Book: the Adventures of Little Onion (Chipollino)

Yesterday I was sick and was sitting in bed all day with my laptop, and somehow got carried away by this nostalgic wave for the books of my childhood.

Thanks to the power of the internet, today you can find things from many years in the past, collected and preserved by fellow admirers of the lost era of Soviet childhood captured in books.

One such book is by an Italian writer named Gianni Rodari, whose work was incredibly famous and loved in the USSR, but it seems like none of his work got any prominense in English-speaking world.

This book is called where the poor are oppressed by the rich and greedy. The story and its translation into Russian are wonderful, and another remarkable feature of this book were the illustrations. The characters of the story were drawn so well, and you can tell what kind of role each one is playing, whether they are rich or poor, kind or arrogant.

*The first cover is from 1955 – I had the exact same one. The next one is of Chipollino making Senior Tomato cry, because he’s an onion – get it? :) The third one is the cover for a later edition.

This is one of my favorites, and here’s the link to the full version (in Russian) with wonderful illustrations by Suteev.

4 thoughts on “Book: the Adventures of Little Onion (Chipollino)

  1. I believe that the reason why none of his work got any prominense in English-speaking world is because Western type selective democracy doesn’t welcome social justice ideas and all communist Rodari’s books are related to the social justice this way or other.
    People of my generation was grown up on books like his ones, including Cipollino.

  2. Great book! Many kids grew up reading this wonderful story, And of course it was popular in China, found a few Chinese copies of this books on Amazon. Agree with the first post, this might be a reason.

  3. I remember reading CIBULKOVA DOBRODRUZSTVI (the Czech translation of Cipollino so many times. Illustrated by the famous Czech artists Ondrej Sekora, it was a great favorite of mine. I could not find an English book translation but YouTube has a 3 part Russian animated film dubbed into English. Show it to your children!

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