Thursday 3 April 2008

Bologna 2008: and then there was the loot

Bring a small suitcase. On wheels. That’s the standard advice to writers and illustrators attending the Bologna book fair. There’s so much loot to be had. Not only are there catalogues and posters and postcards but if you are very, very nice, people give you things. Especially if you attend the last day of the fair when everyone’s taking down their stall and have no desire to ship their books home.

I didn’t manage to attend the last day of the fair but I tried to be very, very nice to people.

And they gave me things.

Here’s a list of what I got:

1. A Babette Cole How to DVD
Babette Cole in Bologna

I am probably the only person in the world who can say I rescued uber picture book person Babette Cole (Mummy Laid an Egg, Doctor Dog) TWICE.

Well, I didn’t exactly snatch her from the jaws of death but it came close.

Well, I sort of fixed her computer problems.

Which makes me practically a super hero.

Here’s what I look like in a cape:
Super Candy
That's why Babette kindly gave me her much coveted DVD on how to make a picture book.

2.The Ariol DVD
Ariol is France's much loved blue donkey character created by artist Marc Boutavant and writer Emmanuel Guibert, much loved in France. He is the star of a series of books, with comics instead of chapters,

Boutavant screened a trailer for the pilot of an Ariol TV series. I approached him afterwards to ask if the video was already up on YouTube.

To my surprise, he handed the DVD to me!

Unfortunately, i can't seem to upload the thing to YouTube so you'll have to settle for this version without the English subtitles

3.A bunny picture book from Taiwan

One of my favourite events of the conference was when editors from all over the world (England, the United States, Venezuela, America, France and Taiwan) each discussed their favourite books. I loved the Taiwanese book – a PB about a rabbit born with short ears who goes to great lengths (get it?) to change his ears.

Guess who grabbed the book after the talk?

4. The Slant Book republished as Il Libro Sbilenco

Now this was actually for sale and I did not physically buy it as my feet by this time were totally wrecked by the marathon walking required at book fairs. Peter Newell was a cartoonist from the 1900s famous for his innovative picture books The Slant Book and The Hole Book. Il Libro Sbilenco is Marco Graziosi's translation, beautifully re-published by an Italian publisher.

The baby character though has a rather scary face.


  1. A good haul,Candy but that McIntyre original is worth the trip alone.

  2. Candy, I got the Bunny Book too! (love it)

    Another tip is to send stuff home by post - my two boxes arrived yesterday. It is cheaper than paying the 10 E / kg fee for going over weight on the discount airlines.

  3. angela wrote:Another tip is to send stuff home by post

    that's great if you can speak italian and figure out where the post office is (like you do) - but when you can barely order a coffee!

    wait ... TWO boxes? now that's greedy.


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