If you think of classic Italian stories, then the age-old fable of Pinocchio probably comes to mind first. This story, with its message of honesty, is still a favourite of children today and endures as an iconic Italian book that is reached for again and again from the bookshelf.
Today many readers will recognise the name of Italian authors such as Ellena Ferrente, whose Naples trilogy has been a bestseller worldwide, and Italo Calvino, whose books are a great way to learn to read in Italian.
Reading aloud in Italian brings the language to life.
We spoke with Federica Mastrangelo about her favourite childhood books and what she will be sharing in Italian Family Storytime.
Listen, learn and love!
1) What stories will you choose to read and why?
I will probably read a classic fairy tale like "Riccioli D'oro e i tre orsi" (Goldilocks and the three bears) or "Jack e la pianta di fagioli" (Jack and the Beanstalk) or "Cappuccetto Rosso" (Little Red Riding Hood). Classic fairy tales are very well known and popular all over the world. I want to read something that children are already familiar with so that they can focus more easily on the language.
2) What was your favourite book as a child?
The book I loved when I was a child was "Le avventure di Pinocchio", (The Adventures of Pinocchio) by Carlo Collodi. The mischievous marionette made me laugh, cry and reflect.
3) Any book memories that have shaped your life?
When I was a child my parents purchased from the newsagent "Le fiabe sonore" (Fairytales in Sound), a collection of fables which included a set of 45 rpm vinyl recordings. These were my first audiobooks. I loved to listen to the stories and sing along with the beautiful songs. I think reading is so important for children, both as a vital skill for life and as a way of opening up their imagination.
Federica Mastrangelo is the team leader at Belgrave Library and will be telling stories at the Healesville event Italian Family Storytime on Wdnesday 28 November.