Le cinque mogli di Barbabrizzolata

(The 5 wifes of Grizzled Beard) Book not yet available in English


During a particularly boring winter, a rich maharaja decides to get married. It’s the beginning of a series of marriages, each followed by a divorce, because none of the five wives that his father suggests him (all different – and all musicians!) seems to satisfy the maharaja. Locked together in a luxurious palace, the five women don’t lose heart and they find new ways to live together happily and in harmony.


This book represents a feminist reinterpretation of the famous folktale Bluebeard. It is one of the most famous stories written by Adela Turin and illustrated by Nella Bosnia in the 1970s, which was originally published by the important Italian feminist publishing house founded by Turin herself, Dalla parte delle bambine (On the side of girls). Adela Turin’s picture books present the daily achievements of women and girls, subverting the schemes of traditional children’s literature through stories of unconventional heroines, free to choose and fight. Stories that are worth reading and rereading even today, right for their openly “militant” choice in favour of girls’ empowerment. And to any reservations that some might express, we can reply with the words of Adela Turin, highlighting the irony and the problematic nature of this series’ books: “Our stories are not solutions, they are open-ended. They are witty, because children have a distinct sense of humour. We have not written them for girls, but on the side of girls.” A highly recommended read for boys too!!

Edited by: Centro MeTRa (Italy)

Author(s): Turin, Adela

Illustrator(s): Bosnia, Nella

Series: I velieri

Publisher: Motta junior

City: Firenze

Year: 2001

Pages: 39

ISBN: 9788882791343

Age Range: 6 - 10

Language: IT

Original Language: IT

Keywords: Empowerment, Female characters, Identity, Positive role model, Rewriting

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