On the occasion of Lola Anglada i Sarriera's 130th birthday, the City Council and Libros del Zorro Rojo are presenting ‘El més petit de tots’, a book commissioned by the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Commissariat for Propaganda in the middle of the Spanish Civil War. This new edition is faithful to the original, and two essays have been added, one on the author, who was a pioneer in illustration and a leading author in Catalonia, and another on children’s and young adult literature during the Second Republic.
Through neat, didactic prose, El més petit de tots sought to instil republican values such as equality, freedom, respect for nature and heritage in children, while highlighting the painful effects of war and the benefits of peace.
Barcelona City Council and Libros del Zorro Rojo have republished this work, producing an edition that’s faithful to the original and that includes two essays – on Anglada, and on children’s and young adult literature during the Second Republic – edited by Montserrat Castillo, historian, art critic and curator of various Lola Anglada exhibitions, and Teresa Mañà, philologist and co-author of the book El patrimoni de la imaginació: llibres d’ahir per a lectors d’avui [The Heritage of the Imagination: Yesterday’s Books for Today’s Readers] (2007).
“El més petit de tots is the child of the revolution. It was born as a spark in the furnace where our men, tenacious and self-sacrificing, are forging the great human and regenerative work that is the liberation of our people”.
Lola Anglada’s little boy, the child of the revolution
Before the illustrated album was published, the protagonist had already been given physical form in a sculpture by Miquel Paredes that represented a boy dressed in a Phrygian cap and a worker’s overalls, with his left fist raised and a ‘senyera’ [Catalan flag] in his other hand.
Lola Anglada was commissioned by the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Commissariat for Propaganda to turn this symbol into an illustrated album. The author presented the protagonist as a “little boy with curly hair and very black eyes” who wanders around spreading the good news about the revolution wherever he goes.
Each of the eleven stand-alone stories in the book, are characterised by a pedagogical and hopeful tone, and accompanied by illustrations faithful to Anglada’s ‘noucentista’ style, with sharp black lines, classic shapes, and tones that set each story apart from the rest of the volume.