Books

Edizioni Piemme, UNICEF Italia and ICWA together for the rights of the child

In 1991, Italy put the spotlight on the need to respect and look after children when it signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Thirty years later, from 18 May, the volume Dalla parte dei bambini – Il libro sui diritti dell’infanzia e dell’adolescenza, published by Edizioni Piemme-Il Battello a Vapore, in collaboration with UNICEF Italia and the ICWA (the Italian association of children’s writers), is in the bookstores: an illustrated book of twenty stories by well-known Italian children’s writers, inspired by the articles of the Convention.

“For us, the best way to make people aware of the rights laid out in the UN Convention is to write stories, in contemporary settings or a more evocative dimension, about children who are still denied these rights, even in developed western countries like Italy,” observes writer and ICWA President Fulvia Degl’Innocenti in the introduction to the book. “In every story there is hope, because growing numbers of organisations and bodies are fighting to ensure these rights are fully enforced.

UNICEF is the symbol of this, and its collaboration with the ICWA at various levels including this book is a powerful reflection of synergy and shared attention to childhood.” “Il Battello a Vapore has always devoted special attention to issues of fundamental importance for children’s development and education, and taken great care in how they are narrated,” explains Lorenzo Garavaldi, General Manager of the Mondadori Libri Children’s Business Unit.“Dalla parte dei bambini is a special project for us, not only because we have the honour of working together with the ICWA and UNICEF, but also because it gives us the opportunity to tell children about self-respect and respect for others. We are never too young (or too old) to learn to live in a better world and we could not have thought of a better way of celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention than by portraying it through words and pictures.”
“On 27 May we shall be celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Italy’s ratification of the Convention, which sets out the rights of every human being from their birth and recognises children not just as minors under the protection of adults, but as people with civil, social, cultural, political and economic rights,” says Carmela Pace, President of UNICEF Italia. “We want to thank the Piemme publishing house, the Italian association of children’s writers and, above all, the authors, who have contributed to this collection of stories, generously giving their time, creativity and skills to ensure that every child who reads this book will be able to identify with it, to find out something about themselves, to look at the world with new eyes and to develop an awareness of their rights.”
Dalla parte dei bambini (pages: 256; price: € 13.00) is a vital tool to learn about people’s rights, foster discussion and develop the awareness that every child should be listened to. The right to a name, to be listened to, to a family, to freedom of expression, thought and religion: every child is born with rights that adults must know, respect and promote. The stories of Omar who is adopted by the family of young Francesco; of Lisa, deaf from birth, who nevertheless manages to communicate with Tommaso; of Min Min, who receives a tin containing all the words she doesn’t know; of Marta who decides to stand up to the bullies to protect her classmate Milan, and many others help us to listen, to understand and to be aware of our rights.

The authors who took part in the project are all members of the ICWA. They are: Fabrizio Altieri, Cristina Bartoli, Stefano Bordiglioni, Patrizia Ceccarelli, Carolina D’Angelo, Emanuela Da Ros, Vichi De Marchi, Fulvia Degl’Innocenti, Giuliana Facchini, Chiara Lossani, Alberto Melis, Roberto Morgese, Daniela Palumbo, Angelo Petrosino, Livia Rocchi, Isabella Salmoirago, Manuela Salvi, Anna Sarfatti, Chiara Valentina Segré, Valentina Torchia. The illustrations are by Silvia Crocicchi.

Rizzoli presents “Podcast d’altro genere”

Podcast d’altro genere is an audio project developed by our Rizzoli publishing house to encourage people to think about the roles of characters in well-known fairy tales.

The podcast is based on the book Gender Swapped Fairy Tales by Karrie Fransman and Jonathan Plackett, where the characters in traditional stories swap gender. This is a world where evil stepfathers cast spells on newborn princes, the bad wolf is a she-wolf and princesses overcome one challenge after another to go and rescue sleeping princes.

These may appear to be minor, inconsequential changes, but in fact they are significant, and provided the idea for Podcast d’altro genere.

