The international program “The visual world of children's books” was organized by Bologna Children’s Book Fair together with the Russian State Children's Library of Moscow and the General Directorate of International Book Exhibitions and Fairs. A raft of meetings was scheduled, both at the fair and on online, dealing with topical issues in the international world of children’s literature and illustration.
On 2 September an international Round Table entitled “Contemporary competitions and awards in the field of book illustration and design” presented the most important Russian and international illustration and children’s book design competitions. The meeting was attended by representatives of the various awards: Viera Anoškinová (The Biennial of Illustration Bratislava, Slovacchia), Fred Minn (The Nami Island International Picture Book Illustration Concours, South Korea), Eman Mohamed (Etisalat Award Arabic Children's Literature, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates), Elena Pasoli (Bologna Illustrators Exhibition, Italy), Carolina Ballester (Golden Pinwheel, China), Teresa Tellechea (International Award for Illustration - BCBF / Fundación SM and Catálogo Iberoamérica Ilustra, Spain), Eduardo Filipe (Ilustrarte, Portugal). The panel was chaired by Anastasia Arkhipova, illustrator and jury member of the ‘Image of the Book’ - International Illustration and Book Design Competition.
On 3 September, the international conference “Gianni Rodari. International round table for the 100th anniversary of the Italian writer” looked at Rodari’s fundamental cultural influence and the extent to which his work has been translated. The meeting was attended by Rodari experts, including Italian and Russian publishers, translators, scholars and writers such as: Irina Konstantinova, translator of Rodari’s works in Russian; Gaia Stock, Editorial Director of Edizioni EL and Einaudi Ragazzi, the publishers and international rights holder of Rodari’s work; Jack Zipes, Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, the English language translator of Grammatica della fantasia (The Grammar of Fantasy) and other works by Rodari; Tatiana Stamova, writer/translator; James M. Bradburne, Director General of the Brera Picture Gallery and the Braidense National Library; Viktoria Kozhedub, translator; Grazia Gotti, children’s book expert and President of the National Committee for the Gianni Rodari centenary celebrations. The panel discussion was moderated by Mikhail Viesel, translator, editor, critic and literary journalist.
On 3 September), the meeting entitled “Children's Popular Science Books: who is the author?” looked at non fiction-pop science books for children and young adults. Discussants include writer and illustrator Bernardo Carvalho (Portugal); Grace Maccarone, Editor, Holiday House Publishing (USA); Giorgia Grilli, lecturer, University of Bologna (Italy); Natalia Nartissova, Editor, Alpina Publisher (Russia); and science journalist Ilya Kolmanovsky (Russia). The Round Table was coordinated by Edward Nawotka, Editor, Publishers Weekly (USA).
On 4 September, the international meeting “Comic book, manga, graphic novel. A worldwide success in children’s publishing” took stock of the key trends in comics, an enormously successful publishing sector hugely popular also with children and young adults and enjoying exponential growth throughout the world. The meeting was attended by publishers of comics, but also artists and representatives of the major comics festivals. Moderated by Matteo Gaspari of the Hamelin Cultural Association and curator of the BilBOlbul Festival (Italy), the conference was introduced by Elena Pasoli, Exhibition Manager, Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Discussants include Françoise Mouly, Editorial Director, TOON Books and Art Director of the New Yorker (USA); Alīse Nīgale, publisher of Liels un Mazs (Latvia); artist and writer Ricardo Liniers (Argentina), winner of the 2020 Comics Early Readers - BolognaRagazzi Award; bestseller comics author Kami Garcia (USA); Michele Foschini, Editorial Director, BAO Publishing (Italy); Marie Fabbri, International Rights and Licensing Manager, Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême (France); Giovanni Russo, longstanding coordinator of the Comics Area at Lucca Comics & Games (Italy); sector specialists from Russia, including Alexander Kunin, Head of the “Center of Drawn Stories” of the Russian State Library for Young Adults of Moscow; researcher and specialist in manga and comics Yulia Tarasyuk, Director of the “Center for Comic Books and Manga”, Saint Petersburg; and comics illustrator and expert Andrey Drozdov.