Children’s publishers near and far gathered in Italy for the 56th edition of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, held April 1–4. Visitors to the fair totaled 28,946, an increase of 5% over last year, and there were 1,442 exhibitors from more than 80 countries and regions.
Sarah Kelleher, director of children’s scouting at Maria B. Campbell Associates, said of the fair: “Everyone was in good spirits and excited to see an abundance of middle grade titles. As predicted, titles that garnered a lot of attention were those with Netflix or video game tie-ins, or books that have recently been optioned for film/TV. YA contemporary feel-good books, with a particular emphasis on the rom-com, are also on the rise.”
The Bologna Fair announced a new collaboration with the Moscow International Book Fair, with the aim of launching a Russian International Children’s Book Fair in 2021. To help get things rolling, this year’s Moscow International Book Fair, which runs September 4–8, will host a fellowship program for children’s publishers and a program of events for children, dubbed Children’s Book on Stage. In 2020, the MIBF will also host the IBBY International Congress.