neutral colors. The result is a genuine affective and emotional impact that accompanies us through the pages of this anthem to friendship. Bruaá
I FORGOT WHAT THE NAME WAS
10 texts of one of the most original voices of XXth century Russian literature: Daniil Harms. A good sample of his work for children, where, as few, he manages to capture children daily life, their play behavior, adding to it the right amount of fantasy and absurd. Everything is played within the reader’s counter of expectations face to conventions. The use of formulas already internalized, as the traditional folktale or fable, only serves his interests in order to deconstruct them: his narratives always move in the opposite direction to what is expected, constantly challenging ourselves and welcoming the reader as an equal in a constant game of language that encourages us to discover the other side of the mirror, opening new realities and, ultimately, transforming the world. Bruaá
IN THE DARK NIGHT
To understand the book “In the dark of the night”, we should start by saying that in the beginning there was the unreadable book: a book without text, whose abstract images transform themselves by fliping through the pages. According to Munari, these books were intended to experience all the visual communication options and printing techniques not involving words. So it appears the book ” In the dark of the night”. An object that reconfigures the relationship with the reader by combining the visual side to the challenge posed by the materials that are also agents of narration. Nothing is incidental in this book, all aspects of visual and material intertwine to build an indivisible structure full of meaning. A true masterpiece from the hands of one of the most influential designers of the XXth century. Bruaá
THIS OR THAT?
It is a stork? It is a pair of scissors? It’s this or that, depending on our look. 47 years after its original release in Czechoslovakia, with the title Co is Cemu podobá? Here’s another timeless book. Overlaying a streaked acetate on the illustration and moving it either to the left or right we find two different images on the same page: a stork is transformed into a pair of scissors, a butterfly into a book, a saw in a crocodile, etc. and vice versa. This technique, widely used in Eastern Europe between the decades of 60 and 80, was created by Czech artist Jirí Kolár and is known as Rollage. This or that? reveals itself as a great example of contamination between artistic experimentation and editorial design. Bruaá
THE SMOKED HERRING
Written and published in 1872, first in a version in prose, it appears in verse in Cros’s anthology of texts Le Coffret Santal in 1873. The success of this poem, learnt by heart and told by generations of French to the present day, as other texts of Charles Cros, contribute to the appearance of the monologue fumiste, a much publicized genre by comedian Coquelin Cadet, which encourages Cros and other writers to write new texts that conform to this structure: humorous short text, with only one character and fast-paced. Admired by Edward Gorey, who has been one of the first to illustrate this text translated into English by Alphonse Allais. André Breton includes this poem in the historic “Anthology of black humor” where in its presentation text he emphasizes “the feat that resulted in making the poetic mill vacuously rotate in the Smoked Herring”. Bruaá
When embarking on the pop-up technique, some authors haven’t been unable to resist the construction of a kind of book-show, where colors, shapes and volumes fight noisily among themselves. Perhaps this explains the reception that Popville had worldwide. A book that appeared counter-current, a true lesson of a rare sobriety and graphic elegance. On the first page of this book, where the stillness of a landscape marked by an isolated church, surrounded with trees, we find the first paragraph of a narrative about the evolution of an urban landscape, disarming in its simplicity, where we feel the passage of time page after page. A short film where each reader sets his script and its soundtrack, as the city grows and echoes in itself. Bruaá
WHO WANTS A CHEAP RHINOCEROS?
