I just finished a very enticing account in PingMag of the Bologna Children's Book fair, which is held every spring [the 45th installment is coming in 2008.] It's more than a little breathless and boosterish. And as the title suggests, it's more geared to aspiring children's book illustrators, who are encouraged to parade around with their portfolios with promises of "being taken seriously." But the idea of a globe-spanning, artist-friendly book fair sure sounds a lot more interesting than a giant publishing industry frenzy like Frankfurt.
Has anyone ever been to BCBF who can tell what it's like? Do you see cool stuff, or is it just a few rare interesting things amidst a sea of overcommercialized or overcute schlock? Is it progressive and contemporary? Or retrograde romantic? Should the fact that 27 of 92 illustrators in the accompanying juried exhibition last year were Japanese women encourage or scare me? Is there stuff to see or people to meet that can't be seen or found online? Next March, the other kid'll be three months old, not the optimal age to go trekking off to Italy, but not necessarily a dealbreaker, either. I wonder if I should put Bologna on the DT menu.
Finding a publisher at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair [pingmag.com, image: mayalina for pingmag]
Bologna Children's Book Fair, Mar. 31-Apr. 3, 2008 [bolognafiere.it]