Bologna Children’s Book Fair, from the 3rd to the 6th April 2017, is preparing its 54th edition, confirming its position as the leading international event for those involved in publishing for children and young people. An unmissable appointment also for the trade in copyrights, the Fair is an opportunity to discover the latest developments in the sector, meet the leading illustrators and authors of the moment and the winners of the most prestigious awards. Over 20 thousand m2 of exhibition space, 1200 exhibitors from over 75 countries, 26 thousand professionals from the sector arrive at the pavilions of BolognaFiere each year (figures from last year’s edition) in order to discuss the latest trends and developments in publishing and the digital sphere, take part in hundreds of workshops and conferences and visit exhibitions of the very best of international illustration. These statistics underline the global leadership in the sector for children and young people of the Bologna event, which for over 50 years has demonstrated an ability to bring together diverse international communities. The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is a unique and unmissable international appointment.

In this edition for the first time, Bologna Children’s Book Fair has decided to entrust the challenge of illustrating the event to an emerging talent in illustration, led by the graphic design studio Chailab. The artist that will give shape to the 2017 campaign is Daniele Castellano, who was selected for the illustrators’ Exhibition 2016. The then unpublished illustrator Castellano won the opportunity, following the boost to his international visibility at the Fair, to sign a contract and work with Chailab on the project for the visual identity of BCBF 2017. Thus was born “The natural habitat for children’s content”, an identity flexible like an alphabet, identifying and representative like a brand, communicative like an illustration, visible like an emblem and capable of narrating stories like a novel. This opportunity to work and attain visibility for emerging illustrators selected for the Exhibition will be continued also at this year’s edition for the 2018 campaign.

The 2017 Guests of Honour are Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, a territory with a long tradition of publishing houses specialized in books for children and young people, a tradition that dates back to the 1400s with the Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, Europe’s oldest press. Over the centuries this tradition has remained alive and today the sector of literature for children and young people and illustration play a leading role in the cultural and publishing landscape. Entitled Sharing a Future: Books in Catalan in Bologna 2017 and organized by the Institut Ramon Llull with the collaboration of other involved sectors, the programme for the initiative will highlight the quality of illustration in Catalonia and the Balearic islands and the reality of books and reading in the Catalan language for children and young people.

The Illustrators’ Exhibition was established in 1967 and went on to become the most prestigious competition for the sector in the world. In 2016 the Exhibition celebrated its 50th anniversary. In January in the pavilions of BolognaFiere an esteemed international jury selected the artists that will be the protagonists of the 2017 Exhibition. There are 75 talents, both published and unpublished, from 26 different countries, representing diverse cultures, sensibilities and styles. Their works, 375 to be precise, will bring to life the Illustrators’ Exhibition during the Fair and will be published in the Illustrators’ Annual, the catalogue of the Exhibition published by Corraini Edizioni and a review of the latest developments in global illustration. Accompanying the Illustrators’ Exhibition will be the personal exhibitions of Juan Palomino, winner of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair– Fundación SM international Award for Illustration 2016 and the 2016 winner of the Andersen Prize, Rotraut Susanne Berner, while “Pop-up show: the magic inside books” is an exhibition of pop-up books that tells the story, through the pages on display, of the changes and the evolution of the construction of three dimensional books over time and the innovations that have made these paper sculptures increasingly complex and fascinating.