With an anticipated 1,500 exhibitors from about 100 countries, including first-time participants from Angola to Uganda, BCBF 2024 is supported by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI). The fair has also been admitted as a Patron Member of the International Publishers Association (IPA), emphasizing its dedication to global dialogue, freedom to publish, and copyright protection. 

Elena Pasoli, Director of Bologna Children’s Book Fair, stated: “Becoming a patron member of the IPA- International Publishers Association- represents for us an important recognition of the work we have been doing for over sixty years in the service of the international children’s publishing community and, for the past four years, with BolognaBookPlus, of general publishing. A service that is first and foremost valuable dialogue and debate, alongside the sharing of those fundamental principles related to copyright protection and freedom of publication. As a book fair- across the trade publishing spectrum- being part of the IPA will be an additional stimulus for us to collaborate and participate actively and constructively in the debate around the great challenges facing the publishing industry at such a complex historical moment as this.” 

IPA will be involved in a number of sessions with IPA President, Karine Pansa, participating in the opening ceremony and at the BOP Awards, of which IPA is a partner. Pansa will also speak at two sessions at the Authors’ Café 

The first is Reading for a Healthy Planet: Inspiring Children’s Books to Help Achieve a Sustainable Future (Monday 8 April 14.30-15.20) which will look at how children’s books about sustainability are a powerful tool to introduce global issues to young audiences, inspiring them to become active participants in creating a sustainable future.   

The second is Higher-Level Reading, AI and Book Publishing: Ljubljana Reading Manifesto (Monday April 8th, 17.30 -18.15) which will look at the special role of books and publishing in developing the ability for readers’ to delve into complex topics and to be critical of the information they are confronted with in an increasingly digital world. 

Kristenn Einarsson, the Chair of IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee will be at BBPlus in the session Supporting a Trinity of Freedom: To Express, To Publish, To Read (BBPlus Theatre, 16:00 – 16:45) following up on the launch of the international book sector’s joint statement on the freedom to read, freedom to publish and freedom of expression. 

Slovenia is the Guest of Honour Country for 2024, offering a window into its rich publishing landscape through an exhibition featuring 59 contemporary Slovenian illustrators. 

Spotlight on Africa returns for its third edition, providing a platform for around 30 African publishers. Additionally, a new TV/Film Rights Centre aims to foster collaborations between publishing and entertainment sectors. 

Find out more of Bologna’s programming here.