Beatrice Alemagna was born in Bologna, Italy in 1973. In 1996, she won first prize in the international competition “Futures figures” at the Montreuil Salon du livre, Paris, and in 1997 moved to France where she still lives.
Since 1998, she has written and illustrated more than 30 children’s books. Her work has been published by: Albin Michel, Hélium, Autrement, Gallimard, Casterman (France), Topipittori, Donzelli and Mondadori (Italy); Phaïdon, Tate, Frances Lincoln and Thames & Hudson (UK), Mirando Bok and Rabén & Sjögren (Sweden), Enchanted Lion and Harper Collins (USA).
From 1998 to 2010, Alemagna illustrated the posters of «L'écran des enfants" at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris.
She has served on the juries of several international illustration competitions and illustrated books by authors such as Roald Dahl, Gianni Rodari, Guillaume Apollinaire, Aldous Huxley, Raymond Queneau, Gogol, Agota Kristof, and Astrid Lindgren.
In a handwritten letter, Tomi Ungerer expressed his admiration for her books (2013).
In 2015, The Huffington Post included «A Lion in Paris» among its Best Children’s Books of All Time.
In the same year, two of her books (Gisèle de verre and Jo singe garçon) appeared in Martin Salisbury’s «100 Great Children’s Picturebooks».
Since 1998, she has gone to schools to meet children, and held many workshops in France, Italy, Korea, Russia, China, Ireland and the UK.
In 2018, her book «What is A Child?» (Topipittori 2008) was bought by all primary schools in Hiroshima (Japan) as an end-of-year gift for the children.
In 2017, The New York Times and The New York Public Library selected "On A Magical Do-Nothing Day" as one of the best children’s illustrated books of the year.
In March 2018, Alemagna gave another masterclass at Dublin’s Offset Festival on the main stage of the Gaís Energy Theatre before 1000 participants.
In 2019, she is among the candidates for the two so-called “Nobel Prizes for Children’s Books”: the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen International Award.
*Portrait by Jake Green
Gabriel Brandariz. Born in Madrid in 1977, Gabriel Brandariz became an editor with SM in 2005, and since 2015 has headed the Children’s Literature Department at SM España, in charge of its publishing and design team. Over his career, he has coordinated the work of authors and illustrators of more than 600 titles, including picturebooks and stories for children and young adults. Brandariz has been a member of many juries, such as the El Barco de Vapor and Gran Angular Awards for children’s literature, and is on the Children’s Literature Board of the Madrid Publishers’ Association. He previously worked as an editor for several businesses and as a journalist on the cultural desk of the daily El Mundo. Brandariz graduated in the Humanities at San Pablo University and obtained a Master’s degree in publishing from ICADE University.
Klaas Verplancke is a worldwide acclaimed speaker, lecturer, jury member, curator, author & illustrator of over 150 books published in more then 30 languages and 60 translations. He won a Bologna Ragazzi Award, was top five finalist for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards and received 13 consecutive nominations for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
His most recent picture book Magritte’s Apple was commissioned and published by MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Centre Pompidou, Paris. He also works for international magazines and newspapers, such as The New Yorker and The New York Times and has been selected for the annuals of American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, AOI &3x3 magazine.
His qualities as an independent visual and text creator led to exhibitions in Belgium and abroad, international invitations as jury member (Bologna Illustrator Exhibition, Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award and currently for Nami Concours 2018, Korea), as guest teacher (Itabashi Summer School Tokyo, Japan) and as guest lecturer (USBBY Congress Chicago and St Louis, USA).Klaas Verplancke is also a professor at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium.
At first glance, Verplancke’s drawings and paintings differ a great deal in appearance and execution. But they always display the qualities that characterize him as an illustrator, animator and designer: a sense of humor that can vary from mild to sardonic, a poetic imagination, a preference for illustrating abstract concepts and universal emotions – and a sideways, surrealistic view of reality.