by Beatrice Masini, illustrations Sonia Maria Luce Possentini

The fifth book in the “Storietalentuose” series originates from the fruitful collaboration between the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art, the Botanical Garden of Padua and Carthusia Edizioni publishing house.

“The Plants with no Name” (translated by Alice Kilgarriff from the Italian edition “Le piante senza nome”) is dedicated to the crafts connected with the fascinating world of plants and gardening. The story takes place in the poetic setting of the Botanical Garden of Padua, which contributed to the book’s realisation. Founded in 1545, Padua’s Botanical Garden is the oldest of its kind in the world and a Unesco World Heritage Site.

The young protagonist of the story, Rico, comes from a faraway land. All that remains of his previous life, when he was called Sami and lived with his family in a warm country, are a few seeds that have grown into small plants in the garden of a merchant in Venice. With the plants and a letter wrapped in a bundle, Rico sets off for Padua's Botanical Garden, a marvellous place where “strange and not so strange plants” are collected. There, the master gardener, “a craftsman of nature who knows all about plants and their world; he sows the seeds, cultivates the land and waters it. He cares for the plants when they get sick, he feeds them and helps them reproduce, for our benefit,” will help him find out where his precious plants come from and how they are called.

Rico’s story is told by Beatrice Masini, who is well know for being the Italian translator of the Harry Potter series. Sonia Maria Luce Possentini's charming and realistic drawings of the botanical garden wonderfully illustrate the story. Thanks to its innovative format, the volume can be read like a picture book on one side, while the other side contains a glossary and interesting information, supplied by the Botanical Garden of Padua, on the techniques used in gardening.