Giochiamo a Giochi Senza Frontiere (1979)Published by Editrice Piccoli in 1979 under copyright from P.E.A. (Produzioni Editoriali Aprile in Turin), Giochiamo a Giochi Senza Frontiere is a little-known, hard-to-find book.

The book is the product of a collaboration between A. Perani (better known as 'Popy' Perani), who was for many years the deviser of the Italian JSF games, and series creator and JSF presenter for French television, Guy Lux.

The 96-page book, which cost 8000 Italian lira (approximately £3.50) to buy in 1979, is slightly smaller than a typical children's 'annual' (dimensions are 10.5" x 8", or 27cm x 20cm in metric). It was issued in hardcover with a dust jacket (pictured, right), though it is not impossible that there was a softcover version also. The text is in Italian throughout.

The book's title translates as How To Play Jeux Sans Frontières and the publication has many pages devoted to explaining how the reader can  set up his or her own versions of thirty-one JSF games in the comfort of their own home. In this respect, it is not dissimilar to the BBC's Games from It's A Knockout, which went on sale in Great Britain in 1971.

Where Giochiamo a Giochi Senza Frontiere differs radically from that earlier work is in its presentation of fifty-six lavish colour photographs from Jeux Sans Frontières competitions. These images date back to about 1972 and cover many of the JSF highlights of the Seventies. A couple of these photographs are presented below. These both hail from the final games of JSF heats - the left-hand image is from Riccione, 1975 ('Musical Chairs') and the right-hand one is from Milan in 1976 (featuring the teams progressing up the course on the backs of tortoises). This was the game that the Swiss team Roche won, giving it overall victory on the night.

Giochiamo a Giochi Senza Frontiere (1979)

All the games described in the book are based upon official games that had been staged as part of Jeux Sans Frontières competitions down the years. Each set of instructions for setting up and playing the games was accompanied by a representative photograph showing the game being played in the television programme. The example below shows the instructions, diagrams and photograph of how to play the 'Fighting Chimps' game played at Milan, Italy in 1976 (here entitled Battaglia coi Cuscini or 'Battle of the Pillows').

The photographs alone are a novelty enough to make this publication worth tracking down, and if you can read Italian, all the better, as there are few people better qualified to wax lyrical about Jeux Sans Frontières than Guy Lux and Popy Perani. If you can't read Italian, then there is still a great deal about this book that makes it collectable.

There was also a French imprint of this book, called Jouons à Jeux sans Frontières (Games of Jeux Sans Frontières), issued by Hachette in 1979.

by Alan Hayes and Neil Storer