Google celebrates the 100th birthday of Gianni Rodari with a beautiful doodle. He was an Italian writer and journalist and most famous for his works of children’s literature, notably Il romanzo di Cipollino. Gianni Rodari is widely acclaimed as one of the most influential Italian children’s authors of the 20th century. He was born in Omegna, a small town on Lake Orta in the province of Novara in northern Italy on October 23, 1920. He lost his father at the age of eight.
Gianni received his teacher’s diploma at the age of seventeen and began to teach elementary classes in rural schools of the Varese district. He had an interest in music and literature. In 1939, for a short time, Rodari attended the Catholic University of Milan. During the second world war, Gianni had a deferment from the army due to his ill health. He was forced to join the National Fascist Party. Traumatized by the loss of his two best friends and his favorite brother Cesare’s incarceration in a German concentration camp, Rodari joined the Italian Communist Party in 1944 and participated in the Italian resistance movement.
Gianni Rodari began writing books for children in 1948. In 1950, the Party installed him as editor of the new weekly children’s magazine Il Pioniere in Rome. In 1951, Rodari published his first books, Il Libro delle Filastrocche and Il Romanzo di Cipollino. In 1979, after another trip to the Soviet Union, Gianni Rodari’s health, never very robust, declined and his productivity diminished. He died in Rome, following a surgical operation, on April 14, 1980.
For his contributions to children’s literature, Gianni Rodari won many major awards throughout his life, and today his works have been translated into over 20 languages.