The Arab book Princess in a Box presents Brazilian culture for children
The Arab writer Fatimah Sharafeddine and the illustrator Maya Fidawi have released the book “Princess in a Box”, a Brazilian story that is part of the series of tales “Dunya Al Hakaya” (A World of Stories). The series brings diverse narratives with cultural references from around the world to portray the values, traditions, and stories of other peoples to children.
In order to produce the work, Maya researched extensively about the Brazilian Indians. “I was very afraid of transmitting a wrong information to an entire generation, so I did a lot of research on Brazilian culture to work on this book. As a Lebanese woman who has never been on the other side of the planet, I never had any idea about what the Brazilian Indians are like, their stories and their lifestyles. So I read a lot and watched various documentaries to identify small details such as the skin color, hair, nature, types of plants, flowers and trees around them, among other characteristics”, she said.
Fatimah explains that the Arab readers received the story with a lot of curiosity about Brazil. “For being a popular tale, the story already provokes interest. The Arab readers are very curious and have doubts about Brazil and the rainforests. I did an expansive research on oral traditions of Brazilian culture, traditional ways of life of people, clothing, means of transport, food, among others. Besides, I also read dozens of folktales to understand the common foundations of these traditions”, says the author.
“Princess in a Box” is the fourth narrative of the series and tells the story of Nixiwaka, the son of the chief of a tribe in the Amazon, who seeks medicines for his father who is sick in the forest. During the search, Nixiwaka gets lost and ends up in the hands of an evil giant that imprisons him in a box, where the character meets a princess that can save his life.
“I personally worked on this tale with a lot of passion. As an editor, author, designer and illustrator, we all wanted this book to be spectacular and we did our best to achieve this result “, says the illustrator Maya Fidawi. “It will be a pleasure to find my book in Portuguese in the hands of readers in Brazil. I hope this will lead to discussion and awareness of the tribal paths in the Amazon forest”, Fatimah completed.
Recently, Maya Fidawi participated in the 25th São Paulo Book Fair, the largest literary fair in Brazil where she illustrated, during the event, along with the Brazilian illustrator Rosinha Queiroz Bezerra,. Know more about the event here.