Slovenia Guest of Honour

For the 2024 edition Slovenia was Guest of Honour, an opportunity for publishers from all over the world to experience the country’s rich publishing scene, promoted at the fair through the exhibition And then what happens? that will showcase the works of 59 contemporary Slovenian illustrators, plus numerous discussion panels, as well as various activities in the city for the general public. 

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Short film Bee Curious – travelling through the magical world of Slovenian stories for young readers

The short film Bee Curious was created to connect the two fairs where Slovenia is the Guest of Honour – Frankfurt and Bologna. It is based on the anthology of selected Slovenian authors for children and young adults entitled Slovenia’s Best for Young readers.

It is a story about two kids who end up in a magical place, surrounded by books, which transforms their reality into a fantasy world. The kids are home alone, and they enter this magical world full of books by looking at the images in the books in their playroom. They are full of wonder as they slowly walk among tables, stacked with books. Every time they open one, sounds related to its story rise from among its pages.

In the next scene, we can see the parents returning home to their living room. There, they find their two kids asleep on the couch, surrounded by books. It is a beautiful image that feels almost miraculous today: a dream come true for every author who writes for young readers.

The film was shot in the main reading room of the National and University Library in Ljubljana – the space where all the treasures that the Slovenian nation has created in the field of writing is stored. The scriptwriters made sure to include works by all the authors in the anthology. The bee we can see in the opening and closing theme is taken from the cover of the collection The Little Golden Bee (Zlata čebelica, published by Mladinska knjiga) and it is the work of the illustrator Jelka Reichman.

Short film 𝐁𝐞𝐞 𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬
Directed by: 𝐀𝐮𝐠𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐀𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐁𝐫𝐚𝐚𝐭𝐳
Script by: 𝐀𝐮𝐠𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐀𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐁𝐫𝐚𝐚𝐭𝐳 and 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐬̌𝐚 𝐊𝐨𝐧𝐜 𝐋𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐳𝐮𝐭𝐭𝐢

About the design of the exhibition of Slovenian illustration in Bologna


“The world of Slovenian illustration has been solemnly wrapped in baldachin to create an intimate haven in the middle of the lively fair with its overload of sounds and sights. The spatial design of the exhibition draws inspiration from the concept of Italian renaissance libraries: their attention to proportions, central composition and natural light source encouraged people to focus.

The key point of the exhibition design is therefore to establish a dialogue between the illustrated book and the illustrations in their original or reproduced form. Under the baldachin there are books as well as original and enlarged works by 12 Slovenian authors; the other part of the exhibition venue presents selected books and works by 32 authors. The catalogue, laying open on a specially designed stand, presents 59 authors with their biographies and selected illustrations which give a more complete overview of the world of Slovenian illustration.”




The exhibition was designed by Sara&Sara (Sara Badovinac in Sara Škarica). Their installation is based on the characteristics of the space and on the authors with their works, selected by the expert committee of the Slovenian Book Agency, who is, together with the Slovenian Centre for illustration, the organiser and producer of this exhibition. 

The visual image of the exhibition was prepared by Ajda Fortuna from the Centre of Illustration.


Render: Sara&Sara / the exterior of the exhibition space
Render: Sara&Sara  / the part of the exhibition venue where selected books and works by 32 authors are displayed