Tram 28 and winding journeys through the streets of Lisbon are the pretext for a love story that Swiss author Davide Cali wrote in an illustrated book to be edited next week in Portugal.
With illustrations from Magalie Le Huche, ‘Eléctrico 28’ features Amadeo, a tram conductor who, in addition to transporting passengers in that career – between Campo de Ourique and Martim Moniz – also “lent a hand to many shy lovers” in a lawsuit of Cupid between maneuvers on steep climbs and tight corners.
‘Eléctrico 28’ leaves in Portugal with a label of the Cloud of Letters, about a year after the French edition, by ABC Melody Éditions.
A prolific author with more than 50 books for children and young people, Davide Cali said that he was the editor of ABC Melody who challenged him to write a story about the electric Lisbon in the winter of 2015 when he learned that he was in Lisbon to attend a colloquium .
“I only spent a few days in Lisbon, but I fell in love immediately and wanted to pass this on to the book,” he said.
The whole history is set in Lisbon, there are panoramas of the city and the river, some references to tiles and architecture, there is a street musician playing Portuguese guitar, and there are cafes, where you drink a spout with a cream cake.
‘Tram 28’ is the first collaboration between Davide Cali and the French illustrator Magalie Le Huche, with the book to be edited, in the original version, in a publisher that privileges travel stories.
Davide Cali, born in Switzerland in 1972, is a writer, illustrator and comic book author. Although it has also been published for adults, most of the work is identified for children and some of it is published in Portugal.
His books like ‘I hope’, with Serge Bloch, ‘The Queen of Frogs can not get her feet wet’, with Marco Somà, ‘Um dia um umbrella’, with Valerio Vidali, ‘The House That Flew’, with the Portuguese illustrator Catarina Sobral, and ‘I arrived late to school because …’, illustrated by Benjamin Chaud.
In 2015, when he visited Lisbon for a colloquium at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and was inspired by ‘Tram 28’, Davide Cali said that he does not give importance to the age of the readers.
“I write stories for myself, then the audience, which is huge and not limited by age. If, in theory, my books are meant for children, the stories are for everyone,” he said.
Davide Cali acknowledged that his work is marked by a defiant sense of humor and what is politically incorrect: “I think I learned from Roald Dahl.”