In a four-part series examining oral tradition, re-workings and famous adaptations, Matteo Bordone and Carlo G. Gabardini – with contributions from Giulia Blasi, Gabriella Crafa, Vera Gheno, Elena Giorgi, Eva Massari and Lisa Dalla Via – examine the significance of gender roles in fairy tales and their importance in children’s development as future citizens. How does a story change and what changes in us when a gender-swapping mechanism of the sort used by Fransman and Plackett is applied?

Podcast d’altro genere is a literary exercise giving everyone the opportunity to talk about gender stereotypes and related issues. A central question in people’s lives today, examined from an unusual point of view.

The podcast can be downloaded free from all music streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple podcast, Spreaker, Deezer and Amazon Music.

5 July 2021

Everything you ever wanted to know about the job of a translator

Nota del traduttore, the new YouTube mini-series on Mondadori for professional translators is online

Our Mondadori publishing house has launched Nota del traduttore, a five-part mini-series on YouTube about the job of the translator, in the words of some of Italy’s top professionals.

Translation is a fascinating and extremely important editorial profession because it offers readers access in their own language to the works of foreign writers, helping them acquire a natural understanding and appreciation of the spirit of the text. Who better than the translator, who has “gone inside” the book and investigated its hidden depths, can guide readers through the universe that lies within the pages of a novel?

The format was created for the specific purpose of answering the questions to which even people who work in the world of books are unable to respond satisfactorily: do you read the text first and then start translating or translate it a bit at a time? What do you do when the author uses slang? How has translation changed over the years?

Nota del traduttore is a three-part journey in three different settings. The first is a desk, where the translators talk about the way they work and the objects they have at hand. The second setting is a red armchair where they reply to questions with a series of optometric charts representing the transition from a symbol to a meaning, from one cultural universe to another. In the third and final setting, the translators address an imaginary audience made up of photos of writers and book covers, reading a personal “note”, a few words describing the ultimate meaning of the work they do.

The five episodes, filmed at the Panatronics Studio in Milan, feature translators Marco Rossari, Monica Pavani, Edoardo Rialti, Gianni Pannofino, Luca Fusari and Sara Prencipe. The project was developed from an idea by Edoardo Brugnatelli, with the collaboration of Jacopo Milesi, Chiara Ottolini, Nadia Focile and Francesca Gariazzo, together with Claudio Sforza, Alessandro Freno, Ivan Tonucci, Cristina Sinelli, Federico Terenzio and Mauro Forester.

Our publishing houses are supply systems incorporating highly specific professional skills that transform the most impalpable things – what Shakespeare would call “such stuff as dreams are made on” – into consumer goods. Giving translators a voice and visibility is a way to highlight the craftsmanship, the competences, people and passion that is editorial work.

From here we want to expand this type of communication, to bring readers closer to our books, answer their queries about jobs in publishing and give the human and professional skills operating in our Group the credit they deserve.

A book for every patient

Throughout 2021, patients at the Policlinico Sant’Orsola in Bologna will receive a book, as part of an initiative by the Fondazione Sant’Orsola

In 2021, everyone hospitalised at the Sant’Orsola will receive the gift of a book. A companion to help them get through difficult days and discover something new. This is the Fondazione Sant’Orsola project for 2021. An idea that stemmed from the voluntary work of the non-profit organisation and was developed together with Coop Alleanza 3.0 consultant Romano Montroni, chair of the scientific committee of the Centro per il Libro e la Lettura.

The initiative was made possible thanks to the generosity of three sponsors – BPER Banca, the Unipol Group and UniSalute – and the kindness of the publishing houses of the Mondadori Group, who agreed to print 24,000 volumes. Three books have been published: Jane Austen, Emma; Jack London, Martin Eden; Cesare Pavese, La casa in collina. Three classics, three books to read and re-read.

The project was also supported by the Centro per il libro e la lettura, an autonomous body of the Italian Ministry for Culture, and will be endorsed by author Gianrico Carofiglio, who has recognised the importance of the initiative, the first of its kind in Italy.

