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Books Illustrated report from Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2015

This year we felt the book fair overall had a very relaxed feeling. This could have been as a result of the extraordinarily warm and lazy weather in Bologna that surprised us all week!  However, publishers reported doing good business and we felt again there was a positive buzz about picture books in particular. 

A few ‘design’ changes at the fair this year saw the Illustrator’s café resituated which left a more open exhibition space for the focus Country, Croatia, and the annual Bologna Illustration exhibition, which we thought worked well. Our Hello! from Australia exhibition on the Australian Publishers Stand was also relocated to Hall 25 and we enjoyed the opportunity to catch new interest as well as our return visitors. 

Our decision to make a visual change to this year’s exhibition with a large canvas of an illustration by Marc Martin from his book A River (published by Penguin Books) proved to be a real draw card in terms of attracting people into the exhibition, as well as rights interests from publishers for Marc’s book in particular.  Bonnier Publsihing UK, who met Marc at Hello! from Australia last year, have now taken on all his titles.  

Ann James proudly holding up the Nami Concours award catalogue with Marc Martin's entry in front of a huge print of his illustration from his latest book
'A River' illustration which was a feature at the 'Hello! from Australia exhibition'.

It was exciting to have 16 creators attend the fair at various times through out the week and who took part on the creator’s table – the roster proving a bit of a feat!  The creator’s table gives the opportunity for creators to meet general public, international illustrators and publishers in conjunction with other opportunities provided by their own publishers or agents during the fair. Both publishers and creators have reported good rights interest from the fair and many deals are now being followed up. 

Jedda Robaard at the 'Hello from Australia' creators' table at Bologna Book Fair 2015. 

Having Jackie French, the current Australian Laureate, as one of these creators added a certain level of importance to our presence at the fair this year. The Laureate Program Manager, Justine Alltimes, has reported on the amazing success of the International laureate eventsthat were held as part of the program – with 10 Children's Laureates from 8 countries attending.

International Laureate Summit: Ten Children's Laureates from eight countries stand proudly together after the public summit event. 

A highlight was the ‘Australia Party' on the Wednesday evening sponsored by the Australian Embassy. Visiting author/illustrator Greg Dreise gave an engaging and entertaining introduction with his stories, dancing and didgeridoo! 

Greg Dreise - author and illustrator of 'Silly Birds' Magabala Books' - welcoming guests to the Australia Party. 

 Guests at the Australia Party dancing to Greg Dreise's music before the talks began.  
Both the Australian Ambassador Mike Rann and Jackie French spoke articulately and passionately about the quality of Australian books and the successes of the Australian Children’s Book Industry. The Bologna Book Fair Director spoke briefly to close the event, congratulating us on the exhibition and collective stand, which has become an important feature of the fair. 
Upcoming Books Illustrated Events 
Clunes Booktown Festival 
2-3 May 2015

Books Illustrated will be at the Clunes Booktown Festival again, but in a new location - the RSL Hall, Main Street
Number 11 on the map.

 • Browse our Anzac Illustrated print exhibition
 • Purchase limited edition prints and signed books 
 • Meet illustrators at work and have books personally signed
 • Join us for a devonshire tea

Visit the Clunes Booktown website or download the program here

Federation Square Book Market with Elizabeth Honey Saturday May 9

Elizabeth will join us -12pm to 3pm. 
Hop up! Wriggle Over!  is Elizabeth Honey's new picture book published by Allen & Unwin. Signed copies are available for sale on the Books Illustrated website. Listen & watch the book being read here as a sneak peak on vimeo...

To find out more about Elizabeth and the story behind her new book, visit:
Literary gift ideas for Mother's Day
Prints, Original Illustrations and Signed Books for sale 
Other May events not to be missed ...

Congratulations to all publishers and creators who have had books shortlisted in the 2015 CBCA, Books Of the Year Awards!
The shortlist can be downloaded at

A wonderful opportunity is coming up in May on Thursday 14th to hear the Victorian judge, Jane Parsons, talk about the Shortlisted and Notable books at the Sacre Coeur School Library in Melbourne.

At this event, Books Illustrated will display the range of prints and books that were featured in this year's Hello! from Australia exhibition at the Bologna Book Fair.

Place: Sacre Coeur School Library  
Booking: Numbers are limited, so booking early in recommended.
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