Written By: Otávio Júnior
Illustrated by: Vanina Starkoff
For Ages: 4 years and up
Topics Covered: Favelas, Brazil, Own Voices, BIPOC Protagonists, Neighbors, Growing Up, Friendship.
In this bright and colorful Own Voices book, the narrator talks about all of the different things he can see outside of the window in his favela. I love the illustrations and the way they’re absolutely jam-packed with details and other people living their own colorful lives. From his window, the narrator can see many other people enjoying their lives and having fun. Everywhere the reader looks on the page, we see bright details and other favela dwellers riding bikes, walking to school, or playing games.
After the story are details about Brazilian favela funk, and what a favela is. A favela is a district that is completely self-governed, and the one shown in the book is based on where the author grew up in Rio de Janeiro! Every time I read this story, I noticed new details on each page. I really like that the author brought his own lived experiences to life within this book, and he started the first permanent library in his own favela Complexo do Alemão! This is a great story, and I think readers will be engaged with the illustrations and diverse residents within the world that Otávio Júnior grew up in.
This book was sent to us by Publisher Spotlight, but published by Barefoot Books. All opinions are my own!
Otávio Júnior is a writer, an actor, a storyteller and a theatre producer from Rio de Janeiro.
He was the founder and executive coordinator of the project Ler é 10-Leia Favela, which included the opening of libraries in the favela Complexo do Alemão. Otávio Júnior worksin the children’s cultural area since 1998. He now develops programs and activities to promote reading among the youngest people of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro. In 2011 he published his first book.
Vanina Starkoff was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a graphic design graduate, but she discovered that her true passion lies in the beautiful world of images and children’s books. She has immersed herself in that world ever since and, in love with the colors and landscapes she has always painted, she followed her heart to Brazil where she has lived since 2014. Vanina Starkoff is a graphic designer, illustrator and children’s book author with eleven books to her credit. She lives in Buzios, Brazil, and runs workshops teaching art to indigenous children.