Gianni Rodari: themed collections


Published on Feb 10, 2020


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Gianni Rodari was a prolific writer, poet of the occasion, the narrator, trainer, educator... the bulk of his works scattered often in periodical publications, collected editions and historical, but also left in the form of notes and drafts among his papers is immense. Often the editions edited by the author gathered texts written in a given period of time or similar for the genre (prose or poetry), but then they were born of the anthologies cross-cutting issues that have investigated the poles of meaning recurrent in the works rodariane (Christmas, alphabet, Italy, seasons...). These collections combine various texts that revolve around important topics and offer a cross-section transverse to the interests of the author that, in different and various occasions he returned on the same topics.

Two of these anthologies, I liked particularly: Gianni Rodari throughout the year, organizing all of the nursery rhymes and the stories related to the seasons and the changing of the time in a melange of texts that can accompany the children throughout the year and that the fishing between weather events, parties and occasions with freshness and joy. There are lyrics (different) dedicated to all the months, which are short stories set in vacation and long stories set in the crib, there are so many “why” born under the scorching sun or in front of an eclipse and incredible stories of the magic of daily and family life.

The volume is varied and the images of Antonella Abbatiello, cut out and drawn on colored cards, liven up with plenty of harmony, a collection of eccentric capable of giving a surprise at every page!

"March mad, and cuorcontento

you wake up one morning full of wind:

the first swallow arrives tonight

with the espresso from the spring"

"One morning, at the North Pole, the polar bear fiutò in the air, an unusual smell and did notice the big dipper (the child was his daughter): – That it arrived with some shipping? Were the teddy bears to find the purple. It was a small violet and trembled with cold, but he continued to scent the air, because that was his duty...."

I imagine this book, read in the evening, the day-to-day, enjoying a different text and watching with wonder what these rhymes and the folds of these texts show: a look curious and tentative character, an irrepressible desire to tell the hidden stories behind the little events that make the unfolding of time annual.

Look at the mist: Rodari has written us a poem! Think of new year's Eve: Rodari imagined a train of twelve wagons loaded with...Alice Cascherina is falling into the sea, and its history is also collected here! And the festival of the first of June? There is an ode to this day and to all the children! And who is the one who causes rain to fall continuously into the sparkling days of spring? The little man of the rain, of course!

Another collection, perhaps the most original, is a Journey in Italy, yes, because you need to know that Rodari dedicated to stories and nursery rhymes to many of the cities along the boot of italy: from the Macerated lake Garda (or, better, the needle Garda!), from Ostia to the Vesuvius, from Como to Voghera... in Addition to classic stages such as Pisa, Rome and Milan, the words of Rodari touch with irony in so many places, perhaps less famous, but no less special. Do not expect a tourist guide to the city with ease and spirit are often referred to simply play with sounds and words:

"A melon

she went to Frosinone.

He met a pear

that was going to Voghera.

You said good morning?

No, because it was evening.

In any case the one who offers us this anthology is really a fun trip among the many Italian cities. There are the three brothers of Barletta that are a road of chocolate and Francis Joseph, which is taken away by the Bora in Trieste, Milan – you made the case? – looks like a panettone ("a little dark outside, so good on the inside: /, and revolutions all around the Cathedral / that is in the center") and the gondolas of Venice can sit in bed with a cold! The illustrations are warm and beautiful Elenia Beretta are perfect.

This trip is a hymn to the diversity and beauty of a Country which is difficult to find in modern books, but which enchants and entertains with spontaneity: a geography of smiles and laughter to discover!

"Who knows, who knows if the moon in Milan

it is the same that there is in Bolzano

and to Santa Marinella

or is it only... his sister?

And the sun of Turin

is the same as Beijing,

or is it a sun... cousin?

We are all on the same Earth,

sailors of the same ship:

why make war

instead of spinning

forward always with the sails to the wind?"

The texts are of course ideal for the first reading and the shared reading by 3 years.

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