10/01/2001 – Infância – Sao Paulo – Magazine – Nereide Schilaro Santa Rosa
The Storyteller (Click to see the original article)
Curious and charismatic, Monteiro Lobato, was a spirit child who found his high vocation in writing.
Nereide Schilaro/ Illustrations: Luiz Carneiro
José Renato Monteiro Lobato was born in the city of Taubaté, in the state of Sao Paulo, on April 18, 1882.
The small Juca that was his childhood nickname – began to see the world on his father’s farm, near Taubaté. And even then, the boy said, “I’m always right that error is with others..” That was how the “big boss” as he was known in the family, used to talk.
Juca discovered early on the power, especially the writing. After all, writing is believed in yourself, and Lobato believed and was immortalized. A nothing stays child who sought to know the world around him, was an adult who understood what was missing and what was left in this country. Irreverent, paid dearly – about to be arrested in 1941 – for exposing so clearly his ideas.
This irreverence accompanied him since childhood. Those who know his characters and his stories quickly recognizes his antics and discoveries. The horse’s circus landed in front of his house in Taubaté. Also the stream of clear water existed, a place where the minnows fished with the former slave of his grandfather. The gate of his farm, where he liked to go up to look at the forest of sacis and jaguars, is still there, preserved. His austere school teacher called attention when walking through the streets, with an impressive hat on his head, like the famous Corncob Viscount.
Lobato did not like lies and faced school friends with courage, which sometimes caused uncomfortable situations. Read, and much, wandering through the pages of the books of his grandfather and building your scrapbook.
These attitudes have signaled his interest in the written and spoken letters. Most of all, his irreverence and decision when, at age 10, decided to change his name from José Renato to José Bento. Simply in order to use his father’s cane that had initial none recorded JBML
The relationship between Lobato and the power was always something unusual. Once, his grandfather received the Emperor Dom Pedro II in his house, and Lobato, still small, had been warned about the “powerful and influential” visitor. On the appointed day, peering curiously the emperor’s figure. At the end of the visit, only said: “As a stately person and long beards can have a voice so sharp?”
CREATOR AND CREATURES – Years later, would say: “Writing for children, my friend, is admirable I lost time writing for grown-ups, which is something that not worth it?” Throughout his life, he understood his fight to improve our country would be perpetuated by children, so that fetched his happiest memories, preserved in his heart, to express their enchanting stories.
The Lobato’s childhood was the genesis of his intellectual production directed at children. The sensible Dona Benta, sincere Emilia, sweet Narizinho, the adventurer Pedrinho, authentic Aunt Anastasia and the wise Corncob Viscount were real characters in his life. Anacleta grandmother, Professor Quirino, the former slave Joaquina and himself which inspired Pedrinho and Emilia. All helped compose the universe Lobato, magical and enchanting. Monteiro Lobato found in children’s literature a way to help Brazil.
Teaching and encouraging children not just accept without objection the word “power”, symbolized by the uneducated adults, lazy and although never employed this corrupts term. So the characters have intellectual autonomy, are well defined and clear, do not deceive or conceal; both in children’s literature as that intended for adults.
When he died in 1948, Monteiro Lobato left a gap still open. Today the children’s literature seeks to meet the high demand. Imagine if Lobato still alive, producing new stories and adventures. Would we have a best seller, like Harry Potter? Discover, the work of Monteiro Lobato, is to understand it in his historical context. The fact knows his childhood in states postures, behaviors, language and attitudes. In fact, knowing the childhood of famous people, just understanding that, inevitably, are a result of our past.
And we should be responsible for the happy and constructive childhoods of our children to become intelligent, creative and critical adults. As Lobato, reader of our lives, writer of our souls.
Nereide Schilaro is educator and writer, author of children’s books from the collection Famous Children of Callis Publisher