A Classic from Florence

There are many amazing points on the map of Florence for all interested in the reception of Classical Antiquity. But it is worth also peeking into via Taddea to see the house in which Carlo Lorenzini in 1826 was born. He is known in the history of children’s classics under a different name – Carlo Collodi, the father of Pinocchio:



Nearby, you will see also a sculpture commemorating Pinocchio by Thomas Cecchi unveiled in 2006:




This part of Piazza del Mercato Centrale is a perfect place to sit for a while and to read the book anew, and to admire the skills of its illustrators. For example, the Polish edition (transl. Zofia Jachimecka) was illustrated by the famous artist, called also “the King of children’s illustration in Poland”, Jan Marcin Szancer (1902–1973). [Please excuse me the state of the cover, but it is a testimony to the book’s intense life;-)]



And it is worth reading the Latin translation, by Ugo Enrico Paoli (1884–1963):


As Prof. Wilfried Stroh (see phot. below) remarks, the Latin language seals the status of a Classic, and Pinocchio merits this kind of homage definitely:


Let’s quote a few phrases on Pinocchio’s birth in Paoli’s translation, as chosen by Prof. Stroh in his analysis of the Latin version (Stroh, “De fabulis Latinis…” 2016:273):

Nec mora, acutam securim adripuit [sc. Magister Cerasum – WS], ut dempto cortice lignum dolando poliret. Cum uero primum ictum illaturus eset, bracchio in altum sublato, immobilis suspensusque haesit; audiuerat enim tenuem quandam subtilemque uocem, suppliciter orantem: “Ne me grauius, precor, percusseris!” (ed. 1983:6)


With a Pinocchio-pencil, a must-have from Florence, you can continue your literary journey through the city or you can even visit Pinocchio’s Park in Tuscany. Each Grand (or Petit) Tour has its roots in Our Mythical Childhood…

For more details:

Text and all other pictures by Katarzyna Marciniak.


Mythical Aspects of My Fellowship at the Internationale Jugendbibliothek (IJB) in Munich, Germany


Although I came to the International Youth Library to work on my research project “Oczami dziecka. Zagłada w polskiej literaturze dziecięcej i młodzieżowej po roku 1989” [Through the Eyes of a Child. The Holocaust in Polish Children’s and Young Adult Literature after 1989] and work with both children’s literature from all around the world and the secondary literature, it is hard not to spot Classical Antiquity even in the least expected places.


Of course the most important things in the library are the books. There are a lot of secondary sources standing just near my desk in the reading room, so the first second I saw Swedish book “Pippi og Sokrates: Filosofiske vandringer i Astrid Lindgrens verden” by Jørgen Gaare and Øystein Sjaastad with famous Pippi Longstocking picking up Sokrates (just like horse in Lindgren’s story) on the cover. Right next to it another “philosophical” book – “Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts” (ed. by David Baggett and Shawn E. Klein).


Of course “our” Catalogue is also here!


What is worth noting the Internationale Jugendbibliothek is not only a library. One may visit permanent exhibitions in Michael Ende Museum, James Krüss Tower, and Erich Kästner Room. Besides temporal exhibitions are organised. In May/July three of them were open to visit.


The first is dedicated to the insects in children’s books, among others “Bienen” (“Pszczoły”) by Piotr Socha (already presented on “Our Mythical Childhood Blog”) is presented.


The second (recently closed) exhibition was dedicated to Scandinavian children’s books:


One can see there “Biblia Pauperum Nova” by controversial Danish author Oscar K. illustrated by Dorte Karrebæk:


The most recently opened exhibition is dedicated to the work of Rotraut Susanne Berner, bestselling illustrator and author of wimmel books, although the exhibition is mainly about the cats she is crazy about. There is even a huge cat house you can play with!


Very interesting way of promoting the IJB founder Jella Lepman’s idea of connecting children’s from all parts of the world is the IJB calendar: each week it presents a poem from different country (both in the original as well as in German version) illustrated by the artist of the same nationality. I was lucky to “celebrate” during my stay the Polish week with a poem by Małgorzata Strzałkowska illustrated by Katarzyna Bogucka:


The library itself is amazing, but the best thing is to meet different people: helpful and kind staff as well as other fellows from all around the world, including Japan, Brazil, Cameroon, and the USA. Work within international environment using many languages clearly shows that the field of children’s literature and its research connects different cultures, languages, and perspectives as well as provides a great deal of fun!

More on how to apply for the fellowship here: https://www.ijb.de/en/fellowship-programme.html

Krzysztof Rybak

Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw

(currently at the Internationale Jugendbibliothek in Munich)

Teaching Ancient Culture to Young Children

On Monday 4th June 2018 Katerina Volioti gave a talk entitled Teaching Ancient Culture to Young Children at the Early Childhood Research Centre, University of Roehampton. Katerina’s main argument was the need to recast style to culture in illustrated children’s books. The audience was comprised chiefly of graduate students and staff from the Education and Humanities Departments, including Susan Deacy who leads the Roehampton wing of the OMC project. Nanci Santos, one of the OMC Survey contributors, also attended. A most inspirational discussion followed on the Survey, on adult views of how children should respond to museum exhibits, and on whether children’s books should show Classical statues in colour.

4 June 2018 Katerina Volioti and Nanci Santos

In the picture: Nanci Santos (left) and Katerina Volioti (right). Also in the picture: cover of Greek book about the Cycladic culture, ancient and modern: The Cyclades: Jewels in the Aegean (Papadopoulos Publications, 2017).

