The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is an International conference, held in Italy each year, specifically for the children’s book market. It is the ‘mecca’ for all things children’s books and is an international platform showcasing authors, illustrators, publishers , market trends and children’s literature from 70 participating countries.
This year, I was very privileged to be invited to join the Australian stand with the Books Illustrated team, Ann James and Ann Haddon. ( http://www.booksillustrated.com.au/) Their wonderful ‘Hello’ from Australia’ promotional exhibition of children’s book illustrations, along with 4 Australian publishers, 13 Australian creators/(author/illustrators) and our Australian Children’s Laurette, Leigh Hobbs shared a collaborative Australian presence for 2017.
I have often thought that it would be a confronting experience to attend the BCBF and quite selfishly, have always been hesitant to entertain the thought of attending such an overwhelming event, for fear of losing motivation in the global sea of books!
Although the global market was an initial barrage to the senses, I was incredibly inspired by the enthusiasm, positivity and diversity of experiences all connected by their passion for children’s literature, a willingness to promote storytelling , reading and of course the love of illustration and art for children.
It was heartening to see that children were very much on the agenda of the creators and the diversity of education was also influencing the direction of so many countries approach to children’s literature. The mash-up fabric of backgrounds, experiences and talent, made it easier to let go of my own imposed boundaries of the past and embrace the smorgasbord of approaches and experiences of others in an ever changing global market.
The dedication, passion and talent of our Australian team was truly inspirational and a leader in their unique presence at the fair. Visitors made comments constantly about how busy the Australian stand was! It’s great to know that the future of our children’s book industry is still a significant force, and inspiring young readers alike!!!
Australia – you are so lucky!!!
I was so lucky to have experienced this significant event in the children’s book calendar amid the best in the industry!