Everyone knows the benefits of having a rhino at home are immense. Or not? For those who never thought about it, this is the book which finally explains what this amazing perissodactyl mammal is able to do besides ruminate on the savannas and tropical forests of Africa and Asia. If you have never been able to decide what is the best pet for your home, do not despair. Here is the solution that will make you forget hamsters, chinchillas, iguanas, guinea-pigs and others. Moreover it is a cheap rhinoceros, easy to handle and full of talent. It’s true that there are some problems in having such a pet at home, but what does it matter when it warms us on cold winter nights and makes bad grades from school disappear before parents see them. Bruaá
TEXT: Shel Silverstein
ILLUSTRATION: Shel Silverstein
ISBN: : 978-989-8166-06-7
PRICE: 13.63 €
Published in 1956, “Crocodile Tears” is universally regarded as a masterpiece that still stands out for its artistic quality and unquestionable originality. Soon after its publication, this book, with a clever paratextual play that reminds us both a box and an envelope, wins, with its American edition, the New York Times Best Illustrated Books and rapidly multiplies in editions around the world, getting to be translated into 14 languages. 54 years after its first edition, it is a great honor for us to publish for the first time this author and this book in Portugal. A pictorial and textual account delightfully absurd and remarkably clean of impurities. An unusual trip-explanation or an explanation-journey that no one will mind taking … tearfully. Bruaá
TEXT: André François
ILLUSTRATION: André François
ISBN: : 978-989-8166-05-0
PRICE: 16.50 €
THE BLACK BOOK OF COLOURS
Attempting to convey the experience of blindness, this non–picture book by a pair of Venezuelan artists reads triumphantly. White text appears on black pages, with braille above; on the facing page, also black, images suggested in the text are printed in raised black lines—inviting the reader to discover them through touch alone. (Decoding the images this way, not incidentally, is difficult.) “Thomas,” the narrator begins, “says that yellow tastes like mustard, but is as soft as a baby chick’s feathers.” Opposite, delicately drawn plumes float across the page. While the concept is arresting in itself, Thomas’s proclamations about color reveal him as a bold, engaging character. Red is “sour”; brown “crunches”; and green “tastes like lemon ice cream.” He has given careful thought to all the colors, “but black is the king…. It is as soft as silk when his mother hugs him and her hair falls in his face.” It would be a mistake to read the book as a message about how the other senses compensate for blindness; “compensate” doesn’t do justice to all that Thomas offers about what he tastes and feels and hears and smells. Publishers Weekly
TEXT: Menena Cottin
ILLUSTRATION: Rosana Faria
ISBN: : 978-989-8166-04-3
Here is a short, simple book that says so much. Vashti sits with a blank piece of paper in art class and says, “I just can’t draw.” The teacher asks her to “make a mark and see where it takes you.” Vashti jabs the paper and makes a dot; her teacher asks her to sign it. The next day, Vashti sees her dot “All framed in swirly gold!” From there Vashti explores her creativity (which is not how our children will put it, they will just say, “she’s making a lot of pretty dots.” Reynolds inspires others and finishes with an “aww” ending that just makes you want to hug the book. This is NOT a treacly message book, it is a sweet, accessible story that resonates with all ages. Children’s Literature Magazine
THE BIG QUESTION
An award winning picture-book, which shows a rare sensitivity and expressiveness, this book of German Wolf Erlbruch, the third published by Bruaá, proposes, with an unusual simplicity, a reflection on a complex issue, philosophical, in a word, “big”: for what reason(s) are we in the world? It’s this doubt – embodied in the title – which triggers a set of responses that make up this work. To the great visual quality of the illustrations, occupying double pages, and made from a mixed technique, a verbal text that is simultaneously concise and unusual, serious and humorous, simple and inquisitive (…) The uniqueness of the construction verb-iconic as well as the inclusion in the end of a sheet on which it’s supposed to register other answers to the question, as one grows, seem to demonstrate the variety of levels of reading this stimulating work provides. Sara Reis da Silva, Casa da Leitura
TEXT: Wolf Erlbruch
ILLUSTRATION: Wolf Erlbruch
ISBN: : 978-989-8166-02-9
I CAN’T WAIT…
“I can’t wait…” is a book that speaks of the things you expect in life. When we are young, we expect little things: that the cake is tasty, that Christmas arrives, a kiss before falling asleep, then when we grow, we expect greater things: love or the end of the war. I’ve always made comics and humorous books, but recently I felt the need to write a book about the meaning of life. That’s how “I can’t wait…” was born. The book tells the things that happen in life with short sentences, but mostly with simple and tender images, created by Serge Bloch. Life is full of events happy or sad, the same goes for “I can’t wait…”: love, marriage, but also sickness and death. Although full of emotion, you can’t consider it a sad book. Maybe it’s my best book to date (…) Davide Cali
THE GIVING TREE
This is the best known book of north-american writer and illustrator Shel Silverstein. The classic, written in 1964, moved generations with the story of a boy and a tree. With few words, Silverstein talks about the relationship between man and nature, where a tree offers everything to a boy, that leaves her aside to grow into a selfish man. But to please the boy that she loves, the tree’s generosity has no end – even if it means its own destruction. In the foreground, a lesson in environmental awareness: the little man, petty, facing the generosity and strength of nature. However, the dynamic we watch between boy and tree also speaks of the passage of time and the values that are reassessed with it. The tree teaches, through affection, a relationship of sincere and selfless exchange – the same that men seem to forget with the demands of adulthood. Beth Amos