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Italian author Gianni Rodari wrote many beloved children's books and was awarded the prestigious Andersen Prize. But he was also an educator of paramount importance in Italy and an activist who understood the liberating power of the imagination. He is one of the twentieth century’s greatest authors for children, and Italy's greatest. Influenced by French surrealism and linguistics, Rodari stressed the importance of poetic language, metaphor, made-up language, and play. At a time when schooling was all about factual knowledge, Rodari wrote The Grammar of Fantasy, a radically imaginative book about storytelling and play. He was a forerunner of writing techniques such as the "fantastic binomial" and the utopian, world engendering "what if...." The relevance of Rodari’s works today lies in his poetics of imagination, his humanist yet challenging approach to reality, and his themes, such as war and peace, immigration, injustice, inequality, and liberty. Forty years after his death, Rodari’s writing is as powerful and innovative as ever. He died in Rome in 1980.
Beatrice Alemagna has written and illustrated dozens of children’s books, which have received numerous awards all over the world and have been translated into 14 languages. The author-illustrator of three New York Times Best Illustrated books, she has also been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award seven times and shortlisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award twice. Enchanted Lion has published four of her picture books: The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy (Batchelder Award winner); Child of Glass (a NYT Best Illustrated Book); Telling Stories Wrong (a NYT Best Illustrated Book); and You Can't Kill Snow White, a picture book for teens and adults, published under Enchanted Lion's Unruly imprint. Born in Bologna, Italy, Alemagna lives and works in Paris, France.
Antony Shugaar is a writer and translator, working out of Italian and French. He once interviewed the creator of Topo Gigio.
Texte du rabat
Written by Gianni Rodari, the father of modern Italian children's literature, and charmingly illustrated by award-winning artist Beatrice Alemagna, this bright, sweet story reminds us what children are really like in the most essential and beautiful way! Little Giovanni is always daydreaming, always paying attention to the small miracles that lead him to lose track of the big picture. So even though he’s promised his mama to keep his eyes open on his walk, he can’t help but get distracted. Cheerful, carefree, and curious, Giovanni literally loses himself as he discovers the wide, wonderful world around him. Here, Rodari highlights the gorgeous way children give themselves over to their attention to the world by having Giovanni lose parts of himself as he walks along. Should his mama worry? No! Because: “That’s just the way children are.”Following her New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Telling Stories Wrong, Beatrice Alemagna returns to illustrate another of Gianni Rodari’s delightful stories from Telephone Tales. With a Batchelder Award winning translation by Antony Shugaar, this classic story from one of Italy’s most beloved and important authors of children’s literature asserts the power of flights of fancy and the value of childlike wonder.