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MEDIA DafDaf: White Ravens, Migrants and the Meaning of “Home”

DDBy Ada Treves

The cover of the November issue of DafDaf is an explicit homage to yet another success of a friend of the Jewish magazine for kids: the image, in fact, is from “La voliera d’oro”, published in Italy by Topipittori. Anna Castagnoli is the author of a beautiful story about a mysterious and capricious princess, an impossible gift and a young wise man, in a book made even more magical by the art of Carll Cneut, who has illustrated it.

As explained in a special page, the book is so magical that it has been selected for the White Ravens 2015, the list of those special books that the Internationale Jugendbibliothek of Monaco – the best, most popular and largest international library for kids all over the world – selects every year among those published around the whole world, and that are presented at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Much attention, in this issue, has been given to Jewish values, and the first pages of DafDaf are devoted to how Judaism addresses the plight of those thousands of people fleeing through or stopping in Italy. Thanks to the help coming fron “Le p’tit Libé” the newspaper that French daily Libération publishes for its young readers and whose first number is called, precisely, “Migrants”. Four pages are to describe the values and the commitment of Italian Jews, with a text by Rabbi Alberto Moshe Somekh and an explanation of what is “Binario 21”, the Memorial of the Shoah in Milan, that in recent months has offered shelter to migrants.

In Milan there’s an exhibition on “Barbie, icon of an era” at the Mudec, the Museum of Cultures, which gives space to the story of its creator, Ruth Handler Marianna Mosko.

The pages about “Books” talk about the joy of spending time at home, and are dedicated by Nadia Terranova to “The houses of the others,” because, as she writes, “‘House’ is the more personal and at the same time the more universalistic word in the world, it is the place where you return to, where you live, where you feel free, protected and sometimes caged, home is home sweet home, bayt, Heimat”. And it is even more home when there is time to cook together: Roberta Anau explains what is the “zucca barucca” and presents a recipe for a velvety pumpkin cream. But it is also at home that you gather around the challot, especially when, thanks to the morà Dafdafà’s monthly column, you know a little more about their meaning. And in the last page there is space for another reader of DafDaf: Olivia, from Milan, who wants to be a singer and hates skyscrapers.