I was born in the 70s, in Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. I don't remember reading much as a child. The few memorable books from my childhood were picture books. One of my favorite ones was CHAPEUZINHO AMARELO, by Chico Buarque, illustrated by Ziraldo. It told the story of a little girl who was afraid of everything. I still love the way she loses her fear, with a smart play of words.
In 2000, after studying journalism, I moved to the United States to pursue a Master of Education. College hadn't turned me into a reader and neither did graduate school. I became a reader because of my daughter.
When she was a toddler, one of our favorite activities was going to the library. We spent hours there. We attended baby story times. We read books. We played with the toys. As I read to her, and learned new English words from board books, I developed an appreciation for books. That appreciation turned into love.
Suddenly, a whole new world opened up. Classics, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so familiar to an American child, were completely new to me. I devoured picture books. Like a child, I eventually upgraded to chapter books, middle grade, YA, and adult, but PB and MG are still my favorites.
As much as I loved the library, there was one thing that always bothered me: I never once found a book by a Brazilian author or featuring Brazilian characters. I relied on family members to send me Brazilian stories, so my daughter could see herself and the culture she came from on the pages of books.
Many years later, after working as an Academic Advisor and after having another baby, I started looking for something I could do from home. For a while, I worked as a translator, but translators work with someone else’s words and don't have much room for creativity. So, I decided to give writing for children a try...