The international children’s book community of authors, illustrators, translators and publishers returned to northern Italy this week for the first in-person Bologna Children’s Book Fair since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The trade show had previously cancelled programs for 2020 and 2021.
“Bolstering the mood of attendees was that the publishers were coming to Bologna after two years of strong sales,” according to Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.
“There were concerns as well, of course, starting with Ukraine. Lots of blue and yellow ribbons was seen all over the fair,” he adds. “Copyright issues are also apparently on people’s minds, with accusations made that Big Tech are lobbying to weaken copyright laws.”
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London Book Fair will also return next month as an in-person event, its first since 2019.
“Fair organizers have high expectations for 2022, even if it is surely going to be scaled back from the 2019 event,” Albanese tells me. “In all, organizers expect 15,000–20,000 attendees.
“The number of exhibitors registered for this year’s LBF is 860, which is a respectable number, although down from the more than 1,000 registered in 2019,’ he says. “Currently, 156 exhibitors are from the U.S. The US houses will be participating but largely through their UK operations, though I am sure a handful of execs and rights people will be on hand.”