Jo comes from a family of artists and musicians. As a child, she used to love writing stories as well as drawing and painting the animals she found in her books on the natural world. Actually, these are still her favourite things to do.
She developed her love of children’s books when she became a mum, but it was not until they grew older that she could pursue this passion professionally.
If she could, today she would hug her three older children, who live away from her.
Nani is a kidult who had a very happy and loud childhood back in São Paulo, surrounded by her huge family. She has lived in many different places, which accounts for an even more extended family - of friends - all across the globe.
Before working as an illustrator she was already collecting picture books. This made it more special to have the chance to create one. “A Discórdia” is the result of her path across so many countries struck by political divisions - a beautiful visual narrative of how different opinions can be shaped to unite us, instead of divide us.
If she could, she'd love to have some very looong arms to hug her whole family back in Brazil all at once!
Nic e Inês
In the beginning of their journey they fell in love with the Artist’s Book and unconventional shapes, such as the accordion book, carousel, flip-book, infinity, Eastern countries’ bindings and many others. These unusual and beautiful shapes can be a way to encourage new readers to approach learn to love reading and the world of books.
Through this love of paper and reading they realised that illustrated albums and children's books are also in a way Artist’s Books and authentic masterpieces that are easily accessible and very democratic because they reach more people. That’s how they ended up creating their own illustrated and children's books.
If they could, today they would hug Aida - their soon to be born baby daughter.
Vera has been passionate about children’s literature ever since she was a child, a time when she dreamed about being able to read. Just like her, Henrique, a lively and affectionate boy, loves books of all kinds. His baby sister Eva follows his lead and already enjoys being read to.
As what happened with her, Vera would like books to represent an open door to knowledge, freedom, imagination and creation in her children’s lives.
If she could, today Vera would undoubtedly hug her brother, whom she misses dearly.
Ana Rita Fernandes
She is the warm face at Baobá Bookshop, the bookseller who will match you to the perfect book for your need.
When asked to pinpoint a title that goes unnoticed at the bookshop, she doesn’t hesitate to mention “Ké Iz Tuk?”.
If she could, today she would hug anyone in need for one.
Books are an intrinsic part of her childhood memories and have been with her since she can remember. She would like them to turn her children into people who think, question, evolve, want to go further, want to do better.
Mafalda is lucky enough to be able to hug her husband and children every day so, if she could, today she would hug her parents, brother and grandmothers tightly.
Susana is 39 years old, a screenwriter and a functional introvert - she seems a bit loudmouthed, but the truth is that she really cherishes her little corner. João is 3 years old, he's shy, curious and the president of the traffic light fan club, the thing he loves the most in the world.
She remembers always having been surrounded by books and this is also how she builds João's environment. Most of the books João now explores were, in fact, hers. Not only from her childhood, but also ones she bought as an adult. She has always bought children's literature, since she enjoys a good book, whatever it may be.
From books, she would like João to gain a comprehensive view of the world and the tools needed for him to imagine the world like he would like it to be.
If she didn’t have to continue following the precautions imposed by the pandemic, today Susana would hug her parents.
Joana is the paediatrician we’ve all dreamed about for our family, though haven’t always been able to find.
She’s an avid reader who grew up among books, where she took refuge not from the world, but in order to get to know more about it. Now, she uses them as tools in Sebastião and Baltazar’s growth process. They are, in fact, one of the ways to fulfill the great mission of making them free, righteous and worthy human beings.
If she could, today - and always - Joana would hug her mother.
Matthew Forsythe honoured us with the delightful story of Pokko and her drum. In a way, his stories are a little bit about himself.
It was probably his time working with children in Korea, and the close proximity with the beauty of Korean picture books, that led him to venture into his own creations. His ultimate goal is to enjoy what he does, in the hope that it will make others feel the same.
If he could, today Matt would hug any willing dog. Preferably a basset hound.
Maria da Fé Peres
The Gruffalo, a story that can almost be hummed through its wavy rhyme, is a success with children from a certain age.
A closer look will reveal that the Portuguese version’s fluency is due to an exceptional translation by Maria da Fé Peres. Here, she followed her main motto: guiding the whole process without betraying neither the author nor the one who reads him through her translation.
To do this, a mouse changed from the colour brown to hazel and all the offerings he receives now include a specific snack. These are the changes that assure a rhyme which leads little ones to memorize the verses originally written by Julia Donaldson.
She has a pure and unforgettable friendship with books. It started as naturally as taking one’s first steps, enjoying playtime or eating treats.
If she could, today Maria would hug her best friend.