As soon as the health emergency has ended and the wards are re-opened, the volunteers of the Fondazione Sant’Orsola will present the books to the patients. Until then, distribution will be organised with the assistance of the clinic’s nursing staff, who will ask incoming patients to choose one of the three books when they are assigned a bed. The Fondazione Sant’Orsola website will host a virtual community of readers, where views on the three books and other reading material can be shared.

“Books are essential to a person’s development,” explains the president of Fondazione Sant’Orsola, Giacomo Faldella, “but also to their well-being: some patients bring a book with them, and they see it as a life jacket before making a crossing on a stormy sea; or, more simply perhaps, as a friend to keep them company. However, many patients aren’t in the habit of reading, or for some reason were unable to bring a book with them.”

“In Britain, bibliotherapy has long been a recognised activity,” says Romano Montroni. “The National Health Service has a department set up for the specific purpose of using reading to foster well-being. The relationship between a person’s health and art is also deeply rooted in our own culture; in the early Italian hospitals, like Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, the sick and pilgrims were accommodated and treated in rooms that over the centuries had been decorated by the city’s great painters and sculptors, so the patients were literally “immersed” in beauty. In other words, well-being was regarded in a broad sense, not simply in medical-physical terms.”

“The first thing that someone experiencing a period of difficulty or illness should perhaps try and do is look after themselves,” adds Enrico Selva Coddè, CEO of Einaudi and Mondadori Libri Trade. “It sounds easy, but sometimes it’s impossible. So a simple gesture can help, which is to open a book and absorb yourself in the voice speaking from its pages. A voice dedicated to us, as an indissoluble combination of flesh and imagination. Three classics, because they are like old friends we enjoy seeing again, classics that, as Italo Calvino said, are books people usually say they are ‘re-reading’, not that they are ‘reading’.” Whether it is the wit and irony of Jane Austen, the courage and tenacity of Jack London, the realism and melancholy of Cesare Pavese, these books will certainly help their readers feel less alone.”

Exactly one year ago, Fondazione Sant’Orsola brought together around twenty volunteers – former booksellers, retired teachers, people who love reading – to set up the Libri in corsia project. In just a few weeks, the 1,745 books in the wards had been mapped to create an online catalogue patients could use to request a book located in another ward; the volunteers would then fetch it for them. The pandemic meant that, for reasons of safety, books could no longer be swapped in the hospital. But the Fondazione Sant’Orsola volunteers did not give up: they decided that if books could not be borrowed, they could always be offered as a gift.

This led to the idea being launched today, thanks to the generosity of the sponsors and the publishing houses of the Mondadori Group. An idea that the Fondazione Sant’Orsola volunteers have decided to take a step further with a new project Provo a dirlo con un libro. The Sant’Orsola website today has a catalogue of more than 250 books reviewed by the volunteers. Patients can ask for one of the books, or for one of the titles that have not yet been reviewed, and the volunteers will get it to them within 24 hours. Meanwhile, everyone can post comments and reviews on the catalogue, to build up the online community of readers.
22 June 2021

50th anniversary of the death of Arnoldo Mondadori

Fondazione Mondadori presents the digital exhibition Il cam(m)ino dell’editore. Storie di Arnoldo Mondadori a Meina, together with a host of other initiatives in memory of the founder of our publishing house.

Arnoldo Mondadori nella sua villa a Meina

Arnoldo Mondadori often entertained writers and publishers in his family home in Meina, and would ask them to write a mot juste or sign their name on the wall above the fireplace.

Fondazione Mondadori is marking the fiftieth anniversary of his death with a digital exhibition that takes those signatures as a starting point to look back at Arnoldo’s relations with some of the leading figures from the 20th-century world of literature and publishing, from Eugenio Montale to Alba de Céspedes, Mario Soldati to Lavinia Mazzucchetti as well as Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Mann and Walt Disney. Interviews, archive documents and videoclips portray a home that was a place to work, to welcome friends and family, as well as a setting for encounters that hold a place in the history of Italian culture and publishing in the 20th century.

