Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Homer, Odissea. Text adapted by Giorgio Ferrero, ill. Manuela Adreani, White Star Kids, Novara: White Star Publishers / de Agostini Libri, 2016, 78 pp.
Children (at the age of 5 to 8)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Dorota Bazylczyk, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
, b. 1973
Manuela Adreani (Sept. 16, 1973) is an Italian freelance illustrator, who was born in Rome and lives in Turin. After attending art school, she studied graphic illustration at ICEI Multimedia and animation at the IED Istituto Europeo di Design in Turin.* She creates illustrations for children's books – working with such publishers as White Star Kids Publisher, Benchmark and Scholastic India.** In her portfolio we can find illustrations for many famous works for children: Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Rapunzel, Snow White, The Beauty and The Beast, The Little Prince, The Owl and the Raven, The Poor Turkey Girl, The Snow Queen, The Wizard of Oz, The Wooden Camel.*** At the time of writing, she is working on illustrations for The Jungle Book, Greek Divinities and Aesop's Fables for White Star Kids Publisher. Previously, she also worked on movie animations – she was a cut out animator, compositor, video editor and 2D painter at Lastrego e Testa Multimedia Studio, working on such TV productions as Aladdin (Le avventure di Aladino), Amita from the Jungle (Amita della Giungla), The Creation (Creazione) and Marco Polo.**** She was the winner of an illustration contest organized for the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the creation of Pinocchio.
* See the info on the author’s profile on LinkedIn (accessed: July 5, 2018).
** See the info on Milan Illustrations Agency website (accessed: July 5, 2018).
*** See the info on the author’s blog (accessed: July 5, 2018).
**** See the info on the author’s profile on LinkedIn (accessed: July 5, 2018).
Profile on Instagram (accessed: July 5, 2018).
Official blog (accessed: July 5, 2018).
Bio prepared by Dorota Bazylczyk, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Polish: Homer, Odyseja, text adapted by Giorgio Ferrero, trans. Pamela Lange, ill. Manuela Adreani, Ożarów Mazowiecki: Firma Księgarska Olesiejuk, 2016.
English: The Odyssey, retold from the epic poem by Homer, ill. Manuela Adriani, text adapted by Giorgio Ferrero, trans. Contextus srl, Pavia (Louise Bostock), New York: Sterling Children's Books, 2016.
Czech: Homer, Odysea (převyprávění). adapt. by Giorgio Ferrero, ill. Manuela Adreani, trans. Marcela Kořínková, Praha: Naše vojsko, 2016.
The book is based on the plot of the original Homeric epic – it is the story of Odysseus, who after the fall of Troy wanders the seas trying to come back to his home island of Ithaca. At the same time on Ithaca, Odysseus’ son Telemachus and his wife – Penelope, are struggling with the suitors who attempt to force the Queen into re-marriage. Telemachus decides to leave Ithaca to find some news about his father. Odissea in the adaptation of Giorgio Ferrero, presents the same threads as in Homer’s version, arranged in the same sequence: Telemachus' trip, the unfailing support of the Goddess Athena, the adventures of Odysseus and his return to Ithaca and the punishment of the suitors. The whole narrative is shortened, simplified, and adapted for the younger readers. Contrary to the original epic, it is not divided into the books or chapters.
Manuela Adreani’s illustrations (we’re focussing on the illustrations because the text occupies much less space and follows Homer, see the Summary) can help the child to interpret the events which sometimes can be too complex or too difficult to understand for the young readers. They depict different arcs of the story, namely Penelope’s endless weaving of her cloth, the conversation of Nestor and Telemachus, Odysseus travelling in rough seas, the encounter with Polyphemus, Circe and the pigs, Penelope and Odysseus sleeping, and others. They present many characters connected with the story (among them: Odysseus, Telemachus, Penelope, Athena, Nestor, Nausicaa, Demodocus, Circe, Argos), as well as mythical creatures (for example Cyclops, Sirens, Scylla) and mythical deities (e.g. Athena, Hermes, Aeolus).
The illustrations account for the greater part of the book – sometimes they are placed close to the text, sometimes they occupy one full page or even two. The large format of the publication (29,5 cm x 36,5 cm) highlights the crucial role of the illustrator’s work. In the American edition of the book, the name of Giorgio Ferrero who adapted Homer’s text, can be found only in small print on the editorial page.
The style of the pictures is very original and it occasionally ventures into surrealism. All the pictures are well suited to the stories presented and are appropriate for the youngest readers, while not cartoonish; they create a calm mood and have natural, subdued colors.
In the interview with Manuela Adreani (vide: Illustrator’s Questionnaire), the illustrator said that she wanted to highlight the role of Athena, as the protector of Ulysses and his son Telemachus.
Odyseja – Manuela Adreani, available at the www.poleczkazksiazkamibeel2.blox.pl, posted Bovember 17, 2016 (accessed: July 11, 2018).
Manuela Adreani – Odyseja i Piotruś Pan, available at the kusiatka.blogspot.com, posted November 15, 2016 (accessed: July 11, 2018).
„Odyseja” na motywach eposu Homera – Wydawnictwo Olesiejuk, available at the wnaszejbajce.pl, posted March 29, 2017 (accessed: July 11, 2018).