Bologna Children bookfair See you
in Bologna

12-15 April

BCBF2020 Online Special Edition

Bologna Children’s Book Fair has not closed, nor has it foregone sharing the exciting days of business and meetings with the international community of children’s book professionals.

So here we all are finally – distant but close, very close – at the Special BCBF Online Edition: four days of business, exhibitions, webinars, book trailers, videos, conferences, award ceremonies and a brand new blog.

We have a full schedule of activities to be rolled out, again in the very special BCBF atmosphere, beginning with an update from 10 publishers from around the world on how they are adapting their programmes to the new situation.

The core of the virtual fair is the BCBF Global Rights Exchange - an online hub for rights trading powered by the international rights platform PubMatch, based in the U.S.  The platform will be accessible to publishers and literary agents registered for BCBF 2020, while publishers and literary agents who participated as visitors in 2019 and who had pre-registered for the 2020 will again be welcomed as visitors. The BCBF Global Rights Exchange is organised by BolognaFiere/BCBF within the Aldus framework, the European Book Fair network co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme.

BCBF continues to be the all-important place to discover what’s trending in the sector, with a broad raft of conferences, webinars, interviews and in-depth discussions. Take a look at the full programme. The opening conference will focus on children's publishing during the worldwide lockdown and the industry’s prospects in a world marked by the experience of the last few months.

The BCBF Special Online Edition will launch Fairtales – a new blog – starting 4 May - offering continuously updated information on BCBF activities across the world, including key meetings, interviews, exclusive insights, guest presentations, key editorials and much more.

And that’s not all. In the next few months Bologna Children’s Book Fair will be putting on many other initiatives in the interim alongside the business activities of the BCBF Global Rights Exchange before welcoming you all back to Bologna from 12 to 15 April 2021


BCBF has launched its own digital exhibition space - BCBF Galleries - with open access from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair website.

From 4 to 7 May:

Illustrators Exhibition
On display exclusively on the BCBF website, from 4 to 7 May, this international Exhibition of illustration excellence shows the works of 76 artists from 24 countries

Beyond Sight
For the first time ever the Illustrators Exhibition presents the tactile translation of some of its artworks: a new and unusual way of reading images.

From 4 May onwards:
Illustrators for Gianni Rodari. Italian Excellence
The humour, the fantasy and endless play: 21 great artists interpret the tales of the most important Italian children’s writer.

Hassan Mousavi
A deep dive into the creative world of the BIB awarded Iranian artist, author of the cover of the 2020 Illustrators Annual.

10 years of the International Award for Illustration
The winners of the prize created by Fundación SM and BCBF to discover, encourage and support new talent in illustration.

The Children Spectators
38 artists, selected for the European project Mapping, explore with their illustrations the relationship between early childhood and the performing arts.

Visual Identity workshop
Incisive, primordial, monochrome and symbolic: Rasa Jančiauskaitė and Chialab Design portray BCBF as a collector and incubator of ideas.

A Universe of Stories – Starring: The Book
A collection of 120 picture books on the subject of the book itself, including stories of libraries, bookstores, publishers, activists, writers and pioneers.

The United Nations SDG Book Club Project
A selection of children’s titles inspired by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Silent Book Contest – Gianni De Conno Award
The exhibition of the 12 shortlisted projects, available on a platform powered by Carthusia Edizioni and accessible from the Bologna Childrenʼs Book Fair website.


Always a supporter of emerging talent, Bologna Children's Book Fair has taken advantage of this digital version of the trade show to reach out to an even larger community of young artists. The famous, much loved Wall of Illustrators returns from May 4 - 7, in a new virtual guise. It has become one of Bologna Children’s Book Fair’s favourite places, welcoming visitors with thousands of posters, drawings, photographs, pictures and contacts.