The exhibition is organised in three sections. The first, Villa Mondadori in Meina, looks at the history of the lakeside house, from its purchase in the 1920s as a summer residence open to friends and guests, to its use as a refuge and branch of the publishing house during the Second World War.

The second and third sections of the exhibition, Authors and The Publishing World, examine Arnoldo Mondadori’s relationships with some of the authors of the signatures above the fireplace: Enzo Biagi, Valentino Bompiani, Dino Buzzati, Piero Chiara, Alba de Céspedes, Lavinia Mazzucchetti, Domenico Porzio, Vasco Pratolini, Colette Rosselli, Renzo Segala, Mario Soldati.

The exhibition is online on the Fondazione Mondadori website from Friday 4 June.

50 years since the death of Arnoldo Mondadori: program

Il cam(m)ino dell’editore. Storie di Arnoldo Mondadori a Meina opens a program of initiatives dedicated to the publisher on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his death, on 8 June 2021, organised in collaboration with other entities

They include:

  1. A commemorative postage stamp printed by Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato and issued by the Italian Post Office on Tuesday 8 June.
  2. Two books examining the figure of Arnoldo Mondadori, published by Fondazione Mondadori for the «Biblioteca» series. The first is entitled Lettere all’editore. Aleramo, de Céspedes e Manzini autrici Mondadori, edited by Sabina Ciminari. The second, Dear Mr. Mondadori. I romanzi americani nel catalogo Mondadori 1930-1960, is edited by Cinzia Scarpino and traces the history of the American novels in the Mondadori catalogue between the 1930s and the end of the 1960s.
  3. A reprint of the biography Arnoldo Mondadori by Enrico Decleva for the Mondadori series «Oscar Storia»: in his examination of the life of the distinguished publisher and entrepreneur, for which he was awarded the Acqui-Storia prize, Decleva describes a fundamental period in arts and culture, the creation of a mass market for books and journals in a century of important social change. The book will be available from 8 June.
  4. A celebratory book, produced as a collaboration between the Mondadori publishing house and Fondazione Mondadori. The book will use a collection of dedications by the authors to Arnoldo Mondadori as the springboard to recount key moments and personalities in the history of the publishing house. The selection will be made by Alberto Cadioli, who will edit the book and write the introduction. The publication date will coincide with the conference to be held in the autumn.
  5. A conference on themes and trends in contemporary publishing, starting from the figure and entrepreneurial story of Arnoldo Mondadori. The conference, organised in collaboration with Mondadori, will be held on 7 October, the moderator will be Mario Calabresi.
  6. A docu-drama produced by Anele di Gloria Giorgianni and directed by Francesco Micciché, alternating archive material and personal accounts on the life of Arnoldo Mondadori.
  7. The creation by the Mondadori publishing house of a scholarship for the next edition of the Master in publishing at Milan University, in collaboration with AIE and Fondazione Arnoldo e Alberto Mondadori. The scholarship will be dedicated to the memory of publisher Stefano Magagnoli, who died recently and was for many years one of the leading names in Italian book publishing.
Arnoldo Mondadori con alcuni autori a Verona

The first high-interest collection from Mondadori Libri per Ragazzi

Everyone should read. Everyone can read.

Mondadori Libri per Ragazzi presents its first collection of high-interest books to help its readers develop their skills. A graphics project intended not only for readers with learning difficulties, but for everyone who finds reading challenging. A fun way to help children discover the pleasure of reading and make reading child’s play!

  • What exactly is a high-interest book? The features of the high-interest graphics project are:
    use of the leggimi font developed in 2006 by Sinnos in collaboration with neuropsychiatrists, speech therapists and teachers; designed to be easier to read and intended specifically for people with reading difficulties;
  • the line spacing and spaces between letters are wider than usual;
  • the text is always aligned on the left and there are no word divisions;
  • spacing to indicate paragraph divisions or narrative sequences, in order to facilitate understanding and give readers achievable objectives.

