Illustrations for a personalised book...

Ricky and Lia

Ricky is a very lucky boy and he has a very special grandmother, Lia, who loves him very much. She wanted to give Ricky a booklet for his 7th birthday, I felt honoured to enter their world full of love and attention by drawing pictures to accompany her beautiful words of love for his grandson.

I wish every child to be loved so much by at least one member of their family because it will always remain in their heart.
'Ricky is 7 years old, black hair with copper shades and lots of nice curls around a smart and beautiful face, long thin legs and hands capable of doing anything.

He has a little sister named Elisa, called Puffa, with long blond hair and fine as silk, who loves to play talking with her dolls in the playroom. The two of them love each other a lot, they protect each other and hug each other with great tenderness, and sometimes, like all brothers, they fight and roll around on the carpet.'
'From an early age he has always known the place of all things, he knows how to grasp the subtle attitudes of people and how to do imitations with flair and accuracy like a consummate actor. The whole family laughs at his shows, and then give him lots of kisses.'
'Ricky loves the sun and the rain, the wind and the sea, loves trees, animals and all beautiful things.

He is very good at working in the garden, he plants seeds and sprouts, he waters, he collects the leaves with his green rake, piling them in the bins which he then pounds by jumping into them to make space for more.

He is familiar with insects and earthworms, pebbles, berries, leaves and flowers, which he then dries between newspaper pages pressed from large books, and then uses them to make compositions and greeting cards, or looks at them under a microscope.'
'He likes to draw, invent paper objects with decorations and similar things that become small masterpieces.
He is also very good at tidying up the room after a storm has piled up objects of all kinds on the carpet.'
'At the end of the day, everything has to be tidied up as adults start getting nervous about all that chaos. And so Ricky darts here and there, putting everything back in its place.

Sometimes after all that whirlwind, he gets overwhelmed by a bit of weariness and melancholy.
He sits still. Arms folded on the sofa, pensive face, eyes fixed on the TV without following anything.
Who knows what Ricky thinks!

Perhaps at some point he has experienced loneliness. Loneliness is a secret place full of questions, where so many thoughts come and go. A place with shadows and silences from which all things are born.'
'Ricky is convinced that others do not listen to him enough, we know that everyone is always busy and in a hurry. Besides, he can't stand injustices, and when he happens to get one, he has learned to have his say with a certain impetus and a lot of detail.
-Do not answer. - mum and dad tell him.
-How can I not answer if I don't like this! - he replies with the chin up.
And so a small scuffle arises in the house like the explosion of a firecracker that makes some sparks and then stops on the ground.'
'One winter afternoon at school there was still an hour left to go out. It was almost getting dark when Biagio started going around the classroom and teasing his classmates. All the children, now a little tired, began to respond to Biagio's spite and shout as they got up from the desks.
-Stop, all seated! the teacher said.
But no one listened to her, including Ricky who was second to none when it came to jokes. It was then that he came up with an idea as fast as lightning.
He ran to his desk, took out everything he needed and quietly began to draw. Very quickly he drew small planes, flowers, ladybugs, butterflies, dolls ... with felt-tip pens of all colors, he cut them out a bit as best he could.
Then he got up and with his best smile began to distribute them one by one to all his vociferous companions, and even to the teacher. As if by magic, everybody stopped, fell silent, as if a magical powder had descended on the classroom to block the chaos and make each person find their rightful place in the world. Wonderful!
Ricky looked at his entire class in peace and felt great joy. Too good! His friends were fine and he was fine too! -Next time, he thought, I'll start hugging everyone as I used to when I was a child, or dance, or play a piece of music with the harmonica!'
'Ricky's grandmother was once very sad. It was a rainy day and, for some reason, she was wrapped in her red fleece blanket and her gray sadness, thinking about so many sad things.
Suddenly she heard the doorbell ring and reluctantly got up to see who it was. It was he, her beloved grandson, who brought her something, as in the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood.'
'It was a magical note written and drawn by him.
Immediately that gift from the child became a light that passed through her and made all the shadows disappear, as when the light of the day comes out and the whole world lights up.

The grandmother hugged her grandson for a long time, thanked him very much, because he had made all her sadness disappear with his beautiful gift.
It was a gift not bought, but made with his own hands and heart, and she will remember it forever.'

Elisa and Lia

Do you think that a grandma like Lia could forget little Elisa?
How would Elisa feel to see her older brother receive his personal fairy tale? Even if it was Ricky’s birthday … would she still feel special?
Lia wrote something for Elisa too and again, I accompanied the words with images.
'Today, on Ricky’s birthday,
In my heart there is also a little girl
Which becomes more beautiful every day
And she dances with kindness and grace.'
'She is smart, affectionate and dear,
Holds all people together
With laughter, hugs and beautiful things
Which with joy she gives to all of us.'
'Dear Elisa, wonderful Puffa,
You are so sweet, unique and funny,
I like your company so much,
I love you very much, Grandma Lia.'

"All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it."
-From the book The Little Prince of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry