The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Spain

El ratón y la montaña

(The mouse and the mountain)

Gramsci, Antonio (text/idea)
Editorial Milrazones (adapt./transl.)
Domènech, Laia (illus.)
Santander: Milrazones, 2017. – [42] p.
(Series: Milratones)
ISBN 978-84-944294-2-2

Poverty  | Resource scarcity  | Solidarity  | Literary fairy tale  | Picture book

Reading age: 6+

White Ravens issue: 2018


Italian author, philosopher, and politician Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) was imprisoned for eleven years during the fascist regime. In 1931, he wrote a letter to his wife from prison, in which he summarized the plot of a fairy tale from his Sardinian homeland. Milrazones publishing house developed that sketch into the text for this picture book. Adopting the form of a chain tale, the story is about a world in which everything is scarce: the child has no milk, the goat no grass to give milk, the meadow no water to let grass grow, the well destroyed, the mountain bare and deforested. A little mouse becomes the saviour when she convinces the mountain to give stones to the mason so he can repair the well. Many years later, the grown-up child reforests the land out of gratitude for the milk. Laia Domènech illustrates this parable-like fairy tale about a society bound in fairness and solidarity with low-key pictures held to semi-transparent grey tones except for a few hopeful green highlights at the end of the story.