This year, the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair was held from the 1st to the 4th of April. It was the first time for me to go there, for two days. Very intense and interesting to visit this fair where hundreds of editors from everywhere around the world are coming to buy and sell rights.
The editors are grouped by geographical regions. The Italian area was naturally very busy like a hive of bees. In the Asian area, China and Korea appeared very dynamic. I was amazed by the quality of Mexican and Colombian books. And I saw very nice books on Poland, Czech and Ukranian stands. For my part, I payed a special attention to Japanese (all my favourite books from my childhood), French, Dutch and Belgian publishers.
A lot of illustrators try one’s luck, presenting their portfolio to find an editor. Some editors set a “portfolio review” schedule, and the illustrators can stand in line and wait for his tour to show his own work and who knows, to be published! The lines are very long, sometimes you may wait more than one hour. But it’s a nice time to have a conversation and share tips with the other illustrators in the same line, who are coming from Japan, Brazil, Portugal, Germany… etc.
There is also the exhibition of the selected illustrators where you can see their original beautiful drawings. And many conferences, workshops.
A wonderful place to meet people and books!