(Featured photo: Andrea Spinelli Barrile)
“Are you reading to him?”
This was the question that my son’s paediatrician asked when I last called. I wanted to make sure that I would not miss any important check-ups or vaccinations since we are going to be in Argentina for the next three months. So his question took me by surprise.
I love children’s books. I took a two-year creative writing course in Argentina and focused on children’s writing for a year. Whenever I am sad, I pick up a good children’s book, and that usually puts a smile back on my face.
One of my favourite authors from my own childhood is Gianni Rodari, an Italian writer and journalist who received the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1970 for his work. Only a small part of his work has been translated into English because a lot of his rhymes are based on nonsense and subtle linguistic jokes and they would be completely lost in translation.
I love how Rodari turns many aspects of everyday life into a story or a poem, denouncing inequality, hunger and war as he does that. For example, he writes:
You can find them everywhere –
In the wood the table is made of,
in the glass, in the rose …
I also love that h…