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The Grammar of Fantasy: An Introduction to the Art of Inventing Stories (Hardcover)

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By Gianni Rodari, Jack Zipes (Translator), Matt Forsythe (Illustrator)
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A collection of essays from the visionary storyteller Gianni Rodari about fairy tales and folk tales and their great advantages in teaching creative storytelling.

"Rodari grasped children's need to play with life's rules by using the grammar of their own imaginations. They must be encouraged to question, challenge, destroy, mock, eliminate, generate, and reproduce their own language and meanings through stories that will enable them to narrate their own lives." --Jack Zipes

"I hope this small book," writes renowned children's author Gianni Rodari, "can be useful for all those people who believe it is necessary for the imagination to have a place in education; for all those who trust in the creativity of children; and for all those who know the liberating value of the word."

Full of ideas, glosses on fairytales, stories, and wide-ranging activities, including the fantastic binomial, this book changed how creative arts were taught in Italian schools. Translated into English by acclaimed children's historian Jack Zipes and illustrated for the first time ever by Matthew Forsythe, this edition of The Grammar of Fantasy is one to live with and return to for its humor, intelligence, and truly deep understanding of children.

A groundbreaking pedagogical work that is also a handbook for writers of all ages and kinds, The Grammar of Fantasy gives each of us a playful, practical path to finding our own voice through the power of storytelling.

Gianni Rodari (1920-1980) grew up in Northern Italy and wrote hundreds of stories, poems, and songs for children. In 1960, he collaborated with the Education Cooperation Movement to develop exercises to encourage children's creative and critical thinking abilities.

Jack Zipes is a renowned children's historian and folklorist who has written, translated, and edited dozens of books on fairytales. He is a professor at the University of Minnesota.

Matthew Forsythe lives in Montreal where he draws and paints for picture books, comics, and animations.

About the Author

"I know quite well that the future will not be as beautiful as it is in a fairy tale. But that is not what counts. When they are little, children must stock up on optimism and trust for the challenge of life." --Gianni Rodari Gianni Rodari (1920-1980), who wrote hundreds of stories, poems, and songs for children, was born in 1920 in the town of Omegna in northern Italy. Over the course of his life, he worked as a teacher, an editor, and especially, as a journalist. Spared army service on account of ill health during WWII, he joined the Resistance and became a Communist Party member, and began writing for children in party-affiliated outlets in the 1950s. A Communist until the revelations about Stalin surfaced, Rodari maintained an interest in utopias. Despite the fact that his books were banned by the Catholic Church, he won wide recognition, and in 1960 he collaborated with the Education Cooperation Movement to develop numerous games and exercises -- helping children to compose riddles, to imagine what happens after the end of a familiar story, or what possibilities open up when a new ingredient is introduced. (For example, what a helicopter could mean for "Little Red Riding Hood.") His great respect for the intelligence of children is evinced in every aspect of his writing. Commenting on the child's game peekaboo and how infants like to disappear the world by putting their hands over their eyes, he writes: "The philosopher who investigates the question of Being and Nothingness, using the capital letters that these respectable and profound concepts deserve, does not do anything substantially different than continue that children's game at a higher level." As regards his stories, it's unclear whether they're intended for adults, teenagers, or precocious children, an ambiguity that attests to the universality of his work. He is remembered and loved in Italy the way English-speakers cherish Roald Dahl, Maurice Sendak, and William Steig.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781592703050
ISBN-10: 1592703054
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
Publication Date: September 21st, 2021
Pages: 148
Language: English