The Joy of Books

Question – “what has 32,000 big smiles and makes as much noise as an aeroplane taking off”

Answer – “primary school children at the book fair in Osasco, Sao Paulo, Brazil”

Osasco Book Fare, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Thanks to my friends at Planeta Educacao, I was thrilled to be part of the launch of O Ensino à Velocidade do Pensamento – the Portuguese version of Schooling at the Speed of Thought – at the Osasco book fair recently. The day started with thousands of children descending on an open market for books. Each child was given a $BRL30 voucher (~$15USD) and, after being entertained by clowns, let loose to choose from thousands of books. The fair was organised just before the holidays, so every child in the school district had a book to read whilst on holidays.

The logistics were breath-taking – 4,000 children a day over 8 days. Coaches would pull up, then children would get into line, watch clowns perform, sing songs, then run off to see what they could find. This was followed-up with reading sessions. It was organised chaos, but wonderful evidence of the children’s strong desire to read and learn.

I stopped to find out what one boy had chosen – a book about dinosaurs. Jokingly, I offered him two copies of “O Ensino à Velocidade do Pensamento” for his dinosaur book – he politely declined my offer, and who can blame him.

The launch itself was great fun too. First a book signing session and impromptu talk with a group of teachers and the Secretary of Education for Osasco , Professora Marinalva de Oliveira

The main event included a demonstration of use of Kinect for learning at home by families…


… after that, came a short speech…


… and the event was completed with a panel discussion

From left to right – Andreia Julieta – Teaching Supervisor; Professora Marinalva de Oliveira – Secretary of Education of Osasco; Professora Maria de Lourdes Neves – Director of Education of Osasco; Elisete Baruel – Director of Education, Planeta Educação.

I’d like to sincerely thank my friends and colleagues at Planeta Educacao for making this possible – Luis Namura; Roberta Bento; Aline Tosini; Renata Martins Dias; Manoela da Costa and Elisete Baruel; and to Carmen Nigro for excellent interpretation.

Slides are here: O Ensino a Velocidade do Pensamento 

O Ensino à Velocidade do Pensamento is available from the Planeta Educacao store –