Estonia has the opportunity to introduce its children’s literature to a wider audience at one of the oldest and largest children’s literature fairs.
The Bologna Children’s Book Fair, held annually since 1963 in Bologna, Italy, is one of the leading professional fairs for children’s books. It is the meeting place for all professionals involved with creating and publishing children’s books and is mainly used for the buying and selling of rights, both for translations and for derived products like movies or animated series. The fair also provides an overview of the cultural diversity of children’s literature and trends in illustration art.
The event brings together thousands of children’s book authors and creators from around the world every spring. Each year, one country holds the status of the fair’s Guest of Honour to introduce its children’s literature to a wide audience; Estonia will have this unique opportunity in spring 2025.
“Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the pinnacle event in the field of children’s literature, and taking on the role of the Guest of Honour is a great responsibility and challenge. We are delighted to step onto the global stage to showcase our latest children’s books and their authors,” the director of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre, Triin Soone, said in a statement.
“Above all, it is a picture book fair with a focus on illustration. Having participated for 15 years with our national stand alongside other countries and reflected ourselves in the vast array of books, we have received confirmation that Estonian illustration art is distinctive and diverse today, and we have stories to tell the world in both words and pictures,” she added.
Recently, Elena Pasoli, the director of the Bologna Book Fair, visited Estonia and the Tallinn Illustrations Triennial. The purpose of the visit was to get to know more about Estonian children’s literature and illustration art and to explore the best collaboration opportunities with the organisations leading these efforts for presenting Estonian children’s literature in Bologna.
The Guest of Honour programme is extensive, featuring illustration and book exhibitions, author presentations, as well as discussions and workshops in both the fair halls and the city of Bologna. The programme is developed in collaboration between the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre and the Estonian Publishers Association.