Baba Jaga

 all images in this post © La Cicala editore 2020

Samples from the illustrations I made for the book Baba Jaga by Fiorella Colombo, published by La Cicala editore. This time I used another techique I always loved: ink pen on paper.

The story is a revisiting of traditional east-european folk tale Vassilissa the Beautiful, in which appears the terrible and enigmatic witch Baba Jaga. For this project I was in charge of all the graphic design of the book, besides the illustrations, and together with the author we decided to compose the whole book around the concept of light and darkness (known and unknown), visualized by an alternation of white and black pages. I designed also a series of decorative vegetable friezes to frame the illustrations and the text pages. These branches flourishes as the story progresses, to symbolize the growth of the protagonist, the girl Vassilissa. The addition of a third colour, red, was necessary to give visual prominence to the third force symbolized in the original story by the red knight, servant of the witch. The red color is a digital addition to scanned drawings.


Monster Alphabet

all images in this post © La Cicala editore 2018

A showcase of the initial letters I drawn for La scuola notturna dei piccoli mostri (Night School for Little Monsters), a children book by Dario Apicella published by La Cicala editore. Technique: ink.
This book is designed as a spelling book written in rhyme, with every letter of the alphabet personified by a fictitious character, drawn with great humour by fellow illustrator Alessandra Berti Riboli. So I thought to add big initials illustrated with "real" breed of monsters which introduce every letter with the sentence "A like...", creating this way a sort of bestiary of myths and legends worldwide.


Sul fronte del porto

 all images in this post © La Cicala editore 2017

Three sample illustrations from Sul fronte del porto (On the Waterfront) by Ivano Baldassarre, published by La Cicala editore. For this book I made three kind of illustrations: the full double-page pictures, shown below...

then, the full single-page pictures, shown below...

...and finally the "symbols", cut-out drawings of objects, small enough to be placed among the text, shown here below.

All was done in pencil art, a technique I always loved, and hope to use again in the future. I choose this techinque for the project also to give the feel of old black-and-white photos, since the core part of the novel is settled between the 1930s and the 1960s.


Tales of Weird Animals

all images in this post © Edizioni EL 2015

Pictures from the third book I illustrated for publisher Einaudi Ragazzi, Storie divertenti di animali stravaganti (Funny Tales of Weird Animals), written by Gionata Bernasconi.

A funny fact about this book is that it gave me the opportunity to draw a portrait of Gionata, the author, because of the "meta-literary" nature of the last story.

More informations about this book on Edizioni EL official website.


The Tale of Colours

all images in this post © La Cicala Editore 2015

My first book for newborn series Libri da Cantare ("books to sing-along") published by La Cicala Editore. Short stories for kids aged 3-7, including a CD with the narrated text and an original song about the characters, to sing and play along.
This tale, written and narrated by singer Artemidoro, tells of a yellow baboon kid asking his grandfather how the different colours were born. The basic idea for the illustrations was to use a colour only when the little baboon named it, so the book goes from a yellow-tinted beginning to a rainbow-coloured ending. A funny thing to imagine and to paint.


David Simurgh's Trilogy #1 - In the Beginning

all images in this post © La Cicala Editore 2014

Graphic design I've made for In principio (In the beginning), first volume of David Simurgh's trilogy Vi parlerò di loro (I will speak about them), published by La Cicala editore.
It's a spiritual essay where the author recalls his meeting with his masters. The black circle with the white tree on the cover is the emblem of Simurgh's spiritual school, "Eish Shaok". My idea was to expand the branches of the tree, filling the rest of the cover. Also, spirals may recall the idea of something flowing: breeze, water, or energy - a founding concept of the book. I arranged the spirals in six branches or "springs" coming out of the emblem, with the intention of recalling another concept of the book, "the six streams of Eish Shaok".


Tales of Surprising Animals

all images in this post © Edizioni EL 2014

A selection of illustrations from my second book for publisher Einaudi Ragazzi, Storie divertenti di animali sorprendenti (Funny tales of surprising animals). It's another bunch of humorous stories written by Gionata Bernasconi, this time about uncommon animals rarely seen in children's literature, like Saigas, Okapis and many more. That's why I decided to help you readers recognize them, adding the scientific name of every "surprising" animal in the illustration that opens its story.

More information about this book on Edizioni EL official website.
You can read also a lovely review on children's literature blog Lettura Candita.