Un Orso sullo Stomaco [Bear with me]

This little black&white book won the 9th edition of Italian 'Nati per leggere' (Born to read) award, in the section Born with books (ages 3-6).
Author and illustrator Noemi Vola will receive the prize today on the last day of Turin International Book Fair.

I couldn't be happier for Corraini, I appreciate their publishing choices, plus they are based in my hometown, so I keep following their work with love.
The Born to Read prize is given every year to the best quality picture books for babies and pre-schoolers based on a specific theme. The panel is made up of journalists, paediatricians, librarians, independent book sellers, teachers and children literature experts.
This year's theme was 'The home and the den'.

So, who is this big, black, annoying, intrusive bear who shows ups without notice, invading inexorably everyone's life and home, this bear who sits on our stomach and whom we can't drive away?

The narrator, a girl of undefined age, really tries to fight him in any way, although she knows that nothing will work. When the bear arrives, arrives. He changes her every day life, it makes it difficult to eat, to sleep, to spend time with whom you love and enjoy things as she was doing before.
He is so annoying that he doesn't even eats you up when you are too sick of living with him.
She does eventually get used to him, to the point that sometimes she forgets about him for a minute or two, but then he is always back, a silent presence in her and everyone else's lives.

Regret, fear, pain, sorrow, grief. These thoughts might come up to the mind of the grown ups looking at this bizarre allegory, while children are captured by the playful narration and quirky black&white illustrations, clearly intrigued by the bear's identity.
- Where is he sitting on the girl's stomach?-
This book left me with a funny feeling, I found it amusing and moving at the same time, for the reasons above, and comforting too at the end, as we have no alternative but to acknowledge the bear's presence among us, accepting that everyone will deal with him at some point, that all of us have our own stone on the chest.
You know you hate him, but it's not so scary in the end.

It's definitely an inspiring read for pre-schoolers, who can enjoy different reading levels, but could also be offered to older ones.

How cool is it that Corraini published the book both in Italian and in English?
You can buy online here .

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