The Grammar of Fantasy

The Grammar of Fantasy

An Introduction to the Art of Inventing Stories

by Gianni Rodari

Translated by Jack Zipes

Illustrated by Matt Forsythe

Published by: Enchanted Lion Books

148 Pages, 6.00 x 9.25 in, Color illustrations throughout

  • Hardcover
  • 9781592703050
  • Published: March 2021


A collection of essays from the visionary storyteller Gianni Rodari about fairy tales and folk tales and their great advantages in teaching creative storytelling.

“Rodari grasped children’s need to play with life’s rules by using the grammar of their own imaginations. They must be encouraged to question, challenge, destroy, mock, eliminate, generate, and reproduce their own language and meanings through stories that will enable them to narrate their own lives.” —Jack Zipes

“I hope this small book,” writes renowned children’s author Gianni Rodari, “can be useful for all those people who believe it is necessary for the imagination to have a place in education; for all those who trust in the creativity of children; and for all those who know the liberating value of the word.”

Full of ideas, glosses on fairytales, stories, and wide-ranging activities, including the fantastic binomial, this book changed how creative arts were taught in Italian schools. Translated into English by acclaimed children’s historian Jack Zipes and illustrated for the first time ever by Matthew Forsythe, this edition of The Grammar of Fantasy is one to live with and return to for its humor, intelligence, and truly deep understanding of children.

A groundbreaking pedagogical work that is also a handbook for writers of all ages and kinds, The Grammar of Fantasy gives each of us a playful, practical path to finding our own voice through the power of storytelling.

Gianni Rodari (1920–1980) grew up in Northern Italy and wrote hundreds of stories, poems, and songs for children. In 1960, he collaborated with the Education Cooperation Movement to develop exercises to encourage children’s creative and critical thinking abilities.

Jack Zipes is a renowned children’s historian and folklorist who has written, translated, and edited dozens of books on fairytales. He is a professor at the University of Minnesota.

Matthew Forsythe lives in Montreal where he draws and paints for picture books, comics, and animations.