Detour Artist Profile: Attilio Cassinelli


Attilio Cassinelli was born in Genoa where he now lives and works. He is a children’s book author/illustrator who lived for years in Milan, where he also studied painting and advertising. He began his career as an illustrator for children when, while working for a toy company, he started to draw puppets and rug animals. These drawings became widely recognized for their originality, and a publishing house commissioned him to create a series of dummies that were first considered “strange”. Facing lacklustre response, he then self-produced the first of 10 tales under the title “the house upon a tree”. The book was first introduced and presented at the Fair of the Book of Bologna in 1965 and in Frankfurt. New characters were noticed in the Bologna BookFair 1967 and his material began garnering significant interest. Giunti, a Florence-based publisher, in need of a distinct yet quality-driven series, went on to publish 12 sequels. Since then, Attilio has continued to create, write, and illustrate stories. Many of these have been translated into many languages, and Japan has collected large amounts of his drawings. Lately the book from which he wrote and illustrated “Animals in the proverbs” was awarded with the first prize at the International Hall of Bordighera. The biggest success was Pinocchio retitled “Once I was a piece of wood”. Moreover he has written and illustrated story books, creating educational games as well as collaborating with Publishing houses. Recent private and public commissions include a brand new publication, due out next year, featuring many of the old typical Attilio characters. 

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One thought on “Detour Artist Profile: Attilio Cassinelli

  1. I really Loved his books as a child… “Friend of the Wood!” simple beautiful stories, simple wonderful drawings, so magic!

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