This book is part of the ‘Bemporad Library for boys’, a collection composed of books of patriotic readings for adolescents.
About 12 million young Italians under 14 years were subjected to a systematic literature of propaganda through school books and reading books. These books exalted war, patriotism and the spirit of sacrifice.
This volume gives great emphasis to the Adriatic question and the nationality issues in the borderlands between Italy and the Balkan countries. Tojo de Rena (real name: Vittorio Cuttin, 1870-1924) was born in Trieste; he was nationalist, but after the war polemicised against fascists. On the cover page of this publication he shows children waving an Italian flag. However he knows that Trieste has both an Italian and a Slavic identity: an example of the Slavic identity is the language, as appears in many words of the tale (sliwovitz – a drink; zupan – chief). Also interesting is the presence of the Cici, a small minority that lived in Istria, also called Istro-Romanians, because they spoke (now there are only a few speakers) a romance language similar to Romanian, not a Croatian dialect as the author states.