The Grand Tour’s programme has on display special exhibitions celebrating top-quality writing, illustration and design. 

The winners ofthe prize created by Fundación SM and BCBF

Created in 2010, the 2020 International Award for Illustration Bologna Children’s Book Fair-Fundación SM celebrated its 10th edition. The aim of the prize, announced during the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, is to discover talented children’s book illustrators chosen by a special jury of three experts from among the artists under 35 included in the Illustrators Exhibition. The winner is awarded a scholarship ($ 15,000) and asked to create a picturebook based on a classical tale or legend from his/her own country: a process that helps the young illustrator evolve professionally, expressing his/her full potential on the international stage. The following year, the book is published by SM and presented at Bologna Children’s Book Fair, where the original illustrations are shown in a solo exhibition dedicated to the illustrator. Throughout its ten editions, the award has brought to the international stage brilliant young artists from Asia, Europe and North America. The exhibition celebrating its tenth anniversary will display a series of works by the ten winning artists who have shaped the history of this important award.  

The new generation of children’s illustrators

Following the worldwide success of the two previous editions (“Illustration for children: Italian Excellence” and “Illustrators for Gianni Rodari. Italian Excellence”), presented in a total of over thirty countries around the world, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair’s promotion of Italian illustration continues with the third edition of the format: organised by the Bologna Children's Book Fair/BolognaFiere in collaboration with the Emilia-Romagna regional administration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and curated by the Giannino Stoppani Cooperative/Accademia Drosselmeier, Italian Excellence. The new generation of children’s illustrators presents the works of twenty young Italian illustrators chosen from among the most promising young artists in the sector, who, through their books, are renewing the tradition of high quality illustration in our country and their success is bringing the work to the attention of an international public.

Opened in digital form on the occasion of the 58th Bologna Children's Book Fair on the BCBF Galleries portal, the exhibition will be set up inside the BCBF stand, and will display an illustration by each artist. There will be a programme of guided tours that can be booked on Eventbrite.

In the coming months, the exhibition will be presented in numerous venues around the world, through the network of Italian Cultural Institutes and beyond.

The illustrators whose work is on display at the exhibition are: Giacomo Agnello Modica, Andrea Antinori, Michael Bardeggia, Beatrice Cerocchi, Marianna Coppo, Francesca Corso, Cecilia Ferri, Chiara Ficarelli, Marta Pantaleo, Giulia Pastorino, Irene Penazzi, Alice Piaggio, Camilla Pintonato, Michelangelo Rossato, Veronica Ruffato, Lorenzo Sangió, Francesca Sanna, Luca Tagliafico, Giulia Tomai and Veronica Truttero.

Ibby Italia 2021 Honour List

The main goal of IBBY International – the International Board on Books for Young people – is to promote the best national and international literature for children and make it accessible. Each year, IBBY's eighty plus national sections are called upon to nominate their country's best authors and illustrators for the major international awards, together with a selection of the best publications for children, collected in their respective Honour Lists. This year, for the first time in Italy, this work has been made available to everyone, thanks to the publication of the Italian Honour List: edited by Ibby Italia - of which BolognaFiere is one of the founding members. The selection aims to offer an opportunity to discover the quality output of Italy’s excellent publishers and printers not only to members but, more generally, to all those – teachers, librarians, booksellers, parents and, last but not least, young readers – who want to find out about Italian publishing for children and young people. The IBBY Italia Honour List will be showcased to international publishers at the Sharjah Fair, in an exhibition at the BCBF stand that will display all 70 titles on the Honour List. This collection delivers an ideal library, highlighting both the very new and established writers, while promoting top-quality writing and illustration and spanning a wide variety of narrative forms. These include: picture books, short stories, novels, theatrical writing, poetry, non-fiction, and graphic novels. There will be a programme of guided tours, which can be booked on Eventbrite. 

Contemporary book covers design: a selection

The book cover offers the reader the first impression for any title, capturing its spirit, identifying and positioning the book in a style or genre. The “Jackets Off” exhibition – created for general book publishing - looks at the creative journey from start to finish, showcasing book covers chosen from the very best worldwide, each accompanied by the illustrated ‘journey’ that led to its creation, from the initial sketches to the intermediate versions. Produced as part of BolognaBookPlus 2021 in collaboration with Mimaster Illustrazione, the graphic projects that make up Jackets Off were selected by five experts: Steven Heller (art director, critic, author, and editor, USA), Cecilia Flegenheimer (art director Mondadori, Italy), Jon Gray (graphic designer, UK), Alice Beniero (illustrator and art director, Italy), Paul Buckley (senior VP Executive Creative Director Penguin Random House, USA). Part of the exhibition will be on display in Sharjah and can be viewed in full online at BCBF Galleries, the virtual art museum of Bologna Children’s Book Fair.