Along the Tapajós is a wonderful children’s book that was first published in Brazil. It offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil’s beautiful Tapajós River.
I received this book free to facilitate an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.
Along the Tapajós
Written and illus. by Fernando Vilela, translated by Daniel Hahn
Oct 1, 2019
Cauã and Inaê are a brother and sister who live in a small community along the Tapajós (pronounced ta-pa-ZHOS) River in Brazil. Here, the homes are on stilts and everyone travels around by boat—even to school! When the rainy season comes, they must leave their village and relocate to higher ground for a while. But after moving this year, Cauã and Inaê realize they’ve left behind something important: their pet tortoise, Titi! Unlike turtles, tortoises can’t swim, and Cauã and Inaê are really worried. So the pair sneaks back at night on a journey along the river to rescue him. Will they be able to save Titi?
I love this book! Along the Tapajós is a book that give kids a glimpse into other cultures without being boring! Children know the difference between a book that is filled with facts and one that is fun with facts sprinkled throughout. I’ll bet you can guess which ones most kids like best. If this book had been available when I had little ones, this would have been on our shelves. And, it would have been one I would enjoy reading to them.
Along the Tapajós introduced me to a river I’d never heard of in my life! When I think of rivers in Brazil, I think of the Amazon. And, when I think about the Amazon River, I think alligators and rainforests. I don’t think about the people who live along the river or how different their lifestyle is from mine. Sure, once in awhile I’ll see something on the news that reminds me that people actually live where they don’t have it easy, but I live where I have it easier than over 90% of the world. We forget how blessed we are!
When a picture book reminds me how easy my life is compared to others’, that is a great picture book. That’s not even the point of Along the Tapajós; however, it is something we’ve got to share with our children. Having to move every few months because of flooding is not my idea of fun. Sending my kids to school on a boat down a river filled with alligators sends shivers down my spine. But, that is life for this culture! I am sure they think about how blessed they are to be able to have a school to send their children to. Okay, I’m getting off of my soap box now.
Get your copy
I highly recommend Along the Tapajós. Read it with your kids, or buy a copy for a grade school in your area. The book has extra facts about the Tapajós River which you can share with your kids if they want to know more. There is another lesson to be learned from this book as well…don’t sneak away from your parents! But it’s secondary to the lesson our kids need to learn: they are so fortunate to live where they do! Head to Amazon, and get a copy today!
“The vibrant colors in Vilela’s illustrations and the expressive faces of Cauã and Inaê bring lightheartedness to their dangerous journey and the cyclical living it prescribes. A riveting journey.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This is one of those engaging titles that offers a glimpse of a location new to most American readers. More translations like this one, please!” —Fuse #8 Production
Author and illustrator of Along the Tapajós
Fernando Vilela is an award-winning author and illustrator from Brazil. Published in Brazil under the title Tapajós, this book was inspired by one of his trips to the Amazon rainforest. He has received many awards for his books, and he has exhibited his artwork at home and abroad, including at the MoMA in New York and the Pinacoteca of the State of São Paulo. For his picture books, he has received five Jabuti awards (Brazil) and the New Horizons Honorable Mention of the Bologna Ragazzi International Award. He is also a plastics artist, and he teaches courses, lectures, and workshops on art and illustration. Learn more about him online at www.fernandovilela.com.br.
Daniel Hahn is an author, editor, and award-winning translator. His translation of The Book of Chameleons by José Eduardo Agualusa won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2007. His translation of A General Theory of Oblivion, also by José Eduardo Agualusa, won the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award. He recently served on the board of trustees of the Society of Authors. In 2017, Hahn helped establish the TA First Translation Prize, a new prize for debut literary translation. Learn more about him online at www.danielhahn.co.uk.
About the giveaway (ENDED)
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Along the Tapajós, courtesy of Amazon Crossing (U.S. addresses)
This giveaway is open to the US only to ages 18+. This giveaway is void where prohibited. By entering this giveaway, you’re agreeing to the privacy policies of this blog. Entrants need a profile picture on their social media accounts, or your entry will be void. The winner has 48 hrs. to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen.