25 de April de 2023

Art and culture

Inside the story: 5 children’s books to encourage reading

Children’s books are the gateway to the universe of reading. It is through them that children discover the pleasure of leafing through a book and create a healthy habit that will accompany them throughout their lives. Thus, encouraging a child to read is essential for their intellectual and human development.

 In addition, on April 18, we celebrate National Children’s Book Day. The date was chosen in honor of the birth of Monteiro Lobato, our greatest writer, in 1882.

To celebrate the date and encourage reading in childhood, we have prepared this article, with 5 Brazilian children’s books that will awaken the desire to read in any child.

Children’s books: from classics to novelties

 To make our list of children’s books, we seek to balance great classics with recent highlights from national literature. In this way, we manage to have options for all tastes.



Our first suggestion is quite recent. “Gildo” (Cia da Letras) was released in 2010 and was written and illustrated by Silvana Rando. But it can already be considered the best-known elephant in Brazilian children’s literature, with several other titles already released. 

The story deals with childhood fears and discoveries. Gildo is a very brave elephant, he is not afraid of roller coasters, planes, or horror movies, but he is terrified of… birthday parties!  

To find out why, just read on!

O menino maluquinho 

This one cannot be left out of any list! Written and illustrated by Ziraldo Alves Pinto, “O Menino Maluquinho” (Improvement Edition) was released in 1980 and became an instant classic. It was so successful that it was continued, turned into a movie, series, comic book, cartoon and has been enchanting generations of Brazilians. 

The story is about a messy boy, who had little monkeys in the attic and had fun making trouble. He was the joy of the house, leading the group of friends and inventing jokes. Everyone knew him as “O Menino Maluquinho” (In free translation, The Crazy Little Boy), but only later did they discover that he was very loved and, for that very reason, very happy. 

Mandatory reading for children of all ages.


O menino que vendia palavras 

Next on our list is a negotiator. “O Menino Que Vendia Palavras”  In free translation, The Boy Who Sell Words), (Cia das Letrinhas) was written by Ignácio de Loyola Brandão and illustrated by Mariana Newlands. Jabuti, from 2008.

Based on the author’s story, the book tells the life of a boy who learns from his father to love books and words. So he starts negotiating with his friends about their meaning. Want to learn new words? He always has a new word. 

Now, the boy’s lessons and learnings, you’ll only find out if you read the book…

Deu Zebra no ABC 

This is our suggestion to delight those who are starting to read. Launched in 2017, “Deu Zebra no ABC” (It’s Zebra on ABC in free translation), (Editora Pulo do Gato) was written and illustrated by the artist Fernando Vilela. 

The book features an “animal dictionary”, with an animal representing each letter. But they interact in different and unusual ways, ensuring the fun and interest of young readers. In addition, on each page there is a small piece of the next animal, making a guessing game. 

And in the end, there is an unexpected outcome. But you will only find out if you read it…


A Bonequinha Preta 

Last but not least, we have one of the greatest classics of Brazilian children’s literature. Written by Alaíde Lisboa de Oliveira, “A Bonequinha Preta” (The Little Black Doll in free translation)  (various publishers) was released in 1938. It quickly became a huge success.

The story is about Mariazinha and her little doll, who talks and walks. They are very friendly, but one day the girl goes out with her mother and leaves the doll alone at home. Even giving her lots of advice to behave, the little doll hears a noise and goes to the window.…

Want to know what happens? Then you will have to read!

Ramacrisna and children’s books 

The Ramacrisna Institute supports and encourages children’s and youth literature.

For this reason, it maintains the Professor Arlindo Corrêa da Silva Library at its headquarters. It is named after the founder of Ramacrisna and has over 9,000 volumes.

The library occupies an area of 194 m² and serves Ramacrisna students and staff, as well as the entire community. But it is not restricted to that space. It also has several itinerant projects to encourage reading.

Support our projects 

Help the Ramacrisna Institute to maintain and expand its projects.

Through partnerships, sponsorships and own businesses, we already serve more than 2 million people in 11 cities in the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte.

The institute has been operating for over 64 years, promoting education, culture and professional qualification for socially vulnerable populations. 

And you can help us build a more just and egalitarian future. There are several ways to contribute, such as donations, income tax allocation, sponsorship, among others.


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