‘We need to talk to the child’

‘We need to talk to the child’
‘We need to talk to the child’
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boy who likes to invent words, and has had more than 70 editions and 25 million copies sold, and was even adapted into a TV series last year.

For Ruth, her books have no mystery and they sell “because they are good”. Still, it gives some clues about the success of the works. “I think the secret to writing is reading, and that goes for any age. If I can give advice to anyone who wants to write, it’s to read, read and read.”

One of the biggest names in Brazilian children’s literature, Ruth turns 93 years old this Saturday, March 2, and despite her readers’ joy in being able to celebrate the date, she says she doesn’t pay much attention to her birthdays. “Look, passing 40, 50, 60… I don’t care much about it, you know? Now it’s unusual, it’s not common to reach this age and it’s good, right? Better than not arriving.” Although she is convalescing from a serious illness, which she prefers not to talk about, she says she is fine, if a little tired, and has not refused to talk to her. Kangaroo News. Last Thursday afternoon, Ruth answered the landline shortly after 5pm. As usual, she spent an hour in communication with her older sister Rilda, who reads to her every day.

“Yield, see? We have already read 56 books since the pandemic began. Do you know what I’m reading now? A color defect, by Ana Maria Gonçalves. I discovered this book a long time ago, but never read it. When Carnival came, I saw that Portela was inspired by this book for her samba-plot, I wanted to read it”, says Ruth, who in 2008 was elected member of the Academia Paulista de Letras and has already won the Jabuti Prize eight times, among so many other achievements.

Readings with her sister always take place from four to five in the afternoon, and twice a week, one of the grandchildren visits her and reads to her in person. “With him, we have just read a book by Italo Calvino, the Viscount split in half”account.

Ruth says that in the family, all five brothers are passionate about books, thanks to the encouragement they received. “My house really valued studying, school, teachers. All of this was highly valued. And there was a lot of talking. We had a dining table, and on Saturdays and Sundays when my father was at home, he would talk, talk and talk…”

READ TOO:

It is no coincidence that practicing conversation is one of the main tips the writer gives to parents. When asked how to encourage the habit of reading in children, she responds: “That’s long, see? I think the child needs to like the language, and we need to talk to the child and answer their questions. We need to sing to her, recite and tell stories. The child needs to develop a friendship with the language. You need to learn to read well, be literate, listen well, see well, see well. There needs to be peace, in a noisy house, children don’t like reading. You need to have books, look for them in the library, borrow them, you don’t need to buy them, you need to have access to books, otherwise the child doesn’t like reading.”

And there’s more, she says: “Children love to imitate adults. When she plays doctor, aviator, detective, she is playing at being an adult. So if she sees her parents reading, that’s a powerful example.”

For Ruth, children today are treated better and have more of a voice than those in the past, when it was said that “children are to be seen, not to be heard”. At the same time, she believes that the child, whatever the season, is the same, his physical, physiological, neurological characteristics are similar. And she gives as an example the sales success of the book “Marcelo, Marmelo Martelo”, which for her indicates that children and their interests remain the same over decades.

The main thing, according to the author, is that there is hope.

“Children cannot go without hope. This is what takes us forward, is the certainty that we will be happy.”

At the moment, Ruth says she has no new projects in progress. The collection Recontos Bonitinhos, from publisher Global, was launched this year, in which she retells classic tales such as Little Red Riding Hood in verse and poetry. It is the first in the series that will also feature Goldilocks, The Hare and the Tortoise, Little Thumb and The King’s New Clothes. Last year, she launched The Great Book of Monkeys, produced in co-authorship with her daughter Mariana Rocha, from the publisher Modern. There are those who say that it could be one of her last works. But she prefers not to give up: “At the moment I’m not writing anything, but I never know, will a good idea suddenly come up and a book will come out?” I hope so, we’re in the crowd!

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