A Picture Book from Italy

In respect for out connected world, in hard times and in beauty, I want to honor books for children in other countries of the world where children are also studying and reading at home like U.S. kids. It’s also International Children’s Book Day on April 2. But I’ll continue the whole month. We’ll take a tour of the world we’re so close to now. Some of the books are very silly because kids are so much more than the hard times. Take Professional Crocodile from Italy! It’s wordless! It’s by Giovanna Zoboli with pictures by Mariachiara Di Giorgio.

Professional Crocodile is the simple yet very complicated story of getting dressed in the morning and making the journey to work. For a crocodile.

On the way, the well-dressed crocodile stops for snacks. What’s fun about wordless books is that no matter what your first language is, the story is absolutely yours. You can look at the details of the illustrations and write the story you see. If you just saw the cover and title of the book, what story could you imagine?

There’s one more thing I need to tell you about Professional Crocodile. I picked it because it’s part of a collection called “Silent Books – from the World to Lampedusa”. “Silent Books” – an international collection of wordless picture books – is created by IBBY – the International Board of Books for Young People, profoundly wonderful advocates for children and their books. IBBY members in Italy and many other countries traveled with the books to their final destination, the island of Lampedusa, the remotest island in the Mediterranean. It’s an island where asylum seekers come by boat from Northern Africa and Asia across the sea to escape violence and war. “Silent Books” are for the children who come. Here’s to the children and creators of children’s books in Italy.

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