Fifteen audio stories from Telephone Tales, first appeared in Italian in 1962 and now published in English by Enchanted Lion Books, translated by Antony Shugaar.
A project by the Italian Cultural Institute in London, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Gianni Rodari’s birth.
Every night, at nine o’clock, wherever he is, Mr. Bianchi, an accountant who often travels for work, calls his daughter and tells her a bedtime story. Set in the 20th century era of pay phones, each story has to be told in the time that a single coin will buy. One night, it’s the story of a carousel so beloved by children that an old man, curious to find out why, sneaks in, and as he sails above the world, he understands. The next night, it’s a land filled with butter men, roads paved with chocolate, or a young shrimp who has the courage to defy expectations and do things differently.
Awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1970, Gianni Rodari is widely considered to be Italy’s most important children’s author of the 20th century. Rodari was born in 1920 in Omegna, a small town on Lake Orta in northern Italy. During World War II he participated in the Italian resistance movement. In 1948, as a journalist for the newspaper L’Unità, he began writing books for children. In 1973 he published Grammatica della fantasia. Introduzione all’arte di inventare storie [Grammar of Fantasy. An Introduction to the Art of Inventing Stories], in which he reflects on the use of imagination, fairy tales, folk tales, children’s stories, cognitive development, and compassionate education in creative writing.
The first Italian edition of Telephone Tales, published by Einaudi in 1962, featured illustrations by renowned designer, artist and illustrator Bruno Munari.
Telephone Tales by Gianni Rodari is published by Enchanted Lion Books, translated by Antony Shugaar. For the English texts: Used with kind permission of Enchanted Lion Books, with thanks to Antony Shugaar for his wonderful English translations.
Original edition in the Italian language: Favole al telefono by Gianni Rodari, published by Einaudi Ragazzi. © The Estate of Gianni Rodari. Published in agreement with Piergiorgio Nicolazzini Literary Agency (PNLA)
For the illustration by Bruno Munari: © 1962 Bruno Munari. All rights reserved to Maurizio Corraini s.r.l.
The Italian Cultural Institute in London would like to thank the Estate of Gianni Rodari, the Piergiorgio Nicolazzini Literary Agency (PNLA), Claudia Zoe Bedrick, Alice Canosi, Antonio Carminati, Marzia Corraini, Emiliano Neri, Antony Shugaar for their help and support.