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The Bologna Children's Book Fair

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This year’s La fiera del libro per ragazzi, known in English as the Bologna Children’s Book Fair or the International Children's Book Fair in Bologna, was just held from Monday to Thursday, March 24-27, 2014. The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the largest children’s book fair in the world.

Held in Bologna Fair Centre, it is comparable to the Frankfurter Buchmesse, known in English as the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF), which is the largest trade fair (also known as a trade show) for books in the world, and the Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara (Guadalajara International Book Fair), also known as the FIL Guadalajara, which is the largest book fair for Spanish-speakers and the second-largest in the world. Exhibitors at the Bologna Book Fair include publishers of books for children and young adults, including textbooks; authors; literary agents; multimedia products for children; television and film production companies; licensors and licensees; packagers; printers; distributors; developers; and other companies connected to publishing.

First and foremost, this is a marketplace for the buying and selling of rights. Those who create and publish children’s books in their original languages negotiate the sale of publication rights to foreign publishers. The authors also negotiate the sale of licenses to adapt books into movies and animated television shows and or other products that can be derived from books.

The Translators’ Centre provides an opportunity for translators to meet with other professionals, exchange information, and develop collaboration. A wide range of information is made available on this specialist field of translation (children’s books), such as trade associations, residencies, and scholarships for translators, as well as translation subsidies available to publishers.

According to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair’s Web site, The World Directory of Children’s Book Translators is a “broad database of children’s book translators around the world [and it] is available during the book fair for participants to consult or join.” Started in 2005 by the Translators’ Centre, the Directory can be consulted all year round on the websites of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and UNESCO’s Index Translationum.

One part of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair. Another exclusive area for copyright business is the Literary Agents’ Centre. This year, the Literary Agents Centre was set up in the mezzanine of Halls 25 and 26.

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair states the BolognaRagazzi Award “rewards the best books in terms of graphic and editorial design.” Traditionally, it has been given in three categories – Fiction, Non-Fiction and New Horizons – but this year they added a fourth category: Opera Prima.

It is “devoted to the works of new authors and illustrators with the aim of acknowledging the publishers' efforts in seeking new talent. The award is addressed to exhibitors in the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2014.”

The BolognaRagazzi Award is one of the most prestigious recognitions in the sector because publishers submit their best productions, thus guaranteeing the exceptional quality of candidates.

The winning books enjoy broad media covered and an astonishing level of interest in the news. The presentation of the winners, who always receive a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the large audience at the Illustrator's Café, is one of the most vibrant and passionate moments within the scheduled meetings.

The BolognaRagazzi Digital Awards are given out in two categories: Fiction and Non-Fiction.

The award is open to publishers and developers in any language or platform, of apps made for children aged from 2 to 15 years old. It is free, and open to any publisher...

The prize is organized in cooperation with the Children’s Technology Review (USA) and the jury members are international digital publishing experts and illustrators.

The 3rd Annual BolognaRagazzi Digital Awards jury was comprised of four people: Warren Buckleitner, Ph.D., Editor, Children's Technology Review, Flemington, New Jersey, U.S.A.; Chris Meade, Director of if:book, London, England; Cristina Mussinelli, A.I.E. (Italian Publishers Association) and Board member of the I.D.P.F. (International Digital Publishing Forum), Milan, Italy; and Klaas Verplancke, illustrator, author, and lecturer, Brugge, Belgium. Children's Technology Review posted a video on You Tube of them discussing the apps.

The 2014 Non-Fiction winner is Pierre et le loup (Peter and the Wolf) by Camera Lucida (France). The jury stated, “A complete app combining visual storytelling, information and play with music, translated into an extraordinary well-thought visual mix of motion media, animation, typography and graphic design, full of perceptive details and surprising extras.”

The first honorable mention went to ABC Actions by Peapod Labs (U.S.A.). The jury stated, “Crystal clear images bring language action to life at a child’s fingertips; we loved the multiple navigation paths and the ability to dynamically change between the two available languages English and Spanish.”

The second honorable mention went to Double Double by And Then Story Designers (U.S.A.). The jury stated, “Simple drawings and basic animation with elegant, funny and intelligent results, based on a simple idea.”

The 2014 Fiction winner is Love, The App by Niño Studio (Argentina). The jury stated, “It was easy to love this app – tremendous digital imagination and inventiveness applied to a book which celebrates the textures and trickery of paper, and the power of vulnerable simplicity and visual poetry giving life to the vulnerability of the story.”

The first honorable mention is Midnight Feast by Slap Happy Larry (Australia). The jury stated, “Evocative, sinister and strange (you can turn down the scariness for younger readers), a story to linger over and take into your dreams, full of surprising changing perspectives.”

The second honorable mention is Jack and the Beanstalk by Nosy Crow (U.K.). The jury stated, “High in child control, good interactive design elements and innovative use of the technological features offered by the devices. Take a chance to help Jack and his funky mum, to mend the broken mirror of yourself.”

Now in its third year and renamed the Children in Museums Award was conferred during the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. The European Museum Academy and Hands On! International established the Children in Museums Award in co-operation with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair “for the recognition of excellence in the specific sector of international children’s museums and in the specialist provision for children within the museum sector internationally.”

The jury is looking especially for the creative use of exhibitions and programmes with an innovative interpretative approach which should be meaningful to the relevant age-group up to 14 years old.

The judging panel is comprised of ten experts appointed by the European Museum Academy and Hands On! International, who have visited the candidates and carefully examined all the materials supplied by them.

During the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, but separate from it, the International Board on Books for Young People (I.B.B.Y.) announces the winners of the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Awards. This time, on Monday, March 24, 2014, IBBY announced that Ms. Nahoko Uehashi from Japan had won the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award and Mr. Roger Mello from Brazil had won the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award.

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