... a collection of children’s stories intended to be short enough that one could be read during a 20th-century pay phone call, as the Italian title, Favole al telefono, suggests more explicitly. It is also unapologetically political, using unlikely situations and imaginary worlds to prompt readers to question the status quo.
Those 67 whimsically surreal tales, most as short as the time one coin allotted — first published together in Italian in 1962 and finally all brought together again in a new English translation — make up this treasure trove of a book ... Valerio Vidali’s new illustrations, inspired by the act of doodling on a message pad, match Rodari’s radical playfulness. Vibrant and fanciful, they run the gamut from small inserted flaps of paper to brightly colored foldout drawings.
Telephone Tales – published in 1962 as Favole al telefono – contains a dazzling collection of stories, displaying the full range of Rodari’s imagination, to be read at various levels but always with whole-hearted enjoyment ... The book itself is a thing of beauty, with tantalizing, full-colour illustrations by Valerio Vidali over double-page, fold-out spreads. Antony Shugaar devises parallels to Rodari’s exuberantly inventive language and finds an equivalent to the rhythms of his prose.