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Barbara Cantini


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Barbara Cantini

Born in Florence, after her studies in fine art Barbara specialized in animation, and worked on different series for RAI, Italian public television. In 2011 she won the  “Illustrator of the Year” Città del Sole Award, and since then she dedicated her work entirely to book illustration. She has published with Harper Collins the Ivy Pocket trilogy, Top That Pub., Einaudi, Pearson, Rizzoli, MacMillan, and Mondadori. 
Gothic atmospheres and perfect-pitch humour characterise Barbara's distinctive style, and has turned her title character, Mortina (Ghoulia, in English), into a household name in Italy. Although Mortina is a zombie, her feelings and fears are the same as every other child’s, dealing with self-acceptance and the difficulty of making new friends. The fourth book in the series, Mortina e la vacanza a Lago Mistero (Ghoulia: Vacation at Lake Mystery), was published by Mondadori in June 2019. The series has been translated into 23 languages and has received reviews in KirkusBooklist, Publishers WeeklyLa Repubblica, to name a few.
Barbara loves old garments, chocolate, travelling (and returning home), interior design, eggs, American comedies from the Fifties and Sixties, table games, and breaking the surface of a good crème brulée. She is a mom, a compulsive book-buyer, a collector of decorated paper, a “cat-a-holic," and a trekker. She lives in the Tuscan countryside with her husband and her two daughters, four cats, and a slightly daft hamster.



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