20 May 2021
The first four books in the collection

Il diritto di sognare by Sarah Pellizzari Rabolini:
Bea feels she is always second-best, but when she hears the story of Claudette Colvin who, before Rosa Parks, refused to give up her seat to a white woman but has been largely forgotten, she learns to come to terms with grading. Sarah Pellizzari Rabolini is an Italian teacher and journalist. She has written novels, poetry and short stories and received a number of awards.

Un salto tra le stelle by Daria Bertoni:
Stella is looking forward to starting her artistic gymnastics training again and there’s a wonderful piece of news: she will be a member of the Gazzelle competition team! Daria Bertoni has worked as bookseller at the Libreria dei Ragazzi in Milan for many years. With Mondadori she has published Stelle in equilibrio and Libera. Un’amica tra le onde.

Scuola di mostri by Sabrina Guidoreni:
It’s the first day at school and Giò is worried. His father says starting something new is always a great adventure, but he’s not so sure. Sabrina Guidoreni was born and lives in Bologna. She studied at Bottega Finzioni, and is a nursery-school teacher and indefatigable reader.

Il bambino fiocco di neve by Viviana Mazza:
The moving true story of Wang Fuman, the little boy who was determined to go to school at any cost. Viviana Mazza is a journalist on the foreign desk of “Corriere della Sera”. She was one of the first people in Italy to tell young people about Malala Yousafzai in her book La storia di Malala.

Mondadori Group: new organisation for Trade Books

Growth and development are the priorities for the publishing houses:
changes aimed at facing the new publishing scenario

The Mondadori Group has redesigned its Trade Books Area under the leadership of the chief executive of Mondadori Libri S.p.A. Enrico Selva Coddè, with the aim of pursuing growth and development opportunities for its publishing houses.

“We have defined a new organisational model that will enable us to respond more effectively to the central challenges in trade publishing, a sector in increasingly rapid evolution, also at the international level,” declared Enrico Selva Coddè. “A necessary change to look to the future of the country’s leading cultural industry with the innovative approach that has always characterised our publishing houses,” Selva Coddè concluded.

Consequently, two new crossover departments have been created that will report directly to Enrico Selva Coddè.

The first, the department of General Operations, will be headed up by Filippo Guglielmone, with the aim of orienting the business at the highest possible level of cost efficiency and service possible; operations and sales will be integrated in a single process to drive value generation and make it possible to optimise time-to-market, increase customer satisfaction and facilitate the growth of the publishing houses.

The second, the department for Strategic Marketing, Rights and Acquisitions, to be led by Lorenzo Garavaldi, aims to reinforce the company’s role in the publishing market through analysis and the definition of market strategy, the coordination of acquisition activities and the identification of development priorities.

Reporting to Enrico Selva Coddè, the publishing houses will also absorb product marketing activities giving them all control over communication, in line with a scenario in which the enhancement of authors’ work is part of a single publishing effort that goes from the title to readers’ comments.

The publishing houses are led by Francesco Anzelmo, General Manager of Mondadori; Ernesto Franco, General Manager and Editorial Director of Einaudi; Massimo Turchetta, General Manager of Rizzoli Trade and Publishing & Rights Development; Stefano Peccatori, General Manager of Sperling & Kupfer, Piemme and Mondadori Electa, and Lorenzo Garavaldi, General Manager of BU Ragazzi.

The new Electa social feature #puntoeacapo

Electa is pleased to present #puntoeacapo, a collection of short digital stories –for the moment “filmed” from home – by writers, curators, creatives, editors and those working with the publisher, all sharing their different perspectives and activities. They will talk about books, exhibitions and the languages of art, from publishing to architecture, passing via museum bookshops.

The #puntoeacapo social feature of stories and accounts continuesthe Art and illustrated publishing experience through the faces and voices of curators, museum directors, archaeologists, art critics, artists, architects and designers. Born during the “lockdown” weeks, #puntoeacapo starts with Electa pondering its journey as a publisher and its role flanking museums. As we mark 75 years in publishing, we have started thinking about the Electa of today and of the future with many questions and some constants (old and new).

