Raised in Gavirate (Varese ), he joined in 1931, the seminary of St. Peter of Seveso in Milan, which he left in 1934. From 1939 he studied at the University of Milan. In May 1944 he joined the PCI.
From 1945 on, he worked as a journalist for L' Ordine Nuovo, the party organ of the PCI Varese. From 1947 he worked for L' Unità. In 1950 he founded the children's magazine pioneers, for which he wrote until its setting in 1962. On April 25, 1953, he married Maria Teresa Ferretti and on 13 December of the same year he founded the magazine Avanguardia. Between 1954 and 1969 Rodari worked for various periodicals and newspapers, wrote articles and columns for children; He traveled several times to the Soviet Union.
Rodari received in 1970 the Hans Christian Andersen Prize for Youth Literature. He explained his work in the field of youth literature with its socialist ideals: peace and freedom for all people. He hoped to educate young people through his works for " reflection " and wanted to help them to evaluate the world adequately. For Rodari it was the most desirable goal, " to see the children of this world smiling ."
On April 10, 1980 Rodari, has just returned from a trip to the Soviet Union, admitted in a Roman hospital due to a retinal vein occlusion. He died four days later of a heart attack.
- Alice in ink (Le favolette di Alice, 1995, German 2007)
- Onions ( Il romanzo di cipollino, 1951, Germany 1954)
- The siren bride
- This is a fabulous phone (1960 )
- Flip on TV (1963 ) German in 1968 with pictures of Romulus Candea
- Bedtime stories over the phone
- Grammar of the imagination (1973 )
- Help, Benjamin sings
- The nose of the King
- The magic drummer
- Head flower
- Twice Lamberto or the mystery of the island of San Giulio
- A skyscraper at sea
- Elevator to the stars
- The flying big thing
- The shops of Mr. Cat
- The blue arrow
- Flip on TV
- Gelsomino in the land of liars
- The story of young cancer
- Stamps to invent