Chiara Ficarelli (Italy)

How the idea for your silent story was born?

The idea was born quietly, in between book projects. Just at the moment when one’s mind is saturated with information, commitments and deadlines and begins to wander, to take refuge in something, in this case a memory. The memory of when, as a child, I used to take a bath in the bathtub. Which I fundamentally disliked, and so I had found this emotional shelter of taking with me plastic toy-animals that, meeting the foam ,gave life to a thousand stories in my head and made that moment happier. The story of this book was born out of that very memory and the desire to make visible what saw and experienced when I was a child.

What's the story about?

The story tells of a group of animals, gradually growing in number, who find themselves in the condition of facing this mysterious white mass, which deflates and swells, until it even almost swallows them whole. But the situation will recede and the animals will be reunited happier than before, until a strange object appears and only on the next page will many things become clear…

Why have you decided to enter the contest?

I decided to participate in this contest because of the deep esteem I have in the projects that have come out of the past editions, in the Carthusia publishing house and in the memory of Gianni, an illustrator I have in my heart. I believe so much in this project, I already have in mind so many workshop activities that will allow the public of all ages to learn about and have fun with this book.


Chiara Ficarelli was born in 1990 in Reggio Emilia, where she graduated in Primary Education and worked as a teacher in Preschools. At the same time she cultivated a passion for murals (an activity she also carries on currently) and for illustration and books by attending courses at Ars in Fabula in Macerata. She has illustrated for literary magazines such as “Carie,” “Macondo” and “l’Inquieto.” In 2017, she enrolled in Ars in Fabula’s Master’s program in Editorial Illustration, from which her first illustrated album was born: “The Poor People” by Lev Tolstoy (Orecchio Acerbo, 2019). She currently continues her work as an illustrator and is involved in workshops and activities in schools, museums and within book festivals, training courses on the illustrated book for children and adults, and collaborates as a tutor teacher with the illustration school Ars in fabula in Macerata.

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