Italian writer Gianni Rodari, the creator of the tale of Chipolino, beloved by many children, lived a difficult but bright and happy life. He was engaged in his favorite business – he wrote for children and considered them the most grateful readers. His works “The Adventures of Cipollino,” “Jelsomino in the Land of Liars,” “The Adventures of the Blue Arrow” are classics of children’s literature that have grown many generations.
Giovanni Francesco Rodari was born on October 23, 1920 in the commune of Omenya, Italy. Giuseppe Rodari’s father worked as a baker, Maddalena Ariocchi’s mother was a housewife. In addition to Gianni, the couple had two more sons – Mario and Cesare. Jonny was 10 years old when his father died. Mother took the children, left for her native commune of Gavirate. Here she worked in the houses of rich people, and the boys went to school.
Gianni, like his father, had poor health, he liked to spend time not on the street in games, but reading books, drawing and music lessons.
For two years, Gianni studied at a theological seminary in Sevezo, where poor children were fed and dressed. And when he graduated from school, he remained in it to teach. Working with children brought him great joy. For the guys, he was a friend.
In 1939, the young man became a student of the philological faculty of the Catholic University in Milan, but the war interrupted his plans. He wanted to go to the front, but he was not taken because of poor health.
In 1943, after losing two best friends at the front and imprisoning his brother Cesare in a concentration camp, Rodari fundamentally changes political views and becomes a member of the Resistance movement.
In 1944, the future writer joined the Italian Communist Party, and then got a job as a reporter in the newspaper L’Unita.
It was here, on the pages of the periodical press, that the first Rodari publications for children appeared. The journalist liked the editor’s proposal – to lead a children’s column in the newspaper, and he took up business with heat: he wrote poems, stories and fairy tales. Soon the man realized that this work fascinates him much more than editorial work, and agreed to the offer of friends to move to Rome and head the children’s magazine Pioner.
It was in 1950, and a year later Rodari released the first book – the collection “Book of Fun Poems,” which included poems such as “What does crafts smell like?,” “Where did the fairies go,” “Blue Tram.”
A little later, the most famous work of the master is published – “The Adventures of Cipollino.” Ironically, this book received the greatest recognition in the Soviet Union, where it was translated in 1953 under the editorship of Samuel Marshak.
Perhaps there was no child in the Country of Soviets who would not read this work about the adventures of Cipollino – a kind and brave bow boy who fights against evil and injustice.
The communist Gianni Rodari visited the USSR a year before the release of Cipollino in Russian. And then he visited here repeatedly.
In 1961, the cartoon Cipollino was released on Soviet screens, which further glorified the fairy tale of the Italian writer.
In 1958, Rodari’s new fairy tale “Gelsomino in the Land of Liars” was released about a boy with a magical voice who, having fallen into the enchanted country of deceivers, frees the inhabitants from the power of a lying king and returns the truth to them. 2 years later, the collection Poems in Heaven and on Earth was published.
After this work, Rodari writes the cycle “Tales on the Phone” (1962) – short funny stories, the heroes of which are ordinary Italian children. In 1964, another wonderful fairy tale by Gianni Rodari, Blue Arrow Travel, was released about the adventures of toys from the Fairy’s store, who themselves are looking for owners from the list of poor children whose parents cannot afford to buy a festive gift.
In parallel with writing, Gianni Rodari has been working as a journalist all his life. In 1957, he passed exams to confirm this professional title. He worked in the magazine for youth “Vanguard,” in the newspaper “Paese Sera,” where until the end of his life he was a literary employee.
In 1967, Gianni Rodari was recognized as the best writer in Italy. The author finally received a vocation, his books are published in millions of copies and translated into dozens of languages of the world. Rodari once again confirmed his brilliant talent in 1970, when he received the Hans Christian Anderesen International Gold Medal – the highest award in children’s literature.