Sunday, February 13, 2022

Review: The Story of Ace, the Dog that Comes From Space by Anna "Annina" Lorenzi

 Today's read comes from an Italian author and was translated into English, releasing the end of last year. It has a lovely balance of comics and humorous, short stories with a puppy to love and adore. Oops! It looks like I'm giving the review already!

I'll just keep my lips tight, and get on with the book. 

by Anna "Annina" Lorenzi
Illustrated by Lele Corvi
Translated by Starleen K. Meyer
78 pages
ages 8 and up

What happens when an author, such as Anna “Annina” Lorenzi, of stories, novels, poetry, and various other kinds of texts, decides to write a book illustrated ironically, and she encounters “the pencil” and the brilliant mind of a famous Italian cartoonist, such as Lele Corvi?  Well, what a question, Ace is born!

The story of Ace was written with a smile to make readers smile, but also to reflect. It was born as a book for everyone. If a range of ages had to be specified, it would surely be “from 0 to 100.” 

Ace is determined, with his principles, his ideas, and his convictions, but he is also one who knows how to be ironic and to “play” with his weaknesses, his uncertainties, and delusions, reflecting on himself and on the world in which he was “catapulted” when born. Ace will know how to make himself loved, immediately, because – as Lele Corvi writes in his preface – “…even though he comes from another planet and is a dog, he is one of us. Ace is EVERYONE of us.” 

The Story of Ace, the Dog that Comes from Space (professionally translated from Italian by Starleen K. Meyer), and its original Italian title, La storia di Ignazio il Cane che Arriva dallo Spazio, are an Original A19 Project by Anna “Annina” Lorenzi, in collaboration with Lele Corvi


The collection of adventures and curious life moments from a dog, who might be from space, pack not only mounds of humor but poke with a bit of clever insight surrounding life.

Each chapter holds a situation or observation from Ace and his life. These can be read one after the other or in any order desired. These are short, only a couple of pages, and each one begins with a quick, enjoyable comic, which depicts the theme and allows Ace to really come to life. These are followed by the insights of Ace as he considers a situation through his view on life in a type of short story. It's easy to read, creates food for thought, and is humorous enough to cause more than just a smile or two.

The vocabulary and situations might go a little over younger readers' heads, but slightly older ones will have no trouble sinking into Ace's views on life. Seeing everything through his eyes is refreshing; He attempts to think through things and analyze the world around his own unique way. The result is funny but also slides in some interesting points, which hit true to home. It's fun to read, especially with the comics bringing Ace to visual life. And it's one for not only middle graders, but something even adults can enjoy.

About the author...

Anna “Annina” Lorenzi was born in Milan on a rainy Monday morning the 26th of October, 1981. She went to - or, better yet, “went to” - two years of classical studies high school, followed by four years of artistic studies high school, without, in any event, being able to resist dedicating herself to her passions: writing, music, photography, her beloved dogs, engines, travelling and nature. Talking about work, she really does “a little bit of everything,” so much so that, together with some friends, she founded a company in Texas that deals with classic cars. Participating in writing contests and working with some Italian magazines, she has published various short stories and articles. Currently, she shares her creative writing accompanied by photographs and images on her personal site, Diciannove - Prima di nascere ero sull'astronave che aspettavo di scendere ( - Nineteen - Before I was born I was on a space ship waiting to come down). She also promotes her previous literary publications, internationally.

The books of the author are available in Italian and English editions (professionally translated from Italian by Starleen K. Meyer), in paperback and eBook formats, on all the Amazon stores. Other texts, poetry, short stories, interviews, and articles (including less recent publications) are online on Anna’s site, which is constantly updated.

About the illustrator...

Currently a cartoonist for the newspapers Il Manifesto, l’Eco di Bergamo, and Il Cittadino, he also draws cartoons for Voto 10, a web portal dedicated to cinema, and for Food Service, a web site and magazine about catering. He is also the author of comic strips appearing in various editions of the day planner Comix (with the series Crow’s Village), and for a few years in Focus Junior. Recently, he realized the drawings for the graphic novel Vita eccessiva di John Belushi (2019). Gabriele is the author of various collections of cartoons, cartoon strips, and of children’s books: con Le 100 Cose Belle della Vita (Emme edizioni, 2020) and a series of 4 books with Tobi as a protagonist (publishing houses and self-publishing). Over the years, he has also collaborated with Corriere della Sera, Gazzetta dello Sport, Avvenire, Banca Intesa, Amsa Milano, Yamaha, Procter&Gamble, Citroen, 3BMeteo, Edicola Fiore and others. He has also created covers, comics and book illustrations for various publishing houses, such as Hachette, Pearson, Fabbri – Rizzoli Education, Piemme, et al. In addition, Gabriele has had personal exhibits, and his works have also been present in many collective exhibits. He has also won some national and international prizes dedicated to satire and comic strips. 

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