Subject and text by Daniela Morelli; illustrations, visualisation of characters and environments by Paolo d’Altan.
Born in Varese, Daniela Morelli has lived in Milan since the ‘70s, where she studied at the Scuola d’Arte Drammatica Piccolo Teatro. A theater and cinema actress, she has worked with important directors like Giorgio Strehler and Dario Fo and developed her research as dramatologist in those surroundings. Her shows have been performed in various theaters such as the Piccolo Teatro and the Teatro Arcimboldi in Milan, the Teatro Greco in Tindari, and LaMama in New York. She wrote the libretto of the opera Un bosco una notte di mezza estate, which was a third prize winner of the Dimitri Mitropoulos competition in Athens in 2001. She worked as a journalist for women’s magazines (Mondadori and Condé Nast) and as a television writer for RAI and RSI. Her first novel for children was published by Mondadori in 2008 (Il segreto delle tre caravelle). Thereafter eight of her books were published by Mondadori (Click-Ragazzo in mare, Click-Mistero al Colosseo, Click-A Milano sfilano i fantasmi, Terremoto di piume, I ragazzi delle barricate, La porta della libertà, Yusdra e la città della sapienza, Il bambino di Itaca). In 2010 she won the Premio Castello di Sanguinetto with I ragazzi delle barricate. In recent years she has met more than twenty thousand young readers from all over Italy, an important source of inspiration and intellectual challenge. Full of curiosity and an experimenter, Daniela loves to mix different genres and styles and to work within a team. It’s the main reason why she decided to embark on this new and fascinating adventure with Paolo d’Altan.
After graduating in classical studies and having attended the Scuola d’Arte Applicata del Castello Sforzesco in Milan, Paolo d’Altan began working as a freelance illustrator for major advertising agencies, soon winning two gold medals from the Art directors club italiano (1991 and 1995). His passion for the drawn image moved him closer to the world of publishing and children’s books, affirming him as one of the leading Italian illustrators with continuing collaborations with Black Cat Publishing, Bompiani, Carthusia, Corriere della Sera, De Agostini, Duncan Baird Publishing, Einaudi ragazzi, Gallimard Jeunesse, Giunti, Grimm Press, Il Sole 24 Ore, Interlinea, Kingfisher, Mondadori Ragazzi, Piemme-Battello a Vapore, Rizzoli Libri, Rrose Sélavy, rueBallu edizioni, Salani. He has received numerous awards and was selected for several annuals such as Illustratori Italiani-Annual 2006-present, Communication Arts Illustration Annual 2009, and 3×3 Children Illustration Annual 2010. In 2011 he was awarded the Andersen Prize for best Italian illustrator of the year, and in 2012 the White Ravens prize. He has been selected for numerous exhibitions in Italy and abroad and was president of the Associazione Illustratori from 1999 to 2001. He was also amongst the first Italian illustrators to embrace the new digital painting techniques, which have given him the possibility to take on this new project, driven by an interest in experimenting with new ways to tell stories through drawn images.