Emirates Festival of Literature 2020: Elisabetta Dami talks mice, museums and magic

We chat to the creator of Geronimo Stilton about her upcoming visit to Dubai

Emirates Festival of Literature 2020: Elisabetta Dami talks mice, museums and magic

She’s sold over 250 books and having spoken to her, we have little doubt that there are still more to come from Italian children’s book author Elisabetta Dami.

Dami’s cool books about a detective rodent called Geronimo Stilton are enor-mouse-ly (sorry, not sorry) popular with kids the world over, evidenced by the fact that there are over 161 million copies in print worldwide in 49 languages, including Arabic.

And now the author of one of the most successful children’s series ever, is heading to Dubai where her little fans can look forward to not just meeting her, but to snapping some selfies with the smart mouse himself.

We talk to Dami about the joy of reading, connection through books and why she chose a mouse as her star sleuth.

You’ve published over 250 books… How?
I would have never imagined that those stories would be so successful all over the world! Geronimo is so popular all over the world, because in all countries children adopted him as their best friend, and love dreaming with him, because they share with him something very important… the joy of reading.

What do you think it is about Geronimo that keeps kids wanting more and more?
Children love Geronimo Stilton book because they are adventurous, fun but also full of good values. Geronimo believes in all good values and applies them in his everyday life: this is why he is a happy happy happy mouse… universal good values like honesty, loyalty, sincerity, courage, kindness, friendship and respect, but also love for nature.

Why a mouse?
Mice are curious, just like children, and Geronimo is curious of everything: from visiting a museum, so that he can talk to children about art, inventions and discoveries, or discovering the secrets of ancient history…

What do you hope children take away from your books?
I love to connect to children through books, to touch their hearts. But I always have in mind that they will soon become adults, and the little precious seeds of knowledge planted by my books will inspire their future. They will become citizens of the world, and their formation is our responsibility: young people are the hope of a better future for our planet!

I would like to bring joy to their hearts, but also introduce them to good values. Today good values are more and more important. Because we live in a world, where everything changes at light speed…This often creates confusion, so that being aware of what really counts in life is more and more important.

Good values are like a golden magic compass, because they show the path to follow in difficult moments, when we have to make important choices in our lives.

What have you got in store for kids and families at the Emirates Festival of Literature?
Geronimo and I will be in Dubai with deep love and friendship, with our hearts open for all children, all families, all educators and it will be our immense joy to share with them all our love of reading and all the good values we have in common. We are so excited to be heading to beautiful Dubai and we are grateful to Emirates Airline Festival of Literature for this precious opportunity to share the cultural mission to form and educate children.

Will Geronimo be joining you on your visit?
Geronimo and I will be together in this wonderful adventure at Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, to share with you all our love of reading and our zest for life! We are also sharing with you our enthusiasm for all projects in the world that are related to nature, health and education for young people: this is the aim of our Geronimo Stilton Foundation!
Dhs39 (Geronimo Stilton's World of Adventure, aimed at kids six and over). Sat Feb 8, 4pm-5pm. Emirates Festival of Literature InterContinental, Dubai Festival City, www.emirateslitfest.com (04 355 9844).

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