Daydreamy Child Takes a Walk

A Daydreamy Child Takes a Walk

  • ISBN: 9781592704033
  • Publication Date: October 24, 2023


Price: $18.95

Written by Gianni Rodari, the father of modern Italian children's literature, and charmingly illustrated by award-winning artist Beatrice Alemagna, this bright, sweet story reminds us what children are really like in the most essential and beautiful way!

A 2024 USBBY Outstanding International Book ★

Little Giovanni is always daydreaming, always paying attention to the small miracles that lead him to lose track of the big picture. So even though he’s promised his mama to keep his eyes open on his walk, he can’t help but get distracted. Cheerful, carefree, and curious, Giovanni literally loses himself as he discovers the wide, wonderful world around him. Here, Rodari highlights the gorgeous way children give themselves over to their attention to the world by having Giovanni lose parts of himself as he walks along. Should his mama worry? No! Because: “That’s just the way children are.”

Following her New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Telling Stories Wrong, Beatrice Alemagna returns to illustrate another of Gianni Rodari’s delightful stories from Telephone Tales. With a Batchelder Award winning translation by Antony Shugaar, this classic story from one of Italy’s most beloved and important authors of children’s literature asserts the power of flights of fancy and the value of childlike wonder.


? A 2024 USBBY Outstanding International Book! ?

“Fanciful mixed-media collage illustrations suit the gently surreal tone of the story, placing it firmly in the realm of a storybook tale where a child can painlessly shed body parts and be easily put back together with a kiss and a smile. Despite its fantastical premise, though, this story gets directly to the heart of childhood and parenthood, subtly offering a poignant message about loving one’s child for every bit of who they are. VERDICT: Likely to elicit giggles from children and tears from adults, this strange and sweet book is a welcome addition to large picture book collections.”

—School Library Journal

“Award-winning author-illustrator Alemagna brings her brilliant, wildly inventive collage, colored pencil, and pastels to illuminate another charmingly quirky tale by beloved master storyteller Rodari. These improbable events—when a child casually sheds body parts during a meditative meander, and indulgent adults chalk it up to childish whimsy—offer a delightful flight of fancy, where even the odd and inexplicable are met with equanimity and good cheer.” 

“A reimagined Italian classic gets the surreal update it deserves… Even as things grow increasingly fantastic, the storytelling reinforces Mama’s unflagging love for Giovanni. Alemagna’s mixed-media art provides the perfect counterpart to this tale…, perfectly conveying both the familiar ridiculousness of the storyline and the deep-seated connection between a boy and his mama. Heart, humor, and more than a spoonful of weirdness help this mother/son tale ring oddly true.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“In a fanciful picture book about a child with his head in the clouds, Italian author and Andersen Medalist Rodari focuses on easily diverted Giovanni, a well-intentioned boy who goes out for a walk… Surreal collages from Alemagna (Telling Stories Wrong) render the pale-skinned figures as doll-like... Giovanni’s distraction doesn’t hurt anyone—not even Giovanni—in this conflict-free, daydreamy tale.”
—Publishers Weekly

“The real star of this oversized picture book are the absolutely gorgeous mixed media illustrations on thick cream-colored paper. Strange, wonderful, and expressive, they combine photo cutouts and delicate pen-and-ink work filled with somewhat ominous cross hatching… Fans of Jon Klassen, Oliver Jeffers, Mac Barnett, or even Maurice Sendak should check out Gianni Rodari’s weird and wonderful stories.”
—Youth Services Book Review, Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School (Boston, MA)

A Greenlight Bookstore Holiday Pick! “Dazzling… The collage artwork lends the premise absurdity, and the way Giovanni’s mother worries and fawns over her distracted boy makes the whole thing very sweet and silly. From the author of Telephone Tales, and good for fans of How Little Lori Visited Times Square.” 
—Greenlight Bookstore (Brooklyn, NY), Maritza

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