The three-day China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair, which concluded its run on November 19, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. The fair hosted 478 exhibitors from 25 countries and territories, including 127 from overseas, and 42,733 visitors. Back in 2013, the inaugural event saw a total of 154 exhibitors from 14 countries and 17,400 visitors. This expansion is mostly due to the growth of the Chinese children’s book market and the importance of CCBF as the biggest event dedicated to children’s books and content in Asia. We’ve gathered a selection of photo highlights from the fair. All photos by Teri Tan.
This year’s key visual came from Ukrainian artist Yuliya Gwilym, who won the 2021 Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition Astra Award. Inspired by children’s love of dressing up and her own feelings of being in a big party whenever she attends a book fair, Gwilym created an illustration of a carnival-like atmosphere of colors and magic.
The Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition attracted more than 2,500 submissions this year. The grand awards in the Book Publishing category went to Liu Longsha for The Different “1” and Maeva Rubli for My Secret Box, for the China and International segments, respectively. Natalia Shaloshvili from the U.K. won the Astra Award for Bear’s Thoughts.
Children’s Plus: Beauty and the World, an exhibit focusing on nonfiction picture books, was based on a research project by the Centre of Research in Children’s Literature at the University of Bologna.
A mini-fair within CCBF, the Young Illustrators Avenue offered artwork, prints, and merchandise from Chinese illustrators and doubled as a marketplace for publishers searching for new talent and unpublished works.
Illustrators (and illustrations) took center stage at CCBF and there was plenty of (wall) space for children to hone and display their drawing skills.
The Clavis vlogging team was busy promoting books on various short-video e-commerce channels such as Douyin (known as TikTok overseas), Xiaohongshu, Weibo, and WeChat, and selling directly from their CCBF booth.
Increasingly, small and independent publishers and content companies in China are focused on finding their market niche and developing their own IP/characters. Seen here is the booth of Mister Foodie, a character that introduces various food from China in manga-based books and e-content, and has now added ancient Chinese poems and literature to his repertoire.
Visitors were busy checking out new publications and buying books, which were heavily discounted at the hybrid zone of the fair. (The other zone was focused on copyrights, which was where overseas exhibitors were located.)
It’s all about bunnies at edutainment company Alilo, founded in 2012 in Shenzhen, China. Its products for babies, preschoolers, and first graders are focused on learning through playing.
Written five centuries ago, Journey to the West, with its many demons, monsters, and spirits, continues to appeal to children, especially when the classic story was transformed into an animated feature with new illustration styles.
This booth featured odd extraterrestrials and bizarre planets, which were inspired by Guillaume Perreault’s The Postman from Space.
Young parents flocked to local exhibitors that offer new products, especially learning platforms and apps.