Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Italy

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the most important international event dedicated to the children’s publishing and multimedia industry.

This book fair is strictly for professionals and closed to the general public. However, among the many categories of exhibitors admitted, illustrators are certainly welcome! In 2010, with the sponsorship of my book publisher, I got to visit the fair. Being an illustrator myself, I quickly feel belonged. It is such amazing to see children’s books everywhere. There must’ve been millions of books! Great works from great illustrators from around the world were all there.

One thing that I observed here, illustrators brought their portfolios and approached publishers to show their works. Some even brought mock-up books of what they have written and illustrated. I am very amazed at how they promote themselves and the effort they took to wait in a long queue just to have publishers look at their works. This I have yet to see at our local children’s book fair.

And to make it interesting, the organiser have a wall where illustrators can share their artworks. Some put up their postcards and some put up a box with flyers and namecards. I managed to grab some interesting postcards and namecards as keepsakes.

For your information, Bologna Children’s Book Fair has been around for 49 years. Bologna Children’s Book Fair  is an annual event where authors, illustrators, literary agents, licensors and licensees, packagers, distributors, printers, booksellers, and librarians meet. Here they sell and buy copyright, find the very best of children’s publishing and multimedia production, generate and gather new contacts while strengthening professional relationships, discover new business opportunities, discuss and debate the latest sector trends.

I really really had fun visiting the book fair. Hope to visit again next year to stick something on the wall.

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Italy: Day 9 – Bologna

Linda extended our stay for one more day. The initial plan was to visit Firenze Santa Maria Novella but as both of us are very tired, we settled for Bologna town. Went to Piazza Maggiore, Book Libri and the market. Got myself another luggage as I took a lot of catalogues and books during the bookfair.

sunrise in Bologna, just in front of the hotel where we stayed

Statue of Neptune, Piazza Maggiore

Linda and me went inside teh Book Libri (a bookstore) situated in a castle!

A lady performer; she sings, plays music and puppets all at the same time; amazing!

Bologna’s Trees

Sunset from my room

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Italy: Day 8, Bologna’s Children Book Fair

Some pictures from Bologna’s Book Fair:

Slovenia’s booth, love the cute birds hanging in front of their booth

The logo says it all – Penguin’s

Eric Carle Agency’s booth

Mo’s Nose’s booth

illustrators wall where illustrators can leave/stick prints

Some of the BolognaRagazzi’s illustrations


SCBWI’s booth, Linda Tan in kebaya

BolognaRagazzi Award: Winners of Fiction and New Horizon

Fiction Winner
etching by Ronald Tolman, illustrations by Marije Tolman
LEMNISCAAT – Rotterdam, Netherlands

New Horizon Winner
text by Gita Wolf, illustrations by Ramesh Hengadi & Shantaram Dhadpe
TARA BOOKS – Besant Nagar, Chennai, India
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Italy: Day 06 – Book Launching

I was not feeling quite well on the sixth day (Wednesday, 24th March 2010). I vomited the night before and my head was so heavy. The weather and my nose-bleeding must’ve been the root to my health. I wish I had Minyak Cap Kapak with me! Linda told me to rest awhile and after feeling a bit better, I took a taxi to the book fair. I had to be there as Linda told me earlier that a small launch for “My Mother’s Garden” will be held.

My book being launched by ITNM’s Chairman Dato’ Dr. Shahruddin Salleh.

The launch was witnessed by Mr Yeoh from Future Ace, Mr SH Lee (Sasbadi’s Publishing Director), Linda T Lingard (my agent/publisher), Hj Sahari Jantan (MEP Educare), Puan Norhayati (MBKM), just me, Dato’ Dr. Shahruddin Salleh (ITNM’s Chairman), En Redza Khairudin, IBBY Vice President, Hj Shaari Abdullah (President, Persatuan Pengedar Buku Bumiputera Malaysia), two trade visitors from Malaysia and En Shadri Abdullah (YPJ Publications).

Although small, the launching marked the new beginning of my career as children’s book author and illustrator.

The book will be available in Kinokunoya, MPH as well as The Borders next month. Will keep you informed when it really reaches the bookshelves!

Here’s a look at my book again:

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Blogging from Italy: Day 05 – Bologna

Tuesday, 23rd March 2010

Today is the start of Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Linda and me had an early and quick breakfast as we had to arrange the books on our shelf. We took a cab from the hotel to the Bologna Fair Centre and the fare was more or less about €12.

Entrance to the book fair

the aisle leading to main hall

Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency‘s bookshelf

My own “My Mother’s Garden” on the shelf, a novita

more books and my illustrations on the shelf

a potential rights buyer came early to our booth

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