As well as the Wall of Illustrators, a new Illustrators Survival Corner was also a must. Created by BCBF and Mimaster illustration, over the years the Illustrators Survival Corner has become one of the most successful events of the fair. The Illustrators Survival Corner presents the 24H Marathon - The Worldwide Illustrators Survival Portfolio Review, a live 24 hour-marathon of portfolio reviewing that will involve, on the one hand, 24 international experts in illustration (including illustrators, art directors, editors and agents) from all over the world, who will connect to the video call over the 24 hours according to their time zone, and on the other, 240 young illustrators (10 for each hour time slot)



The BCBF online edition also confirms its central role with its prestigious international awards for children’s publishing: the winners of the Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year (BOP). There will be video-interviews with the winners of the 2020 edition of the BolognaRagazzi Award; the meeting with the finalists and the announcement of the winners of the fifth edition of the Premio Strega Ragazze e Ragazzi; the presentation of the winner of the second edition of the Carla Poesio Award; the announcement of the winner of the Ars in FabulaGrant Award, and the winner of the translation prize In altre parole (In Other Words). This will be followed by the presentation of the apps winning the BolognaRagazzi Digital Award, and last but not least, the winning projects of the Bologna Licensing Awards.THE CONFERENCES

The calendar of webinars, insights and activities will be as exciting as ever. To name a few of the events:  on Monday May 4th , after the opening conference, the program starts at 12 with “The fast growing children’s comics and graphic novels market” with Ivanka Hahnengerger (VIP Licensing) and Calvin Reid (Publishers Weekly). To follow, at 14.30, the live streaming of IBBY and at 15.30, the webinar part of the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair: "Illustration and Animation. Interactions and job opportunities for illustrators". On Tuesday, May 5th  at 14.00 a focus on the Chinese market is scheduled, promoted by China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair, while Wednesday May 6th, at 11.00, the event "The reason of the choice", will see the participation of the Illustrators Exhibition’s international jury (Lorenzo Mattotti , Enrico Fornaroli, Cathy Olmedillas, Machiko Wakatsuki, Valérie Cussaguet) who will discuss the reasons behind the choice of the selected artists. Later that same day at 16:30 the Dust or Magic Masterclass organised in the framework of Aldus network, will take place on the Zoom platform; this year’s edition will be entirely devoted to the winners of the BolognaRagazzi Digital Award. Last, on Thursday May 7th, two appointments addressing teachers, educators, librarians, booksellers as well as parents: at 11.00, IBBY Italia will provide insights on the best winning books of the Hans Christian Andersen award (announced online on the first day of the digital fair); at 14.00 "The great escape: libraries, bookstores and the fastest way out of quarantine" will be hosted by Giovanni Nucci and co-hosted by the magazines Andersen, LiBeR and Pepeverde.    


The broad series of conferences will open with the inaugural meeting “Children’s Publishing in the New Normal. How Children's Publishers are Adapting to a Post-Pandemic World ”, coordinated by Maria Russo, the New York Times Children’s Book Editor, and attended by publishers from all over the world.

The vast array of meetings include: “The fast growing children’s comics and graphic novels market” with Ivanka Hahnengerger (VIP Licensing) and Calvin Reid (Publishers Weekly); the webinar of the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair “Images in movement: From illustration to animation to videogames”; “The Reasons behind of the Choice”, a meeting with the five members of the international Illustrators Exhibition jury; “Dust or magic”, the now much awaiting traditional digital-skills masterclass. There will also be three meetings dedicated to teachers, educators, librarians, booksellers and even parents: “The Great Escape: libraries and bookstores - the shortest way out of quarantine”, coordinated by Giovanni Nucci, with the participation of the magazines Andersen, LiBeR and Pepeverde; two meetings organised by IBBY Italia, one dedicated to the international Hans Christian Andersen Award winners, who will be announced on the first day of the fair, and another meeting on the projects and activities of the Italian section of this great international organisation.      


The parallel Bologna Licensing Trade Fair (BLTF) will also have an exciting online version. First of all, there will be the publication of the Property Guide (featuring over 300 IPs), webinars and other digital events. BLTF, the only licensing fair in Italy – and one of the most important at European level – is a unique platform bringing together the world of licensing and publishing as well as the digital and entertainment industries.