Sunday 23 October 2022
In October, the baton of facilitating the Children’s Book Club meetings is passed on to writer Kali Kavvatha. A kindergarten teacher and theatre games animateur for children and adults, Kali Kavvatha is the author of the book Excursion with Federico: A teaching approach to the poems of Federico Garcia Lorca for kindergarten students.
The book discussed this month will be Gianni Rodari’s The Invisible Tonino, a humorous and sensitive tale about human interaction, participation, acceptance, and showing an interest in the “important other.”
On Sunday, October 10, our young booklovers will meet to share impressions, feelings and thoughts, as well as to embark on an imaginary journey, sparked by the book of the month, into the fascinating worlds emerging from its pages.
“Oh, how I wish I could be invisible…”, thinks Tonino, who is afraid that the teacher will ask him about the day’s lesson when Tonino has not done his homework.
And since wishes come true in the imaginary world of tales, Tonino does in fact become invisible! Now he can do whatever he wants, without anyone seeing him, and everything seems to be so much fun! But for how long?
Soon he will realize that he has become “invisible” even to the people he loves. No one sees him, no one can give him a hug.
Who will save him from this predicament?
Gianni Rodari (1920–1980) was one of the most significant children’s books authors. Influenced by French surrealism and by his love of linguistics, Rodari focused on poetry, using it as a fun activity and a tool to revive the rhythm and sound of the oral tradition of children’s songs, to thoroughly research the dynamics of language and to highlight the liberating power of words. This is exactly what children’s poetry is currently understood to be; hence, children at school get to play “making poetry.” At a time when school was all about factual knowledge, Rodari wrote The Grammar of Fantasy, a book about the art of inventing stories. He was a trailblazer in writing techniques, such as the “fantastic binomial,” or “'what happened next” and “what would happen if…,” which now play an essential role in creative writing and are still used by teachers and writers of children’s books. The importance of Rodari’s work to this day lies in the poetics of its imagination, the sarcastic approach to reality and the social and political issues it addresses, such as war and peace, migration, injustice, inequality and freedom. Thirty-nine years after his death, Rodari’s writing is proving to be more powerful and groundbreaking than ever. For his works and their translations (in over fifty languages), he was honored with many awards and accolades, including the 1970 Hans Christian Andersen Award, which is one of the most prestigious awards for children’s literature.
The facilitatorKali Kavvatha is a kindergarten teacher and a theatre games animateur for children and adults. She was trained in theatre games under Lakis Kouretzis and was a member of Parodos Art Company. She has taught theatre games and animation of creative activities for children to teachers of kindergarten and primary school, at the Regional Training Centers (PEKs) and the Institute of Adult Continuing Education (IDEKE) of the Greek Ministry of Education, as well as at private educational institutions.
She is a collaborator of Dimitris Papaioannou and participated as an assistant creative producer at the 2004 Athens Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
In 2022, she was awarded by the Greek Section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) with the “Koula Kouloumbi” Award as an active kindergarten teacher who introduces children of pre-school age into the world of children’s books in the most imaginative ways. She has edited the production of educational materials for kindergarten teachers and animators of IDEKE. She has written the book Excursion with Federico: A teaching approach to the poems of Federico Garcia Lorca for kindergarten students (self-published, 2021).
Activities for children before the Book Club meeting
• Write down and draw what you would like to do if you could be invisible for a while. Alessandro Sanna, the book’s illustrator, rendered the invisible Tonino using dots! How will you paint your invisible self? Bring your painting along to our meeting for us to see!
• Even after the end of a fairy tale, there is always the possibility of “what happened next?” Write a few words about what you think will happen next to the characters of the story, and bring your idea to the Club.
17.00 - 18.15
NGL KIDS LAB
Up to 22 participants | For children aged 7 to 9
Free admission with online pre-registration
Pre-registration starts on 03/10, at 12.00
To participate in the Reading Club, it is necessary for those who hold a position to have read the book of the month. (It is also useful to have it with them).
Gianni Rodari’s “The invisible Tonino,” illutsrated by Alessandro Sanna, is available in Greek by Kalendis Publications.
Children should always be accompanied by parents or adult attendants who should not be away from the outdoor activity.
As part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center's collaboration with the National Library of Greece, the book for the Reading Club has been chosen by NLG staff members.