Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo’s fables have been interpreted from the original Italian by the superb Matilda Colarossi. We are honored to have her as part of our team. The illustrations are by a very talented young illustrator called Dario Mura. He did a fantastic job with his unique characters. Leonardo’s Fables and Legends is NOW available on amazon


Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452. But his name wasn’t really da Vinci. ‘Da’ in Italian means from, and Leonardo was from Vinci, a small town in the Republic of Florence.

Leonardo could paint and draw. He could sculpt wonderful things from marble. He could invent incredible machines. And he could write!

The only thing Leonardo had trouble doing was finishing things: he had a hard time finishing what he started…probably because he got bored. Geniuses sometimes get very bored!

Leonardo wrote about lots of things: experiments, and machinery, and inventions, and the body. He wrote all these things in books called codices. He wrote in the margins of pages full of other things like drawings and fantastic machines…and he wrote everything backwards! Yes, that’s right, backwards!

Now, no one really knows why he wrote backwards, we just know that he did it! So the only way to read his words is with a mirror, and for hundreds of years people have tried to decipher his incredible thoughts.

So the margins of his codices are full of lots of words and ideas. He even wrote fables, beautiful tales about blackbirds, and fleas, and moths and other animals, and about trees and shrubs and snowballs and rocks (probably because he liked to scribble his thoughts about the life around him when he got bored!).

And this book is a collection of some of Leonardo’s fables and legends!

about Matilda Colarossi

Matilda Colarossi is a literary translator and teacher based in the green Mugello countryside just north of Florence.

She was born in Italy but grew up in Canada where she received her degree in Drama and Italian literature. The two worlds, Canada and Italy, the two languages, English and Italian, became completely familiar to her only in her mid-twenties, when she moved to Florence, but she has always strived to share those worlds. Teaching and translating has made this possible: as an ESL teacher for over thirty years, she has been introducing children and adults of all ages to English; and as a translator for almost twenty years, she has been sharing Italian literature with English speakers.

Of her Canadian upbringing, what is most dear to her is the memory of the libraries with their silent corners, their caring librarians, and their rows and rows of books. She has worked all her life to share her love of books with others.

Her translations include the y/a novel Fiamma by Dana Neri (MutatuM Publishing, 2018); the short story Future perfect, by Paolo Zardi (Asymptote); the book Lettere ai maestri by Daniele Rossi , (Ed. Poligrafico Fiorentino, 2017); an excerpt from ‘In conformance with glory’ by Demetrio Paolin (Ilanot Review); poems from the collection ‘solo andata’ by Erri De Luca (Sakura Review); excerpts by Alessandro Cinquegrani and Susanna Basso (Asymptote Cinquegrani and Asymptote Basso); a number of short stories and excerpts, both fiction and non-fiction, in Lunch Ticket Org. and a collection of poems on Poetry International.

She dedicates much of her time to translating the authors she loves on her blog paralleltexts.

Read a sample

Hi kids! Follow us and we will show you the world through Leonardo’s eyes! Leonardo loved writing small tales in his Codices, next to his sketches. Some tales were barely readable, some extremely short, but they were all written backwards! We have collected some of them here in this book, and can’t wait for you to read them …


About Us

MutatuM Publishing was born in London, England, in September 2017. The name is a palindrome that calls to mind Symmetry and Mutation, two elements that characterise our logo, and our publishing house. The butterfly made up of two open winged-books and a pen-like body is the symbol of the union between the present and the past, a past in flux, like the caterpillar that becomes a chrysalis, and then opens its wings wide and takes flight.

All books are born with a dream, and MutatuM Publishing was born with a book that became its dream. One book and a dream to present to the world: Mangiafuoco by Dana Neri. As publishers, we believe that good things come only when one truly has faith in a novel, because it is only through that unconditional faith in the potential of a work and its author that great books ever reach the public. We hope this is the first of numerous great books that, like the butterfly in our logo, take flight, reaching as many readers as possible.


MutatuM intends to dedicate its time and energy to the publishing of great works, new and old, of Italian and international literature. To do this we put our trust in the experience of our authors, collaborators, and translators: we consider ourselves very fortunate to have a translator of the caliber of Matilda Colarossi as part of our team.


As publishers we are always looking to the future, and that future looks to satisfy a need for excellent books for children using pictograms and symbols applied during the AAC protocols (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). The AAC is any form of communication that people use if they are unable to use standard forms of communication.

Initially, we will be accepting manuscripts of children’s books, as well as the work of young authors of Y/A books.

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