The Hans Christian Andersen Award

2000 - Ana Maria Machado

Born: 24 December 1941, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Author's quote: "Through the poetic and symbolic use of language, you could make the ideas of a joie de vivre, individual freedom and respect for human rights known. "

Field: Children's Literature

Prize share: 1/1


Books Written By Ana Maria Machado


About Ana Maria Machado

Ana Maria Machado (born 24 December 1941) is a Brazilian writer of children's books, one of the most significant alongside Lygia Bojunga Nunes and Ruth Rocha. She received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2000 for her "lasting contribution to children's literature".

In 1969, Ana Maria Machado started to write. "I belong to that generation of writers who began to write during the military dictatorship, as children’s literature, alongside poetry and song texts, were amongst the few literary forms with which, through the poetic and symbolic use of language, you could make the ideas of a joie de vivre, individual freedom and respect for human rights known." Her story 'Menina Bonita do laço de fita' (1986) about a white and a black rabbit who marry and have a whole hoard of black, white and black and white patterned children, is a charming book about the living together of diverse ethnic groups. In 'Era uma vez um tirano' (1982) three children defy a tyrant who has forbidden colour, thoughts and any happiness. Without pointing fingers, Ana Maria Machado always dresses up her messages in humorous stories and trusts the ability of her young readers to also read between the lines.

Similar to many Brazilian children’s book authors of her generation, Ana Maria Machado stands in the tradition of the first great children’s book author, Jose Bento Monteiro Lobato (1882–1948). Her writing is marked, in the style of "magical realism", by a subtle mix of social satire and fantastic elements as well as a conscious and playful use of language and narrative structures. In 'História meio ao contrario' (1978), Ana Maria Machado turns the classic narrative structure of the fairy tale on its head and lets her story begin with: "And if they didn’t die, then they are still alive today" and end with "once upon a time".

In 'Bisa Bia, Bisa Bel' (1982), one of her central works, Isabell’s internal dialogue with her dead great-grandmother, Bisa Bia, and her own great-grandchild from the future, Bisa Bel, becomes a magical journey to the invisible connections between the generations, which finally allow Isabell to find her own way. For the author, fantasy also means to expand the sense for space and time and to allow reality and fantasy to mix with each other.


Reviews

Nina Bonita (Children's Books from Around the World) - Ana Maria Machado

By S. Huber

A very sweet story.. beautifully illustrated! As a bilingual mom of a 5 month-old baby, I enjoyed reading this book. Although the title suggest a book in Spanish, it's actually beautifully written in English.

 

Nina Bonita (Children's Books from Around the World) - Ana Maria Machado

By Victoria G. Tullman

I loved this book! We're a bilingual family and when we first read this story in Spanish, my children and I laughed and squealed with delight. The language is uniquely latin, and the author uses the words pu-pu for poop, and pipi for pee which made us really laugh. But the sweetness of the story is really how the little white bunny fell in love with the little black girls' striking beauty, and determined that if he himself could not look like her, then he would seek to marry a black and beautiful rabbit, and perhaps have children who were beautiful and dark.