BolognaRagazzi Award

The BCBF BolognaRagazzi Award - BRAW - is an international showcase for the world’s finest, most innovative picturebooks.

Adjudicated by international juries made up of experts from the publishing world, the Award acknowledges excellence of graphic design, innovation and ability to engage with young readers.

One of the most sought-after awards in children’s publishing, the BRAW is also a great business opportunity for the winners. An award or special mention help drive copyright sales on the international market, focusing world attention on the publishers, authors and illustrators involved. Visibility is also sustained by BCBF’s far-reaching promotion not only of the contest and winners during the Fair and online but also of a broad selection of the best 100 titles, with a special exhibition entitled “The BRAW Amazing Bookshelf” during the Fair.

The BRAW comprises five main categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Opera Prima (debut works by authors and illustrators), Comics (comic books and graphic novels), and Toddlers (BCBF’s new permanent category). Juries may also assign a special New Horizons award to a particularly innovative work. In addition, each year, one or more Special Award categories are created alongside the main sections.

The 2024 Special BolognaRagazzi Award category is dedicated to “The Sea”.

As is the longstanding tradition, all the winning books will be added to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair Collection dating back to 1966 and held by Bologna’s Salaborsa Children’s Library.

2024 Special Category: THE SEA

In Greek mythology, Oceanus was the first god that men would invoke to ensure safe passage across the waters in an age when they believed the world was bordered by a huge river, beyond which lay darkness and nothing. Later, other gods and goddesses had powers over the seas before modern science gave us an understanding of the world’s waters and their importance for life on Earth, a fact we still tend to ignore.

As a partner in the preparation of the 39th International IBBY Congress – to be held in Trieste in September 2024 - Bologna Children’s Book Fair has chosen this theme for its Special BRAW Category as it links in with Trieste, a city on the Adriatic Sea, part of the Mediterranean that flows into all the world’s oceans, the subject of so many books for children and young adults.

Publishers are invited to enter sea-themed books released in the last 6 years for this Special Category and help ensure wide circulation of works of publishing excellence.


Since 2022, BCBF has turned a spotlight on the BolognaRagazzi Award finalist books. 
Every year, the international jury has the difficult task of choosing a shortlist of winners and mentions from hundreds of beautiful titles from all over the world. 

This special exhibition - The BRAW Amazing Bookshelf -  showcased, besides the winners and mentions, one hundred outstanding picture books, selected among the BRAW finalists in each category. This showcase provided a valuable opportunity to unveil excellent works to the international publishing community.