Saturday, June 28, 2014

Planting a seed for Brazilian-New Zealand relations

We were privileged to host Brazilian children’s book author Diego Albuquerque for a week-long author tour last week. 

Diego was visiting from his home in Rio de Janeiro to promote Snowy the Doganaut, the English edition of his classic picture book Branquinho, O Dognauta (illustrated by Felipe Vellozo, translated by Peter Dowling). Libro International has world English rights to the book, and it is now available at good bookstores for $19.99 (32 pages, full colour - with a few signed copies on the market now!).

Diego Albuquerque appeared at this year's Festa Junina event at the Centre Court cafe in Albany, reading to an enthusiastic audience of bilingual kids and parents.
Diego began his visit with a pōwhiri and talk at Thames South School, and went on to appear at an official launch at the Embassy of Brazil in Wellington, seminars at Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Auckland, a signing session at the Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop, readings at schools and an early childhood centre, and a special appearance at Brasileirinho’s Festa Junina festival in Albany.

At a cultural level this week was important - it’s apparently the first time a Brazilian author has been promoted by a New Zealand publisher. The visit was made possible by funding from Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, and helped by the Brazilian publisher, Gryphus Editora. Sincere thanks also to the Embassy of Brazil in Wellington, particularly Ambassador Eduardo Gradilone and Cultural Sector Adviser Karina Shaw, for their outstanding support.

At Victoria University: from left, Marco Sonzogni, Director, New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation; Peter Dowling, Publisher, Libro International; Diego Albuquerque; H.E. Eduardo Gradilone, Ambassador of Brazil.
Marco Sonzogni of Victoria University’s New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation aptly described Snowy as the planting of a seed for future links between South America and New Zealand. With small audiences for some events and difficulty getting the book into mainstream bookstores, it certainly felt like breaking ground for Diego and me during our tour.

But this is a seed we certainly hope to nurture with translations of more Latin American authors into English and promotion of New Zealand authors into Spanish and Portuguese. The enthusiasm of young readers especially provided the inspiration to do more.

Obrigado Diego – it was an amazing time with you in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Peter Dowling, Publisher

Reading Snowy the Doganaut at ABC Learning Centre in Auckland.
Jeremy Rose, Radio New Zealand National reporter, interviewing Diego for the Sunday programme, 
click here to listen to the interview.
Diego visited several schools in New Zealand. Here he is pictured in front of Thames South School where he was received with a traditional Maori welcome from the children (below)
A young reader devours the Portuguese edition at the Festa Junina in Albany, Auckland.
Diego at The Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop, where he appeared for a book signing on Sunday 22 June

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kiwi publisher brings Brazilian children’s classic to New Zealand

Rio de Janeiro author Diego Albuquerque lands in New Zealand on Monday 16 June to promote the English translation of his classic book Branquinho, O Dognauta by Auckland publisher Peter Dowling

Diego Albuquerque
As the World Cup focuses attention on Brazil, Auckland-based Libro International is celebrating the vibrant culture and writing of the great South American nation.

Published today, Snowy the Doganaut is the first English edition of a classic children’s book, written as a boy by Rio de Janeiro author Diego Albuquerque.

Peter Dowling    
Peter Dowling, who learned Portuguese in northeastern Brazil in 1990,translated the work after signing English rights from Rio-based publisher Gisela Zincone at last year’s Frankfurt Book Fair.
“New Zealanders and Brazilians share a sense of tolerance and openness,” he said. “Diego’s hilarious book shows young readers about accepting difference in others through the story of a strange dog from Pluto who comes to Rio in a UFO.                                                                                                            
“This bestselling book can showcase a little of Brazil’s rich culture, beyond the fabulous soccer and samba that will be on our TV screens for the next month."                                                                                                                                                              
Diego Albuquerque will be appearing at public events and in schools in Auckland, Wellington and the Waikato during his one-week visit.                                                        

Snowy the Doganaut will be officially launched at the Embassy of Brazil in Wellington on 19 June.

Snowy the Doganaut Diego Albuquerque Illustrated by Felipe Vellozo Translated by Peter Dowling
ISBN: 978-1-877514-62-3  |  32 pages, colour  |  RRP $19.99

To arrange any media coverage in English or Portuguese, contact:
Peter Dowling - 027 614 8993
Libro International, a division of Oratia Media   |

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