IL NINJA INNAMORATO is the winning book of the tenth edition of the Silent Book Contest – Gianni De Conno Award 2023, the first international competition dedicated to the book without words, a demanding bet for the international world of illustration: illustrators are called to participate in a competition for the creation of a "silent" book and evaluated by an important International Jury.
The tenth edition of the Silent Book Contest – Gianni De Conno Award 2023 has Carthusia Edizioni as organizer and main promoter flanked by important partners such as the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the Turin International Book Fair, the Municipality of Mulazzo and the Montereggio Paese dei Librai Association, IOB International Organization of Book Towns, the Center for books and reading, IBBY Italia, BPER Banca, Granarolo and Rai Ragazzi and Rai Radio 3 as Media Partners.
Since the 2018 edition, the competition has been dedicated to Gianni De Conno, in memory of its creator and great artist who passed away in August 2017.
The International Jury, chaired by Walter Fochesato (teacher of children's literature and history of illustration – Italy), is composed of Emanuela Bussolati (illustrator – Italy), Eros Miari (member of the editorial board of the Turin International Book Fair – Italy), Rina Allek (winner of the Silent Book Contest 2020 – Russia), Elena Pasoli (director of the Bologna Children's Book Fair – Italy), Sonja Riva (writer and journalist of RSI – Switzerland), Sara Wang (CEO of Sidee Cultural Communication – China), Javier Zabala (illustrator – Spain) and Patrizia Zerbi (publisher of Carthusia Edizioni – Italy).
Last February the Jury, with the support of Costanza De Conno and Francesco Zamboni of the SBC Organizing Secretariat, selected, among 280 works from 56 countries around the world, 12 unpublished finalist projects:
- “E poi un giorno” by Marta Herrera (Spain)
- “I’m big and small” by Jiaona Qui (China)
- “Il ninja innamorato” by Alessandro Stilla (Italy)
- “Into the white” by Chiara Ficarelli (Italy)
- “L’ultimo viaggio” by Zongxi Deng (China)
- “La fuga” by Agim Sulaj (Albania)
- “La roccia più lontana” by Antonio Bonanno (Italy)
- “Legno” by Montserrat Batet Creixell (Spain)
- “Night expedition” by Aleksandra Artymowska (Poland)
- “Piantala!” by Alessia Roselli (Italy)
- “The adventure of Doris Florence Valentine” by Florence Waters (United Kingdom
- “To the moon” by Lingxiao Zhang (China)
After meeting a second time, the International Jury chose the winning project of SBC 2023.
IL NINJA INNAMORATO (NINJA IN LOVE) is a wordless book set among the buildings of a big city on whose roofs a shadow wanders, a small masked ninja engaged in a special mission: to capture the slice of the moon with which he has madly fallen in love. Like all lovers, he can’t get it out of his head and he sees it everywhere, in the supermarket, in the reflections on the water, in his ramen soup. While wandering in the nights with a magical flavor, surrounded only by other couples who flirt, he will do his best to achieve the feat and find back the smile that his mask hides.
With its tender and funny illustrations, with simple and decisive features, this silent book tells the vital importance of following one’s desires to achieve serenity.
"The idea came from a recently made image, which depicts a dark silhouette, with a backpack in the shape of a moon and a starry sky behind it. From here I imagined a nice story and I realized that it could be told perfectly without the use of text" says the author Ale Puro.
The author Alessandro Stilla, aka Ale Puro, is an Italian illustrator and street artist. He studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and his career began creating murals: from there his characters were born, almost always with childish features, who live in a poetic and enchanted world. He has collaborated with public and private bodies and various art galleries painting walls and exhibiting paintings in Italy and Europe. He often organizes art workshops in schools.
IL NINJA INNAMORATO joins the "SILENT BOOK" series published by Carthusia Edizioni, which today collects 28 titles, including SBC winners and finalists. Great books without words to tell stories through the magic of images, "silent" books by great authors, both winners and finalists, who participated in the prestigious Silent Book Contest.
It will be available in bookstores throughout the country starting from May 26, 2023.
The Award Ceremony of the winning book was held Saturday, May 20 at 2:15 PM during the Turin International Book Fair, at the Bronze Room in Hall 2.
At the event, together with the winning author, Walter Fochesato, Eros Miari, Sara Wang, Claudio Novoa, Lorena De Vita, Mussi Bollini and Patrizia Zerbi were present.
For the entire duration of the Book Fair, from 19 to 23 May, the physical exhibition of the finalists of the Silent Book Contest 2023 could also be visited in the Bookstock Village Area.
Since 2018 the Silent Book Contest is dedicated to Gianni De Conno, its ideator and creator. An artist of great impact, one of the greatest illustrators of the Italian publishing scene, in which he operated a dense dreamlike vein sustained by an inclination to hyperrealism, a magical and surrealism, a sort of profoundly original creative oxymoron. Gianni De Conno was also a true “Grandmaster”, he illustrated and interpreted the world, he taught with passion and care, in this little and small editorial world, he made a lot of other extraordinary things in his work.