An ABC of Switzerland

Children’s books combine illustrations and written texts in an incomparable manner, and the exhibition of illustrators that Switzerland - 2019 guest of honor -  will present in Bologna aims to exemplify this union. The leitmotiv that connects the exhibited works is the ABC – the alphabet.


A panel of experts has chosen a group of 26 Swiss illustrators, among whom figure both young newcomers and established old hands, with the intention not only of exhibiting the highest quality work but also of representing all four of the Swiss national languages as equably and proportionately as possible. Twenty-six letters in the alphabet: Each illustration has a word associated with it, one for each of the letters from A to Z. These words hint at the most distinctive Swiss characteristics – sometimes in a traditional sense, and sometimes with a touch of jest.


But the alphabet, with its 26 letters, can also be understood as a reference to the 26 Swiss cantons, which represent the individuality but also the variety that renders Switzerland a unique multicultural aggregate, both vivid and colourful. To do justice to this Swiss complexity, the selected words come from all four of the national languages – Romansch, Italian, French and German. They have been translated into English for the international audience of the book fair.