The 36th edition of Le immagini della fantasia will introduce a new space for pedagogic experimentation, dedicated to children’s literature. It is a small autarchic place where children can travel along literary and visual paths that stimulate the imagination, a faculty that is typically human. This faculty plays a fundamental role in our life: it is a special corner in our mind that allows us to create images of invisible and unintelligible things, of “what is not, nor has been, and maybe won’t be, but could have been” (Calvino, 1993). This space is called Zooillogico. It was designed as a small literary garden where visitors can observe exotic and unusual books, poetic books that narrate the oddities of human nature and scientific books that tell us about the extraordinary lives of animals and their closeness to men. The aim is clear: encouraging interest in peculiar books and, most importantly, enticing the imagination of children and adults alike.

Illustration by William Wondriska, from Dov’è lo zoo? (Corraini Edizioni) – detail

Pedagogy and imagination

The Experimental Room takes up an important place in the organisation of Le immagini della fantasia. It is a place of reflection, experimentation and absolute freedom, safe and protected and yet a fundamental part of the flow of ideas, people and thoughts generated by the Exhibition. Run with care and creativity by Marnie Campagnaro, professor of Theory and History of Children’s Literature at the University of Padua and a teacher at the International School of Illustration, Zooillogico is an open window on the endless possibilities of children’s minds.