Strega Prize Ragazze e Ragazzi 2024

Created in 2022 to underline the relationship between Bologna Children’s Book Fair and the Strega Prize, the Strega Prize Ragazze e Ragazzi Best Picture Book category returns to the Fair.

The books submitted by publishers for the 6+, 8+, 11+ and Best Debut Book categories will also be announced.

The Strega Prize Ragazze e Ragazzi is promoted by the Fondazione Maria e Goffredo Bellonci and Strega Alberti Benevento, organisers of the Strega Prize, with the Centro per il libro e la lettura (Centre for books and reading) and BolognaFiere-Bologna Children’s Book Fair, in collaboration with BPER, Feltrinelli bookshops and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation - Sistema della Formazione Italiana nel Mondo, and the technical sponsor SYGLA.  


External Link
Official Website


The Committee has selected the three finalists for the award for Best Picture Book from the 38 books proposed by the publishers in this competition category, assigning one special mention.

The members of the committee explain their choices:

For three years now, the jury of the Strega Prize Ragazze e Ragazzi has been assigning the award for the category of Best Picture Book. In these three years we have read some magnificent books: each of them has, to some extent, challenged the relationship between images and words as we thought we knew it. We have therefore always sought to read them with new eyes, ready to be stunned and captivated by the stories told in the illustrated pages of the books submitted for the award. This year, once we had identified the three finalists and the book that deserved a special mention, we noticed that some of the titles share, though not directly, a theme, tone or dark narrative temperature and a disenchanted look at our reality. We came to the realisation that this is how our world is today – ruthless and yet still beautiful – and that our lives are fragile and precious. (Martino Negri, Ilaria Tagliaferri, Virginia Tonfoni)


These are the selected titles and the Committee’s reasons for choosing them:

  • Jef AertsPiù grande di un sogno, illustrated by Marit Törnqvist, translated by Olga Amagliani (Camelozampa).Expressive and poetic, brave and tender, “Più grande di un sogno” is a delicate tale that tackles the complex issue of childhood grief. Narrated in the first person, the child’s dream is a descent into self-discovery in the form of an encounter, dialogue and adventure with a little sister who died prematurely and whom the protagonist had never met. This ethereal journey retains the freshness of a story that has only just been dreamt and is illustrated using mixed media. Free of sentimentalism, the child’s story is able to offer young readers (and not only) a disarming yet shareable vision of grief, leading to a profound reflection, nourished also with humour, that invites us to accept the end as an integral part of life itself and the challenges that all of us – big or small –  are called upon to face.

  • Silvia BorandoStorie brevi (Minibombo).“Storie brevi” is a useless book, happily useless. A colourful and skilfully composed book of stories of striking brevity – two or three double pages at most – that can move readers to smile and laugh out loud. Artfully constructed with a tight rhythm based on an enthralling game of anticipation and surprises that is resolved in a few seconds, Storie brevi is a vital and lively book thanks to a few essential signs that define the protagonists’ curious and knowing expressions, the engaging simplicity of the details in the background, the alternating colours that go hand in hand with the pace of the short stories. Storie brevi teaches nothing, but in the name of levity it brings good humour to everyone, young and old alike, and that is no small thing.

  • Jérémie MoreauI Pizzly, translated by Stefano Andrea Cresti (Tunué).Jérémie Moreau tells a story of deep feelings within the complexity of the contemporary world, amidst the difficulties of life in dehumanised cities and the ferocity of natural environments turned upside down by human action. The author uses the language of the comic strip to draw us into a visual story of incredible impact that tackles issues of great importance, such as our dependence on technology, the difficulty of reconnecting with nature and our blindness in the face of environmental collapse. Devoid of facile rhetoric but with the snappy rhythm of an adventure novel and an impeccable display of visual-narrative technique, La storia dei Pizzly is a long, dazzling metaphor of how detached we have become from our roots and from the sacred matrix of life, and of the importance of reconnecting with it in order to face our future on the planet.

The special mention was assigned to:

  • Olga Tokarczuk, Il Signor Mirabile, illustrated by Joanna Concejo, translated by Raffaella Belletti (TopiPittori).
    Signor Mirabile is a book everyone should read. Beautiful and terrible, it is a merciless critique of the contemporary world, masterfully conducted by the authors with the weapons at their disposal: calibrated words that, through fiction, tell a story with a force of which only poetry is capable, and figures constructed with the highest compositional skill and painstaking patience. The protagonist’s obsession with his own appearance, which leads him to photograph himself in every corner of the world, is narrated through the skilful alternation of text and images, until it is only the world that remains to be portrayed, in the form of sudden and mysterious glimpses of both urban and natural contexts within which Mirabile is paradoxically a fleeting, almost dissolved shadow. The book is an editorial object of refined beauty worth savouring slowly.

The winner of this category will be announced as part of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2024, on 10 April at 2.30 pm, at the Illustrators Café. In addition to the prize for the author offered by Strega Alberti Benevento, there will be a prize for the illustrator of the winning work, if different from the author, and one for the translator, in the case of a translated book, offered by BolognaFiere.

Nominations for the remaining competition categories closed on 29 February. A total of 148 titles were submitted, broken down as follows: 38 in the Best Picture Book category, 30 in the 6+ category (for readers aged 6 to 7), 34 in the 8+ category (aged 8 to 10), 46 in the 11+ category (aged 11 to 13). All the books were published in Italy, also in translation, between 1 April of the previous year and 31 March of the current year.

Pupils from 318 juries at Italian primary and secondary schools (82 more than last year) located all over Italy and abroad, will vote for the winning works in the 6+, 8+ and 11+ categories. Reading groups composed of girls and boys coordinated by Italian and foreign libraries and cultural institutions may also participate in the jury.

The Strega Prize Ragazze e Ragazzi is promoted by the Fondazione Maria e Goffredo Bellonci and Strega Alberti Benevento, organisers of the Strega Prize, with the Centro per il libro e la lettura and BolognaFiere-Bologna Children’s Book Fair, in collaboration with BPER Banca and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation - Sistema della Formazione Italiana nel Mondo, media partner RAI and technical sponsors Feltrinelli Librerie and SYGLA.

The list of candidates is available on the website