Davide Cali

Davide Cali was born in Northern Switzerland, near the state line with Germany but grew up in Italy. Davide adored comics from an early age, especially Asterix. At 22 he wrote and illustrated for the monthly Italian magazine LINUS.


A passion for storytelling eventually led him to writing children’s books. Since his first books, which he wrote and illustrated, he has collaborated with many talented illustrators including Serge Bloch (French), Gianluca Foli (Italian) and Anna Laura Cantone (Italian). Picture book awards include France’s prestigious Baobab Prize for the most innovative book of 2005 for I Can’t Wait illustrated by Serge Bloch. This was also Honour Book in the American Library Association’s Batchelder Award.


Over the last ten years he has gone on to create more than forty illustrated books for publishers in Austria, France, Italy, Argentina and Portugal. His books have been translated into twentyfive countries all over the world. Australian children’s publisher Wilkins Farago is proud to have published eight of Davide’s books for the English Language market to excellent reviews.


His nine most recent titles include, The Enemy (included in the USBBY’s 2010 list of Outstanding International Books), The Bear with a Sword (selected for the International Youth Library’s White Ravens Catalogue) and What is this thing called love? Being fluent in French, Italian and English Davide travels extensively around Europe giving talks and performing workshops at schools and book fairs. He is delighted by this opportunity to do the same in Australia.


His new hilarious comic book/graphic novel10 Little Insects (released this May) was selected as one of the best graphic novels of the year at the prestigious Angoulême International Comics Festival in France.

Davide Cali is appearing in PASS IT ON as part of his blog tour…this will also appear on the PIO blog.

Here he talks to us about the stories behind the stories.

Davide Cali: behind my books


Hi there! First of all thank you for inviting me to write in your blog! I guess you should be interested in my books translated in Australia, so, here they are!

10 books, 10 stories, a short “backstage” about each of them!


1 – I like chocolate



This has been my first translated book (in 15 countries!), the first not been illustrated by me and the first commissioned too. The publisher (Zoolibri) just called me asking: “Do you like chocolate?” It’s funny that our over 10 years of work and friendship just began this way.

It should begin always this way.



2 – A Dad who Measures Up




In some way this is a commissioned book too. Zoolibri asked me to write a book about a mom, to put alongside one he had done about a dad. I started my story telling about this very special mom, but in the middle of the book, suddenly it became the story of… a dad! So, I published it elsewhere.




3 – Piano Piano



Marcolino, the protagonist of this book, exists for real. He was the neighbor’s son. I have been listening to his piano exercises for ten years, before I wrote this story. My book tells the true story – just until the middle. Then it’s a little more romantic than reality. In the real world, Marcolino has been refused by a music school and then forgot the piano and any other ideas about playing music.



4 – The Enemy





Many people wrote that this is a book about the Great War but it’s not really that. I just wanted to write a book about the concept we all have of “enemy” and about the medias’ manipulation. The holes in the desert are the ones in which we hide ourselves, to not see that others are just like us.





5 – I Can’t Wait


It came out at the post office. I was waiting for my turn and there were plenty of people before me. So I started to make a list in my mind, of every time we have to wait for something, in a life.

When I arrived home the idea had already turned into a book.


6 – I Love Kissing You



Me and my girlfriend were together since ten years when I decided to write a “private book” just for her, collecting our memories. At first I though that it was too personal to be interesting for anybody else but then I discovered how love is really a universal theme. Everyone believes to be the first to fall in love or the only one loving someone… but the truth is that lovers all have the same story!





7 – Santa’s Suit





I always loved the book Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs and I wanted to make my own story about Father Christmas. So here it is!



8 – The bear with the sword




In this book comes again the theme of the enemy, but I wanted to talk about the fact that we always try to find someone else as guilty for our faults. At the beginning the bear of the book was a human warrior. It was the Italian publisher who asked me to turn it into animal, to make it a little less tough.







9 – What is this thing called love?



I don’t have children, but I know friends’ ones. So, at the age of 4 they usually start to ask important questions, just like: What is love? Where is it? Which shape has it?

I just tried to answer…



10 – Little Insects





 As I told in a recent interview I’ve always loved “Ten Little Indians” By Agatha Christie and always thought I have done a “cover”, you know, my own version of it, just like rock bands are used to do of their fav tunes. And I did it, mixing it up with insects, one of my great passions when I was a kid.




Event | Tuesday 22 May 2012 at 6:30pm

An evening with Davide Cali

Readings Carlton: 309 Lygon St, Carlton, Victoria, 3053

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to meet Davide Cali, the internationally acclaimed Italian children’s book author, on his first ever Australian tour. Cali is an award-winning author of over 40 illustrated kids’ books, which have been published in 25 countries. Eight of his favourite titles have been published in Australia by Wilkins Farago Children’s Publishers including The Enemy, The Bear with the Sword, and the adult title I Love Kissing You.

This is a rare opportunity to hear Cali speak about his work, inspirations and future projects over a glass of Italian wine and good company.

Free, but please book on 9347 6633.

There is also an event for kids at 4:30pm



Davide Cali’s Blog Tour Dates…


WELCOME TO THE Davide Cali blog tour page. The blog tour is taking place between 1 and 15 May, as a countdown to Davide’s first visit to Australia from 16 to 28 May.

Every day some of Australia’s most interesting book bloggers will be posting interviews with him, reviewing his books, offering giveaways and maybe giving a sneak peak of his award-winning new book, 10 Little Insects.

You can check out the blogs below on the following days to see what they’ve posted:

1 May (blog tour kick-off)

2 May

  • Kids Book Review releases a sneak peak of Davide Cali’s new book, 10 Little Insects.

3 May

4 May

  • Rebecca Newman interviews Davide Cali on Alphabet Soup kids magazine’s blog about being a librarian during his National Service in Italy and creating The Bear with the Sword. She also gets his tips for young writers.

5 May

6 May

7 May

8 May

  • Children’s writer and reviewer Dee White examines Davide Cali’s approach to picture book writing on her DeeScribe Writing blog.
  • The Yarra Plenty Regional Library blog previews Reading for Social Peace, a new program which aims to  use stories to encourage conversation in young people about issues that cause conflict, such as war, cultural differences, and bullying. Davide Cali will launch the program on 24 May in Melbourne.

9 May

10 May

  • Illustrator Ann James chats with Davide on her Books Illustrated blog about how he works with illustrators, his celebrated collaborations with French illustrator Serge Bloch and which other writers and illustrators inspire him.

11 May

12 May

  • Popular kids activity website Little Melbourne provides a profile of Davide and his books, as well as his Australian tour dates. They’re also running a competition to win a copy of Davide Cali and Evelyn Daviddi’s delicious picture book, I Like Chocolate.

13 May

14 May

15 May

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