This month, there have been several events in Brazil to launch the Portuguese version of ABAYOMI, THE BRAZILIAN PUMA: The True Story of an Orphaned Cub.
Here’s the report from Kitty Harvill, the illustrator, who is a half-time resident of Brazil:
The launching of ABAYOMI, um Encontro Feliz in Campinas, in the São Paulo state (Campinas – SP), Brazil and its environs was a great success. Beginning with a program in Vinhedo-SP, sponsored by the mayor’s office, with more than 400 teachers in attendance and including a slideshow presentation and reading of the book.
The following day we held an art workshop at the Casa da Criança Paraítica de Campinas, a school for handicapped children. I began with a large canvas and quickly painted an outline of ABAYOMI, inviting the children to create a “Floresta Feliz” or happy forest for him. There was much excitement in the crowd, both with the activity of painting and with the story of ABAYOMI, having been read by the Communications Director of FMC, our sponsor of the book here in Brazil as a project of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture.
We held our second workshop on Wednesday, with equally wonderful results, involving all the students at the private school, Escola Ativa. Many thanks to all who helped in the organization of these events, but most especially to my husband, Christoph Hrdina, who is not only the administrator of the project through the Ministry, but more than an assistant in our workshops, involving the children and serving as occasional translator for me, when my Portuguese wasn’t quite up to the task. Darcy and I have collaborated on a project that is not only timely but critical to the environmental issues that are pressing on these urban areas at this time on our planet.
A special thanks to Márcia Rodrigues, Ph.D. and Sergio Ferreira, the puma scientists who are responsible for taking care of Abayomi and bringing his story to their community.
Watch Kids Paint a Puma
This is what children’s books can do: bring together a community around kids.
If you can’t see this video, click here.
Photos from the Brazilian Launch of Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma
Click on the photo to see if full size.