Bologna Children BookFair | 2020 Exhibitions
Illustrators for Gianni Rodari. Italian excellence

Rodari's Work in Pictures

Innovative, universal and still effortlessly topical, Rodari’s work remains an inexhaustible source of inspiration for numerous artists.

To mark the centenary of the birth of Gianni Rodari, BCBF presents this special illustration exhibition celebrating Rodari’s work through the artwork of 21 Italian artists who down the years have illustrated the books of the great author and educator. 

Writer, teacher, journalist and poet, Rodari was one of the most innovative literary voices of the last century. Among the world’s best loved and influential children’s authors, Gianni Rodari was the first Italian writer to receive – in 1970 - the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award, generally considered the Nobel Prize for children’s literature. 

His work includes fairy stories, nursery rhymes, short stories and novels, as well as his famous essay La grammatical della fantasia, a seminal reference text for children’s literature and education specialists. Innovative, universal and still effortlessly topical, Rodari’s work has been translated and re-printed the world over. It remains an inexhaustible source of inspiration for numerous artists, who down the years have put his words into pictures. 

Following up on the exhibition “Italian Excellence” created in 2015 and presented to great acclaim in more than ten countries, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and its partners are now promoting this new edition dedicated to Rodari’s work. 

The exhibition looks at some of the artists who in the last fifty years have illustrated Rodari’s texts. Starting with towering figures like Luzzati and Munari through to internationally renowned contemporary artists, the exhibition also gives a fascinating overview of Italian illustration excellence. The catalogue of the exhibition is published by Einaudi Ragazzi, owner of the publishing rights for Rodari's work.

Our thanks go to all the artists who have taken part in this special project and the partners who have made this exhibition possible: the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco and the Emila-Romagna Regional Government.