The Malta Independent 14 November 2018, Wednesday

‘Ġanni jżur Pariġi’

Sunday, 9 September 2018, 12:00 Last update: about 3 months ago

Sherise Zammit

What do the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, mouth-watering croissants and macarons have in common? Paris of course - and a little Maltese boy called Ġanni.

Early readers can experience the joys of beautiful Paris in Merlin Publishers' latest publication: Ġanni jżur Pariġi. Aimed for readers aged between three and six this book follows on after the success of Ġanni jżur Londra.

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This time litte Ġanni is taken to Paris on holiday for the very first time and he gets to explore the food, the language and the main landmarks of the city. The text is structured in easy-to-read one-line sentences, with a large font size, and is ideal for children starting to read in Maltese, or younger ones being read to.

This series aims to create awareness about the world around us by telling tales of adventures in the world's main capital cities.

Ġanni is the brainchild of author Sherise Zammit, whose graphic novel (with Andrea Meli) Save Samyo City was an instant hit. "I always feel that our libraries lack Maltese non-fiction titles. One day this idea came along and I thought why not create a fiction character who travels to different countries?" said Zammit.

Maltese non-fiction for young children is a lacuna that Merlin Publishers have been heavily investing in over the past few years with the greatly successful non-fiction strand in the Tikka Qari series. The character of Ġanni will take this further because his stories are less structured and the facts, namely the highlights of a foreign city and its way of life, are cleverly placed in a fictitious narrative context, appealing to children who enjoy fiction and non-fiction alike.

The full-colour cheerful illustrations in the book are the work of Canadian illustrator Noémie Gionet Landry. Part of the fun, for children and parents alike, is to spot all the tiny half-hidden details that Landry placed in the illustrations, which definitely makes re-reading a fun quest.

'Ġanni jżur Pariġi' and 'Ġanni jżur Londra' are available from all leading bookshops or directly online from merlinpublishers.com


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