The first series of videos responds to a desire to revisit the#patrimonioitalia and rethink our cultural identity and past by conducting a Grand Tour through books, exhibitions, memories and emotions as we look to the future.

Mondadori Education launches new initiatives to support teachers

New free tools to help teachers to remotely assess their pupils

As the end of a more complex school year than ever comes closer, teachers at all levels and in all schools, are facing another big challenge: how to assess and grade students at a distance. A key moment in the teaching-learning process. Always a complex activity, in the current situation it is particularly difficult.

In fact, in distance learning, the grading process takes on a different aspect compared with what happens in the classroom. The moments for learning assessment (for example, individual or group activities, digital presentations prepared by pupils with feedback from teachers, the level of participation in lessons) go hand in hand and often replace traditional grading methods (tests and oral exams). The new context has heightened the need for support for the more fragile students and requires inclusive teaching tools and strategies.

Valid support for teachers about to engage in this delicate process is available from Mondadori Education that provides specific content, materials and tools for the certification of skills and the assessment of levels of learning, also remotely: a variety of tests on a range of topics and subjects, maps useful for revision, digital services for each subject and all levels, from primary to first and second level secondary schools. All, even in this emergency period, freely downloadable from the publisher’s web site.

The support path that the publisher offers to teachers will continue in the coming weeks also with a programme dedicated to preparation for the final year exams, as it will be structured this year and, from September, with a practical project for recovery activities in preparation for the new school year.

Of special relevance, regarding assessments, in the HUB Test platform, that is both intuitive and easy to use e semplice and allows teachers to easily manage tests: on the one hand with the possibility of accessing a complete and varied database, and, on the other, to create new personalised tests that can be easily shared with the class.

 

And then there are activities that focus on teacher training via webinars, with free participation, organised by experts from the publishing house, with explanations and ideas on how to assess, as well as the techniques for assessing both synchronous and asynchronous activities.

On the basis of what has already been done since the beginning of March, as an immediate response to the emergency, to make freely available the entire range digital content for distance learning – over 40 gigabytes of content and more than 12,000 gigabytes of videoaudiocustomisable mapsplaylists, and facilitated texts for inclusion –  the commitment of Mondadori Education continues with the proposal of a complete path to support teachers in the three crucial phases of their work: revision and testing, final year state exams and September recovery programmes.

“The emergency that we have faced, and continue to live with,” underlined Aaron Buttarelli, editorial director of Mondadori Education, “has all of a sudden obliged Italian schools to reconsider, in a very short period of time and often without adequate tools, the entire teaching-learning process. We have always been on the side of teachers and students in the pursuit of innovation and the digitalisation of schools, with a range of services for day-to-day teaching which has now taken on enormous relevance. Including the evolution of the textbook, which is no longer a static printed support but thanks to digital has become both live and dynamic, for more personalised learning, with language and formats able to inform and stimulate interest in learning.”

A commitment that is rewarded by the success among teachers and demonstrated by the data traffic metrics on the platform which has recorded a user base of some 1.5 million active users,  to which have been added, in the last two months,  more than 400,000 new registered users, with an increase of 30 times in the use of  Virtual Classes, more than 15 times for Tests and 6 times for the use of reading Apps and traffic on the site that has grown by 8 times on a daily basis.

The HUB Test offer, is part of the services offered by HUB Scuola, Italy’s most extensive database for digital teaching, and which features a number of other tools, including: the Virtual Class, an environment for the management of teaching activities and courses, exchanging comments, setting assignments and homework and monitoring progress; reading Apps to use digital books; HUB Campus for more detail on different subjects; and the HUB Scuola channel on YouTube with over 1,700 videos, organised in playlists.

Electa grows in art publishing with the acquisition of Abscondita

Rosanna Cappelli appointed managing director of Electa S.p.A.