Since 1966 the BolognaRagazzi Award has been a coveted prize for publishers from all over the world. The award acknowledges the best graphic and editorial design for children’s books and is one of the most important awards in the sector, thanks to the key role of the publishers who submit the very best of their output each year, thus guaranteeing the extremely high quality of the competition. The award has a long history of international collaboration and a forward-looking spirit of cultural and economic community, because children are the future.
1250 titles from 42 countries, subdivided into four categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, New Horizons and Open Prima are judged by a prestigious specialist international jury that deliberated on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th February at BolognaFiere.
The most keenly contested section of the prize is the genre of picture books, the king of the children’s book sector, in which the very best illustrators and authors dedicate their art to the little ones. The big news in this section is the return of the alphabet books: every language and every culture has experienced a comeback for the individual letters, the fundamental elements of the written word. The winner of the Fiction section for 2015 is “The Flashlight” by Lizi Boyd, published by Chronicle Books, USA.
200 titles from numerous countries underline how the genre of children’s non-fiction publishing, once only limited to science, today embraces the humanities, arts, history and philosophy, descriptions for children of the paintings of Picasso, to the story of German philosopher Karl Marx, astronomy, architecture and nature. The winner of the Non Fiction section 2015 is “Avant Après” by Anne-Margot Ramstein / Matthias Aregui, published by Albin Michel Jeunesse, France.
The section dedicated to the emerging countries in the publishing sector welcomes 100 works from countries including Chile, Indonesia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. The winner of the New Horizons section 2015 is “Abecedario” by Ruth Kaufman & Raquel Franco / Diego Bianki, published by Pequeño Editor (Diego Bianchi), Argentina.
This section was established five years ago to shine a spotlight on young talent. Every year boasts an increasing number of entries of extraordinary quality thanks to the work of the world’s top schools of illustration and the careful eye of publishers on the lookout for new talent. The winner of the section Opera Prima 2015 is “Là Fora-Guia para Descobrir a Natureza” by Maria Ana Peixe Dias & Inês Teixeira do Rosário/Bernardo P. Carvalho, published by Planeta Tangerina, Portugal.
This year the BolognaRagazzi Award will celebrate its 50th birthday and in order to commemorate this important milestone the Fair and the University of Bologna, and its Centre for Research in Children’s literature, will publish the results of a study of the prize-winners from the last half century in addition to a review of the evolution of the children’s book over the last 50 years: there will also be an exhibition organized at the Fair of the most significant books accompanied by a display of past winners and nominees.
2015 is also the year of Expo and its theme of “Feeding the Planet”. For this occasion the BolognaRagazzi Award will include a special section of the prize, called Books & Seeds. 205 titles from around the world contribute to a prolific discussion of different cultures and problems. Books&Seeds is dedicated to the theme of agriculture, organic farming, biodiversity, food surpluses and shortages, nutrition, food security and cooking. These themes are of particular interest to BolognaFiere, which for over 25 years has been the organiser of SANA, one of the main international events dedicated to organic and natural products.
This experience has enabled BolognaFiere to become the official partner of Expo 2015 and the curator of Biodiversity Park at the Universal Exhibition. Italian author Susanna Tamaro is the Honorary Chairperson of the international jury that, together with the jury of the BolognaRagazzi Award, has in recent days endeavoured to select the best works on the theme: the result of the initiative will be an exhibition of the best books in the category. The exhibition will debut in Bologna before moving on to Expo in the Biodiversity Park created by BolognaFiere. The winner of Books & Seeds is “Frigo Vide” by Gaëtan Dorémus, published by Seuil Jeunesse, France.
In addition to these sections, for the past few years the Award has acknowledged a further category, dedicated to digital publishing, in order to encourage the excellent and innovative production of apps inspired by children’s books, or narrative driven children’s interactive media. The winners of the BolognaRagazzi Digital Award will be made public in the coming weeks.
BOLOGNA CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR
The leader in the global marketplace for children’s books and books for young adults, BOLOGNA CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR reaffirms its position as the key global appointment for publishers, agents and operators in the sector. A prestigious and successful Fair in continuous growth, BolognaFiere’s unmissable event takes place this year from the 30th March to 2nd April and proposes a rich calendar of initiatives and a special focus on those who play such a key role in the promotion of literature to children and young adults: the librarians and booksellers, who have always been devoted attendees of BCBF, but also the schoolteachers of every denomination and age group, to whom this year’s Fair would like to offer an especially warm welcome, proposing a rich programme of meetings in addition to an offer to enjoy the advantageous conditions of pre-registering for the event.
A sneak peak of what we can look forward to at the Fair:
CELEBRATING ALICE’S 150th ANNIVERSARY
In order to celebrate the 150th birthday of “Alice in Wonderland”, the outstanding work of English literature for children, Bologna Children’s Book Fair will be organizing diverse initiatives both within the Fair and in the city:
-the international conference “150 years of Wonders” will examine what made the book such a ‘classic’ and the character of Alice so iconic;
-a bibliographical exhibition displaying the most important editions from publishers around the world;
-a meeting with translators who have been able to communicate the wealth and complexity of the language of the great English writer to the whole world;
-a cinematic review curated by Cineteca di Bologna, including not only direct depictions of the novel but also other titles that have been inspired or influenced by Lewis Carroll’s work.
CROATIA: “LIVING WATERS, LIVING STORIES”
The country guest of honour this year will be Croatia, which, through the project “Living Waters, Living Stories” inspired by “Living Water”, an important element in Slavic mythology, will present numerous initiatives at the Fair and in the city, including a large exhibition of contemporary illustrators and the chance to encounter the reality of the country and its publishing scenario.