If this is the world of children’s books then there is a huge potential for working together, for creativity, sharing stories, making connections, discovering new places, new authors and new illustrators.
Much of the fair is given to the mechanics of creating books, the publishers, the printers, the translators, the agents, the IT and digital media, the new way of creating apps and stories and much more.
Bursting out of this were displays of creative illustrators, authors, story tellers, and these show just a tiny glimpse of the work and inspiration that enable stories, ideas, art and technology to be shared across the world.
After looking at the map and guide for the Bookfair we became completely immersed in the Illustrators’ Wall, which became a focal point for our team. It was full of cards, illustrations, concepts; and behind the wall were more displays and galleries.
It became a meeting point for the team as we wandered through the halls and were diverted through stands, work, coffee points and people. It became a resting place too, just to take a glance at the other Bookfair people, wandering, gazing and finding their way.
Books Go Walkabout is rather like the glue between the book spine and the pages. We hold stories together and send them out across the world.
We didn’t need a stand to meet people, to share thoughts or ideas and to find ways of working together. Our style of working is to be adaptive and free from the ‘inside of the box’ approach. And the people we met seemed to share that vision and keen to be involved.
Some of the highlights for us are below, although there were many more thoughts and contacts, which will support our work in the next year.
IbBy – International Board on Books for Young People
‘The International Board on Books for Young People is a unique international alliance of everyone interested in children’s literature: academics, librarians, writers, illustrators, publishers, teachers, literacy workers, booksellers, parents and others.
The Hong Kong Pavilion at Bologna
The Hong Kong Publishers Association is one way to explore books in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Printers Association had a wonderful display of books published within the HK Printers eco-system. A feast to the eye…
Lithuanian Publishing Company – tikra knyga
• Lithuanian authors design the books – the original text and illustrations.
• Coloring, mandalas, study books that are not only fun, but help develop the reader.
• Interesting hero adventure series of books telling, “growing” with the child.
• Positive, educational books that help a child to get to know the world around, conveying values.
Books in Catalonia and the Balearics
”Catalonia and the Balearic Islands were exhibiting in Bologna with the theme Sharing a Future: Books in Catalan, in a clear reference to the importance of children and young people for the future of literature, with a programme that includes over forty activities with more than sixty participants for the fair and around the city”.
Allen and Unwin, Australia
‘Allen & Unwin is Australia’s leading independent publisher and has been voted “Publisher of the Year” thirteen times including the inaugural award in 1992 and eleven times since 2000.
They publish around 250 new titles each year including literary and commercial fiction, a broad range of general non fiction, academic and professional titles and books for children and young adults. Their imprints include Allen & Unwin, Arena, Crows Nest, House of Books, Inspired Living (MBS), Murdoch Books and Pier 9′. Read more about this dynamic publisher here…
Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs
‘Leigh Hobbs grew up in the Australian country town of Bairnsdale.
From childhood he had two burning ambitions, to be an artist and to go to England…’ He achieved them.
Books Illustrated, Australia
‘…they have a unique view of the picture book industry, seen from many angles – librarian, bookseller, gallery director, writer and illustrator.
Books Illustrated is a centre celebrating Australian children’s literature, in particular picture books and their creators. It has an interesting history that has culminated in a program of exhibitions promoting the work of Australian book illustrators throughout Australia and in international venues’. Discover them on-line here…
Tiny Owl – publishers and translators of stories from Iran
‘Tiny Owl is an independent publishing company committed to producing beautiful, original books for children.
Established in 2015, our energy and passion stems from our belief that stories act as bridges – providing pathways to new experiences whilst connecting us to here and there. Our stories are visually rich and conceptually meaningful. They give children unique perspectives on universal themes such as love, friendship and freedom and a greater awareness of the diverse and colourful world we live in’.
Quarto – Home of Quarto Kids
‘Ever since QED’s inception in 2003, each book has been specifically designed to make learning exciting, stimulating and fun for children. Our diverse range of titles covers everything from entertaining, innovative facts for the classroom to beautifully illustrated fiction that kids will want to take home. Get inspired and get learning – the fun starts here!’
Unesco – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
… is responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. It strengthens the ties between nations and societies, and mobilises the wider public…
Books Go Walkabout team have written more about the event in Bologna, Books and Bigliette at Conversations East. Another insight and a focus on the art and illustration of good books.
Bologna Children’s Bookfair 2017, was a great event for Books Go Walkabout and a wonderful occasion which demonstrates the importance of children’s books, which is not diminishing, and is more than a commercial value.
There is real benefit for children and our shared world in the power of children’s stories and ideas across the world.
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Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.