The Bologna Children’s Book Fair has organized a new professional program focused on children’s books for the Moscow International Book Fair, taking place September 4–8. The program is the first expression of a new partnership between the two organizations, which was announced earlier this year in Bologna and is expected to culminate in the launch of a new international children’s book fair in Moscow in 2021.
The first collaborations taking place this year in Moscow include several programs already familiar to attendees at the fair in Bologna, such as an Illustrator’s Survival Corner, which offers a help desk for illustrators and a place for portfolio presentations, and a fellowship program, which sponsors publishers to attend from abroad. This year’s fellows are Claudia Bedrick, publisher of Enchanted Lion (U.S.); Cristiano Guerri, art director at Feltrinelli (Italy); Debbie Bibo, founder of Debbie Bibo Agency (U.S./Italy); Patrizia Zerbi, publisher of Carthusia (Italy); Robyn Newton, agent at the Bright Agency (U.K.); Suzanne Carnell, publisher of Two Hoots, an imprint of Macmillan (U.K.); and Xiaoyan Huang, publisher of Everafter Books (China).
Professionals will also be offered the opportunity to attend a trio of conferences focused on children’s books. One, titled “The Power of Silent Books,” focuses on wordless books and will feature Enchanted Lion’s Bedrick, among a half dozen other speakers from Italy, Japan, Portugal, Russia, and the U.K. The second conference, called “How Does Local Go Global?,” offers a panel discussion on taking local books to the international market and, in contrast, localizing international content. Finally, the panel “From Tradition to the Future” brings together a trio of Russian booksellers to discuss industry trends.
Finally, Grazia Gotti and Silvana Sola, two prominent Bolognese children’s book doyennes from the Giannino Stoppani Cooperative and Accademia Drosselmeier, have curated a book exhibition entitled Drawn Worlds, which will display 1,001 titles showcasing the full range of topics depicted in children’s books.
The new series of events at the Moscow International Book Fair is the latest manifestation of Bologna’s broader international push that has resulted in partnerships with the China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair, which is now managed by BolognaFiere; and the New York Rights Fair, produced in collaboration with Reed Exhibitions, the Combined Book Exhibit, and Publishers Weekly.