Monteiro Lobato : biography

April 18, 1882 - July 4, 1948

Many of these books are educational, teaching things through the mouth of Mrs. Benta and by smart questions and remarks, by her small and attentive audience. They addressed subjects which children normally do not like at school, such as mathematics, grammar, national and world history, geography, astronomy, Greek mythology, and so on. In other books, the author, who was a skeptic, a rationalist, an internationalist and had anti-war positions (but at the same time being strongly patriotic and conservative), passes his views on the world, humanity and politics to his children readers. In other books, he tells in an easy to understand way the classics of literature, such as Aesop's fables, Don Quixote and Peter Pan.

He created a rich crossover using elements from many sources, literature, movies, mythology and cartoons. He was widely imaginative, such as in his books A Chave do Tamanho ("The Sizing Switch") and A Reforma da Natureza ("Reforming Nature"), where he speculated on the consequences of all humans suddenly decreasing in size, and on what would happen if Emilia and Viscount would get hold of a scientific method to change the genes of animals and plants for rational or irrational purposes, with catastrophic results.

Monteiro Lobato's books were turned into widely popular TV programs. Including five series of Sítio do Picapau Amarelo adventures, one in 1952 on TV Tupi, another in 1964 on TV Cultura, and in 1967 on Rede Bandeirantes, another on Rede Globo in 1977, and the last version in 2001 also on Rede Globo. The last is known in other countries under the title "Pirlimpimpim". In 2012 "Rede Globo" and Brazilian producer "Mixer" will produce an animated series inspired by Lobato's children's books.

Lobato was also an influential journalist and publisher and wrote regularly for several newspapers and magazines, and was a noted and respected art critic. In fact, he provoked a public controversy when he harshly criticized the writers, poets, painters and musicians, who, in 1922 promoted a Modern Art Week (Semana da Arte Moderna), which was also a watershed event in Brazilian culture in the 20th century. In 1919, he acquired the Revista do Brasil, one of the first Brazilian cultural magazines, and founded, in 1920, his own publishing house. Later, he helped to found and was a partner in two of the most important independent Brazilian publishing houses, the Companhia Nacional and the Editora Brasiliense.

Politically, Lobato was strongly in favor of a state monopoly for iron and oil exploration in Brazil and battled publicly for it between 1931 and 1939. For his libertarian views, he was arrested by the then dictatorial government of Getúlio Dornelles Vargas in 1941. This movement, called O Petróleo é Nosso (Oil Belongs to Us) was highly successful, and the same Getúlio Vargas, after being democratically elected president, created Petrobras in 1952.

Monteiro Lobato died in São Paulo in 1948.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine