Aline and I have much to tell about our fantastic trip to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair at the beginning of this month. There really is no better event to take the pulse of the children’s book publishing world: and what a world that is!
We’ve met so many interesting people and enjoyed putting faces to names of organisations and publishers; we’ve attended inspiring presentations; and have been dazzled by the quality and endlessly varied styles of the illustrations we’ve come across, both in the books we have browsed through and as part of the fair’s special exhibits. The overall impression was of immense industry – people in deep discussion, buying and selling rights; looking through artists’ portfolios; rushing between presentations – what a buzz!
Over the next few weeks, Aline and I will be posting on a variety of topics. In the meantime, here are some of the highlights for us, in no particular order:
Looking at the proofs for Ed Young’s new book, Wabi Sabi (written by Mark Reibstein);
Meeting librarians from all over the world at a session organised by the IFLA (International Federation of Libraries Associations and Institutions) – so lively that we were asked to be quiet…! – and hearing IBBY President and Canadian Groundwood Books publisher, Patricia Aldana’s presentation entitled “Books as Mirrors”;
Attending the launch of the International Youth Library’s White Ravens 2008 catalog;
Listening to poets Michael Rosen (UK Children’s Laureate) and Jorge Lujan’s contributions to a panel titled “Poetry Break: Poetry in Children’s Books”;
Attending the award-presentation of the Bologna Raggazzi “New Horizons” Award to Chennai-based Tara Publishing, for the hand-made book The Nightlife of Trees, and watching how the book came into being;
Hearing illustrators Robert Ingpen and Paul O. Zelinsky talk about their contributions to the book Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About Their Art (the proceeds of which go to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.)…
Well, I could just keep going – and I will. And so will Aline: so keep coming back as the full picture unfolds…