Meet one of the most iconic characters in Brazilian children’s literature

22/09/2020

O Menino Maluquinho (The Nutty Boy) is one of the most famous characters created by Ziraldo Alves Pinto, an important Brazilian writer and comic book artist. The title was published for the first time in 1980 and soon it became a classic of the Brazilian children’s literature. This year it’s the 40th anniversary of the first edition of the book, and the story continues captivating generations of readers in Brazil and abroad. 

The book introduced to readers a joyful boy with a vivid imagination who, like all children, loves having adventures with his friends. His is always wearing a pan on his head like a hat. Over its 40 years of existence, O Menino Maluquinho had more than 4 million copies sold, got 129 editions published and arrived on the shelves of bookshops and libraries from at least 10 countries. 

Readers can easily relate to the boy with peculiar ideas because he is an ordinary kid. In Brazil, in 1989, the story became a comic book series first, then a movie, an animated TV show and a TV series. The book was also adapted for the stage and inspired videogames and internet contents.

About the author

Ziraldo Alves Pinto was born in October 24th, 1932, in the city of Caratinga, countryside of Minas Gerais. He started his career in the 1950s in newspapers and magazines. He is a painter, poster designer, journalist, playwright, cartoonist, caricaturist and writer.

In 1969, Ziraldo had his first children’s book published, FLICTS, which captivated fans all over the world. From 1979 onwards, he focused on creating books for children, and in 1980 “O Menino Maluquinho”, one of the biggest hits in the Brazilian publishing market of all times, was released. 

With such title, Ziraldo signed with publishing house Melhoramentos, a member of Brazilian Publishers — an industry project fostering the exports of Brazilian editorial content by means of a partnership between the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). 

Melhoramentos has been publishing Ziraldo’s books for 40 years and has launched over 200 titles, which, together, totalize over 6 million copies. Ziraldo’s books were translated into several languages, including English, Spanish, Germany, French, Italian and Basque