Prepared by Katerina Volioti



“GODs’ School” – The Animated Series Project by Gaylord Cuvillier Libessart

“GODs’ School” is a personal project of animations, created by Gaylord Cuvillier Libessart. The series (25 episodes are planned) will be talking about the teenage life of the (among others) famous Olympic Gods and Goddesses, and the mythical monsters, who are attending the “Mount Olympus” school.

The “Divine Students” will be: Eris, Hera, Sfiga, Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Aphrodite, Hades, Persephone, Demeter, Artemis, Apollo, Paris, Medusa, Ares, Hephaestus, Amphirite, Dionysus, Hestia, Nike, Hermes, Hecate, Eos, Iris, Khione, Tyche, Hygieia, Morpheus, and Cassandra.

On the Internet we can already find the official introduction to the “GODs’ School”:

We can also meet some of the characters that will appear in the episodes:

Recently, the “GOD’s School Wiki” was also created – there we find out, that Eris will be the main character of the animation.

If you are interested in how the work on the “GODs’ School” series looks like and who will dubbing the main characters, we recommend you to follow their social media. 🙂

Found & elaborated by Dorota Bazylczyk

See more:

  • “GODs’ School” on YouTube – link
  • “GODs’ School” on Instagram- link
  • “GODs’ School” on Tumblr – link
  • “GODs’ School” on Facebook – link




International Children’s Day!

Dear All,

We wish to send you Our Mythical Greetings on the International Children’s Day!

This is the best day to invite you to explore Our Mythical Childhood Survey – a database of classical references in the works of children’s and young adults’ culture – a joint task of Our Mythical Team and many engaged contributors and experts:



On the Antipodean Odyssey Blog you can find also a post by Liz Hale on the big opening of the Survey during Our Mythical Workshops, on May 15, 2018, in Warsaw:

16 Antipodean Odyssey IMG_2083


Have a Good Time with Our Mythical Childhood! 


Post by Katarzyna Marciniak

Art3mis in “Ready Player One”

“Ready Player One” is a new movie directed by Steven Spielberg (worldwide premiere: March 2018), based on the science-fiction novel by Ernest Cline (2011):

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania ready player one poster
Movie poster made by artist Paul Shipper [source]

The movie talks about the vision of the world in the future, in 2045, where people use a massive virtual reality called “OASIS” to escape from the real life. The author of the “OASIS” – James Halliday, before his death decides to announce a contest for the players and give his entire property to the first person who will find the “Easter Egg” hidden in virtual reality.  Then the whole world throws itself into the challenge:

The creators of the film decided to put into it many references to well-known pop-culture works, such as (inter alia) “Back to the Future”, “Batman”, or “Robocop”, but they also took some inspirations from the Greek mythology. One of the movie characters was named after the Greek Goddess of the hunt – Artemis. It is Samantha Evelyn Cook, a 19-year-old girl,  who as a player of “OASIS” is called Art3misAs we can already guess, the girl is hunting for the Easter Egg” – she is also very brave, independent, and intelligent character.

Poster dedicated to Art3mis [source]
Podobny obraz
Art3mis and Parzival in the movie [source]

The Funko company – creators of licensed vinyl pop-figures, produced a doll inspired by the Art3mis character (see below):

Pop! Movies: Ready Player One - Art3mis
Ready Player One Art3mis by Funko [source]
Found by Dorota Bazylczyk

Elaborated by Dorota Bazylczyk

See more:

  • The Official Movie Site – link
  • “Ready Player One” in IMDb – link
  • “Ready Player One” on Twitter – @readyplayerone, link
  • The Official Website of Fankolink
  • “Ready Player One: 138 Easter Eggs and References in the Movie”:

“Zwierzokracja” [“Animalocracy”] by Ola Woldańska-Płocińska

“Zwierzokracja” [“Animalocracy”] is a recently (April 2018) published Polish non-fiction big format illustrated book. It was designed by Ola Woldańska-Płocińska, a Polish illustrator and designer.

The main cover of “Zwierzokracja” [“Animalocracy”]

The book presents the animal rights, the history of human-animal relations and so on. On two spreadsheets we can see the classical elements: the first one is dedicated to the cult of cats in ancient Egypt, the other – to the Greek philosophers’ approach towards eating meat. Living in the 6th century BC Pythagoras was a vegetarian, but Aristotle (4th century BC) said that animals were to be used – and eaten – by man. That is why he is depicted by the author with a big sausage! The part in question is entitled “The Philosophers’ Duel” and the winner is clearly indicated by the author. Although Aristotle is chronologically later, it is Pythagoras the vegetarian whose “environmental” view concludes the section and leaves the young readers with the lasting and animal-friendly message.

Illustrations from “Zwierzokracja” [“Animalocracy”]
Illustrations from Zwierzokracja” [“Animalocracy”]

Found by Krzysztof Rybak

Elaborated by Krzysztof Rybak

All the photos of the book were taken by the author of this post.

See more:

  • About “Zwierzokracja” on Publicat publisher website [POLISH] – link
  • “Zwierzokracja” on Strefa Psotnikalink
  • Ola Woldańska-Płocińska’s Official website [ENGLISH]- link
  • Interview with Ola Woldańska-Płocińska on Culture.pl [ENGLISH] – link