English / Australia
Steve goes to carnival
Wells, Robyn (text/illus.)
Broome, W.A.: Magabala Books, 2016. –  p.
Rio de Janeiro | Carnival | Music | Friendship | Picture book
White Ravens issue: 2016
Reading age: 5+
This engaging picture book is the result of a close collaboration between Joshua Button and Robyn Wells. Joshua, a young artist descended from the Walmajarri people of the Kimberley region in Western Australia, used his fascination with Brazil and with gorillas as an inspiration for a witty story. Steve the gorilla and Antonio the zookeeper are best friends who both love music – especially jazz. One lonely night, Steve slips out of his cage, dons a yellow hat as a disguise, and sets off through the streets of Rio de Janeiro in search of his friend. Mesmerized by the vibrant street life and jubilant noises of his home city during carnival time, he starts dancing and twirling. The joyful mixed-media illustrations in expressionist style enriched with various textures and bold black outlines result in a “blend of artwork” that makes the city of Rio and its inhabitants from different cultural backgrounds come alive for the readers.