Bologna Children’s Book Fair

Yiddish poems, a Ukrainian math adventure and Joycean cat-heavy view of Copenhagen are among the acclaimed children’s books at this year’s festival.

The 51st edition of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair kicks of March 24 with Brazil as the guest of honor. As usual, there are a lot of interesting writers and books beings presented as well as the presentation of the BolognaRagazzi Award. Among the prize winners from Central and Eastern Europe are:


Mayn Alef Beys, Text by Jehoszue Kamiński, illustrations by Urszula Palusińska; Krakow, Poland, 2012


From the book fair site: “A stunningly produced alphabet of Yiddish poems, this book instantly united the Jury as the outright winner for the Non‐Fiction category. The strikingly muscular imagery is executed in a manner that is reminiscent of woodblock printing, featuring bold, flat colour and crude surface texture. Each spread is beautifully designed in terms of weight and distribution of shapes on the page. This is a striking, graphically literate work that is both modern and traditional in feel. The large scale of the book perfectly accommodates the drama of its contents and every aspect of its production has been given the utmost attention.”

And Special Mentions in Opera Prima and Fiction respectively include:

Зіркиімаковізернята (Stars and Poppy Seeds),Text and illustrations by Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv; Lviv, Ukraine, 2013


From the book fair site: “The theme of mathematics is explored in this narrative of this girl’s desire to count everything in the world. Each page becomes a pattern of numbers and shapes, dots and symbols in a flowing collage of the visual accoutrements of scientific knowledge. The central character playfully interacts with the objects of her obsession across the pages. The medium of digital collage is used with assurance, successfully integrating found graphic material and hand-rendered marks.”

And not quite Central Europe but cool and close enough: Die Katzen von Kopenhagen (The Cats of Copenhagen) Text James Joyce, illustrations by Wolf Erlbruch; Munich, Germany 2013


From the book fair site: “Taking James Joyce’s anecdotal observations of Copenhagen as the starting point, Wolf Erlbruch’s raw, expressive drawings lead us through a world of cycling, smoking fish, pickpockets, indolent policemen and thieving cats. These superficially childlike but highly visually literate drawings perfectly complement the text.”

Read more about the Bologna Children’s Book Fair here

Photo – From Зіркиімаковізернята (Stars and Poppy Seeds),Text and illustrations by Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv; Lviv, Ukraine, 2013

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Categories: Literary Events, Literary Prizes


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