We are back in Berlin after spending almost a week in Italy, at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Considered by many to be one of the leading professional fairs, it is a great way to see what’s new in children’s literature and illustrations.
We arrived by plane in Venice and we took a quick tour, all together, with our bags seeping full of our latest publications. All of a sudden, an inexplicable phenomenon happened: some of our characters managed to escape from our bags!
All four Musicians, Gideon, Jeff and the other inhabitants of Nebula House were now wandering through the little Calli of Venezia. “How can we find them?”
Suddenly we heard a dog singing folk music on a Gondola, just under the infamous Bridge of Sighs. We recognized the voice: that was Dylan (Musicanti di Brema, Crema New York) enchanting a romantic couple in Venice with his heartbreaking songs.
Do you know the Acqua Alta bookshop? One of the most photographed (and Instagrammed!) place for books lovers, in Venice. It’s absolutely fantastic and there is a Gondola filled up with books!
Jeff (Gideon the Foodie Cat) instead followed a dark path next to the sewage of Venezia. And he finally arrived in a fantastic grocery store that was built inside an old theatre!
“Come on guys! We need to head to Bologna, the fair is waiting for us!”.
Venice is breathtaking but our destination was Bologna. Bologna rivals other Italian cities mostly for culture, tortellini and good vibes. We really fell in love.
The Little Monster on top of Palazzo d’Accursio – Don’t be Afraid of the Dark
Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019
Here, we were at the fair. Publishers, translators, agents, business developers, licensors and licensees, printers, distributors, bookstore owners, librarians, teachers and readers: they were all there.
The band wait for the Strega Prize – Musicanti di Brema, Crema New York
Running from one appointment to another was intense but we had the opportunity to talk with many interesting people. We could feel the ether of ideas in the air, the excitement of new projects, the ambitions of young Illustrators. Their Illustrator’s Wall was the best example:
Papilio the Caterpillar crawling on top of the Illustrators Wall (Can you spot it?)- A Caterpillar’s life
If you are a writer or an illustrator for children, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the place to be. The event is a huge maze, where it is easy to get lost! But don’t be too worried: there are many “survival guides” online!
Many of the fair attendants are there to start new collaborations: come to the fair with portfolios, loads of business cards, water, food and a few appointments made in advance. If you’re attending, be ready to have fun and sit exhausted on the grass of the courtyard at the end of the day.
This year at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair we were 29,000 people. And it was amazing. See you next year!
P.S. Check out our new catalogue we made for the fair.