Hello everyone, today we are connected here in a video call with Eliana Sortino who would like to talk to us about a new project “Fabula libri” that she shares with a Brazilian friend and colleague, named Natalia Fenuchi.
How did the idea for this project come about and why?
This project was born a little by chance, from our chats about the importance of reading from the first months of children’s life, about the difficulty that sometimes is encountered in finding books that can truly attract the interest of the child and that are also of quality, in terms of style and content. The idea of doing something that could help parents to give birth and nurture in their children a passion for reading from an early age took shape. And, at the same time, involve the parents themselves in the moment of reading as something to be enjoyed together. Because when the books are beautiful and of quality they do not know time and age.
Apart from your passion for books, what do you have in common?
Surely we share the interest in the world of childhood and education, the pedagogical aspect in our project is very important. And having in common the same ideas on the type of approach in this regard certainly helps. Having an open mind that goes beyond the idea of seeing the child as “a container” to be filled with knowledge but above all respecting his well-being, his rhythms. So, for example, reading isn’t necessarily a tool to learn something but “simply” a way to have fun and, of course, doing it in the company of parents makes the experience even more rewarding.
Who are your favorite writers?
Another thing we have in common is the importance we give to always expanding our knowledge, our points of view. A little bit of what we would like to do also with our little readers: it offers a diversified library that does not focus on certain authors (or genres). Expanding the repertoire of readings going beyond the known, the “like” or “I don’t like”, in a path that can make them critical readers.
What books would you recommend for middle school kids to read?
At this age, personal tastes have already emerged, reading is a great thing and it is certainly important that it remains a pleasure and therefore that one’s interests are followed in this sense.
But maybe not everyone knows that there are picture books, indicated by many publishing houses as “for children”, which are absolutely not just for children, on the contrary! A boy, an adult, everyone can enjoy it because everyone will grasp something different. If they are good books, of aesthetic and literary quality, it is easy for them to be appreciated, entertained, thrilled or make people think, young and old.
This month we sent our little readers an illustrated book by Ellen Raskin, “Nothing ever happens in my neighborhood”, a book that is entertaining and intriguing the children who received it, a book that invites everyone, among other things, to try to look at what surrounds us with different eyes but, above all, not to stop at appearances. A simple story from which a thousand different thoughts and reflections could arise. Because, another wonderful thing that reading offers us is being able to be free to give it our meaning, our interpretation, without fear that it may be wrong, because it is what it has transmitted to us, and that yes that is subjective. !
So try to go to the bookstore and be guided by your feelings and not by the labels (in terms of age groups, the “top ten” of the most read books, …).
Why did you choose the name “Fabula libri”?
This certainly was very by chance, a brain-storming done without too much effort brought out the word Fabula for a series of associations of sounds / words, and immediately convinced us without any hesitation.
Thanks for your time, I hope this project will continue. Goodbye!