Uprooted by war: The child refugee crisis in the wordless book "La Valigia" by Angelo Ruta
PDF (English)

Słowa kluczowe

silent/wordless picture book
reader-response theory
visual narration

Jak cytować

Papailia, A. (2020). Uprooted by war: The child refugee crisis in the wordless book "La Valigia" by Angelo Ruta. Bibliotekarz Podlaski, 47(2), 189-201. https://doi.org/10.36770/bp.477


Humanity is currently facing the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Children find themselves both directly and indirectly affected by this crisis. They are faced with making sense of complex issues and their diverse repercussions. For example, the distinct difference between a refugee whose life is at risk and a migrant seeking to improve their economic situation by moving to another rich country with prospects, is of particular importance for the objective study of the reasons and dimensions of the refugee crisis. In this context, this article explores the wordless book “La Valigia” by Angelo Ruta, where the construction of the meaning is dependent entirely on carefully sequenced images. The book depicts how a child of the war zone remembers and dreams while facing the chaos of having been chased by bombs and guns. This is the story of a sweet dream; dream that, despite the chaotic environment of reality, was kept alive inside a large suitcase. In this ‘silent’ book, which was a finalist of the Gianni De Conno Award (Silent Book Contest 2018), the vacuum created by the lack of words strengthens the meaning and allows it to exist in another form. At the same time, this style of book is changing the ways we understand and approach literature. 

PDF (English)


Arizpe, E., Colomer, T., & Martínez-Roldán, C. (2014). Visual Journeys through Wordless Narratives. London – New York: Bloomsbury.

Beckett, S. (2012). Crossover Picturebooks: A Genre for All Ages. New York: Routledge.

Doonan, J. (1993). Looking at pictures in picture books. Stroud Gloucester: Thimble Press.

Eliot, T. S. (1974). Four Quartets. Orlano, US: Harcourt Brace International.

Gavriilidou, S. (2008). The Difficult Profession of the Classical Hero (in Greek). Thessaloniki: University Studio Press.

Gombrich, E. H. (1972). Symbolic Images. Edinburgh: Phaidon.

Iser, W. (1974). The implied reader: Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.

Kandinsky, V. (1977). On the Spiritual in Art. Canada, Dover Publications.

Kress, G., & Van Leeuwen T. (1996). Reading images: The grammar of visual design. London: Routledge.

Lukács, G. (1984). The Theory of the Novel: The theory of the novel a historico-philosophical essay on the forms of great epic literature, translated by A. Bostock. Cambridge, Mass., United States, MIT Press.

Nodelman, P. (1988). Words about pictures: The narrative art of children’s picture books. Athens – London: The University of Georgia Press.

Nikolajeva, M., & Scott, C. (2001). How Picturebooks Work. New York – London: Garland G. Publishing.

Oikonomidou, S. (2016). The child behind words. The implied reader of children’s books (in Greek). Athens: Gutenberg.

Ruta, A. (2018). La Valigia. Milano: Carthusia Edizioni.

Wham, M. A., Barnhart, J., & Cook, G. (1996). Enhancing multicultural awareness through storybook reading experience. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 30(1), 1-9.

Unicef (2016). Uprooted: The growing crisis for refugee and migrant children. https://www.unicef.org/eca/reports/uprooted (accessed 11 May 2020).

Unicef (2016). Migration and children. https://www.unicef-irc.org/article/606-migration-and-children.html (accessed 11 May 2020).

Yannicopoulou, A. (2009). Direct and Indirect Ideological Messages within the Intercultural Publishing. Illustrated Book (in Greek). Keimena, 9, 1-11.

Creative Commons License

Utwór dostępny jest na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa – Na tych samych warunkach 4.0 Miedzynarodowe.


Download data is not yet available.