LO ZAINETTO DI MATILDE by Fabio Sardo, Luca Cognolato and Silvia Del Francia (Carthusia) was the winner of the 2021 Gianni De Conno Silent Book Contest, the first international contest for wordless illustrated books, in its 8th edition.
Since 2018, the contest has been dedicated to its inventor, Gianni De Conno, the great artist and illustrator who passed away in August 2017.
The International Jury, chaired by Walter Fochesato (children's literature and illustration history expert – Italy) and composed of Emanuela Bussolati (illustrator – Italy), Eros Miari (member of the editorial board of the Turin International Book Fair – Italy), Anastasia Suvorova (winner of the 2018 Silent Book Contest – Russia), Elena Pasoli (Exhibition Manager, Bologna Children's Book Fair – Italy), Sonja Riva (CSR writer and journalist – Switzerland), Sara Wang (CEO, Sidee Cultural Communication - China), Javier Zabala (illustrator – Spain), Patrizia Zerbi (publisher of Carthusia Edizioni – Italy) selected 14 unpublished finalist projects from among the 300 entries from 56 countries, with the support of Costanza De Conno of the SBC Organizing Secretariat:
- “Grains Feather” – Deimantè Rybakovienè (Lithuania)
- “Mr. Tears - Go away” – Yao Jian (China)
- “Lo zainetto di Matilde” – Fabio Sardo (Italy)
- “On Silent Waves” – Desislava Georgieva (Bulgaria)
- “Io sono Blu” – Irene Guglielmi (Italy)
- “The lone traveler” – Lisha Jiang (China)
- “Waiting” – Violeta Gomez Gonzalez (Spain)
- “Where is my home” – Masha Shebeko (Russia)
- “Per tutta una vita” – Anna Spreafico (Italy)
- “La Notte e la Bambina” – Sophie Fatus (France)
- “Light of life” – Rita Nikiforova (Latvia)
- “The winter in the Northeast” – Wang Pin Yi (China)
- “Lamella” – Agnes Bertothy (Hungary)
- “All alone with a phone” – Therese Rausch Potgieter (South Africa)
LO ZAINETTO DI MATILDE is a wordless book about the daily life of Matilde, a spunky, creative little girl and her beloved grandfather, who collects her from school every day. The two spend the whole afternoon together making sweets, drawing and playing until Matilde’s parents arrive home. But even when in the evening, Matilde and her grandfather are apart, their bond remains strong.
Grandparents are all-important figures for children, key points of reference as they grow up. So, separation is not easy. The brightly coloured illustrations of the book explain with great delicacy how separation can be overcome thanks to the magic of little things that hold memories and emotions.
Bologna Children's Book Fair is happy and proud to once again partner this important award. Narrating a story exclusively with images is a daunting challenge for any illustrator, and the responses have become increasingly interesting with each year. We look forward to seeing what the next editions will bring!