I Figli del Mastro Vetraio or The Children of the Master Glass-Maker is one of the most important books by Maria Gripe specialized in children's literature. Illustrations are by Harald Gripe husband of Maria. Published this April 18th by Iperborea, italian publishing house specialized in North European's literature, I know that you and your children will fall in love for this story.
It is an adorable book and once you will start to read it you will see that you won't be in grade anymore to put it down.
The powerful, tender cover is a real attraction for everyone.
I brought with me this book is several places and people were interested, intrigued by the title and also by the book-cover, asking for questions. A magnetic, magic book in grade to capture the
attention of potential readers.
Alberto and Sofia lives in Penuria, Lack, in a little modest house with their two children Pietro and Chiara, names wanted by Alberto for remarking his profession of glass-maker.
Chiara and Pietro still very little children when the story starts.
Alberto has a store where he sells his creations, although the most important moment of the year where to sell a lot is the big spring exhibition at Blekeryd.
Close to them on the top of a hill the little house of Svolazza Beltempo, Flutter GoodWeather and her loyal crow Sage. Sage lost one of his eyes, the one that sees negative facts and obscure situations and that's why lately he is constantly happy.
Svolazza BelTempo, Flutter GoodWeather, reads tarots, and she describes future also thanks to another passion: making beautiful carpets.
Once at the market/exhibition, Alberto sold a lot of items and thanks to it, he presented to his wife a beautiful ring. This ring was beauty but put Sofia in a terrible state because it was as if it "spoke" to her of some imminent disgrace.
Svolezza BelTempo, Flutter GoodWeather, doesn't predict the future at Sofia but...She reminds her that if for case she would have bought a certain ring and something bad would have happened and she would have brought her that ring she would have helped her.
In a distant land there was a King with his Queen. The King was born rich, the Queen was very poor and became rich.
This King loved to fulfill every possible dream expressed by her Queen and people around him.
When the Queen desired for a son, he decided to "presenting" her not just a kid but two kids seen previously in the market: yes the children of Alberto and Sofia, Pietro and Chiara.
He kidnapped them.
Children of poor people.
This King thought that after all he would have made a great pleasure to that poor couple removing these two mouths from their house.
The King and the Queen lived in the City of Desires located in an island on the River of Forgotten Memories.
The King wanted to make happy the Queen. He didn't mind at all of Pietro and Chiara. The Queen if at first appreciated them later forgot them as if these two children two puppets or dolls, like the one the King and the Queen bought at the market at Sofia. A beauty, lifeless doll unable to feel any sentiment, pain or stress if treated bad or with indifference.
These children were not loved, but after all in that castle no one was loved and everyone profoundly unhappy for many reasons.
The King thought that every desire needed to be fulfilled and when he couldn't fulfill any desire he was sad.
The Queen was very sad because she lost the capacity of dreaming and expecting for something beauty in her life.
It's a beautiful dimension when you desire something and then with hard work, with casualty you see your dream realized.
Thanks to the immense richness of her husband what she wanted was realized immediately and if at first it was wonderful for her, born poor, with the time it was obsessively sad and boring and she started to be "destroyed" inside. Her husband destroyed her capacity of living, expecting, dreaming, desiring.
The Queen was "obliterated" by the impossibility of dreaming and keeping intact the dream she was dreaming about.
Not always we can realize our dreams, it's known, but sometimes keeping them intact give them strength.
Pietro and Chiara didn't remember their past lives thanks to the enchantment caused by the River of the Forgotten Memories but they were like lost.
They desperately searched for other children, they desperately searched for someone in grade to love them although they didn't know that they were searching for life, for love, for normality for a family and for giving a sense to their poor sad existence because they were children.
They didn't find anyone.
They just saw other two children looking in some mirrors with which they interacted for a while. They smiled: they smiled back and so on but later that children became so pale, so sad, so desperate that they preferred to avoid their vision because too scaring. They didn't know that that ones were the reflections of themselves.
Life in a family where a disgrace fall changes completely and it is very well described in the book.
Two families in sufferance: the one of the King and the one of Alberto.
Sometimes it's difficult to remember the "before," because the after is bitter and sadness, desperation too strong for permit again to see in the surface positive feelings or good expectations for the future.
These protagonists lived in a sort of hallucinating state, in a never-ending sufferance that they accepted and embraced with resignation and without to fight.
They lived in an emotional cage where each of them was unhappy, sad but no one knew how to escape from it.
Alberto's creations were symptoms of his own sadness. His sadness puts in his creations appeared like tears. Sofia wanted to remember because she knew that someone once told her something of crucial, but...Who was?
In this passage of the book we can see the remembrance of the past, of happiest times, when brain was happy and focused and it was possible to enjoy every second of life. It's the ability of de-stress the
mind, of trying to see putting aside for some seconds sufferance, pain and desperation the happy past for a solution.
It's this work that must be done, it's this work that can permit to return to the surface.
It's leaving the land of sadness where Sofia fell in that can permits her to find the answers she needs but she needs to disconnects the new self created by sufferance, stress, pain, desperation, for re-connect her soul with the old Sofia. Sofia will be in grade to do that and then she will rush away for searching for the person in grade to give back them that happiness that someone stole to her and her husband.
Children in the while experienced the arrival of Nana a baby-sitter, someone disgusting, in grade to put in a terrible state all the Castle
from the Queen to the latest servant, reducing the two poor things in a miserable state.
In these passages the lack of love is analyzed very well and the result are unhappy people.
Toddlers didn't know anymore who they were, why they existed considering that people who took care of them were everyday different servants and there wasn't a dimension of familiarity. There was just a lot of cold and the sensation of being treated as objects.
Nana kept them under control every second.
Everyone once entered in that castle part of that game but everyone unhappy and discontent for the life spent in that place.
Substantially if the children and the Nana removed, most of these problems would have been sorted out but that one of having children a desire of the Queen so they were integrant part of this game because a fulfilled desire.
At a superior level this story can be read like a metaphor of life. We meet along our way people that maybe we don't like but that constrict us to experience a lot of unhappiness with chains created by events after events. Sometimes it's difficult to unlock these mental prisons.
Because these ones lived by the protagonists of the story are mental prisons exactly as life can becomes.
Magic is in our life and the character of the little magical old man who sold the ring to Sofia means this: the profound connection between obscurity and light, escapism and captivity, happiness and unhappiness, joy and desperation.
He was the one who sold a part of the solution for sorting out for this family a big problem like this one: the disappearance of their two beloved children. Not only: that ring meant knowledge and vision of all the most obscure facts and situations.
You mustn't never think for a second that the King acted with cruelty against Alberto and Sofia.
It was superficiality; it was the impossibility for the King of loving properly another human being.
If the King would have properly loved, knowing the meaning of this word, he wouldn't never have kidnapped that two children because he would have known what it would have meant.
This book analyzes the condition of fatality and the condition of unhappiness as state of mind that we can't change but that creates a spiral of other endless problematics.
There is hope: hope thanks to the arrival of Svolazza Beltempo, Flutter GoodWeather. She will sort out a lot of problems and happiness will be back. For everyone.
It's a strong fairy-tale this one that I suggest not just at children, that will enjoy it, because they can read it without too much stress, but at adult people as well.
There is always a key in grade to re-open the door of happiness in every big sufferance.
It's important to remember it, to find it, and once discover what can bring back life in a family, in a person, acting for restore the beauty of the past, the present and the future.
Highly suggested to everyone!
I thank Iperborea for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori