Wednesday, 8 April 2015

B is for Books and Bologna.

Last week I went to the Italy for the Bologna Book Fair with my friend and fellow illustrator Lucy Letherland
It was Lucy's first fair and my second time, and I still felt over whelmed - theres just so many books in the world and some real beauties too! Here are a few things we saw and did...

Below are a few of my favourite spots from the fair which I hope make it to our UK shelves...

They include…  A River by Marc Martin (I have noticed his other book 'Max' is soon to be published by Templar so maybe this one will too?), Il Museo Immaginario by Gek Tessaro, A Biography/art book of M.Sasek (of 'This Is…' fame - i really want this one), all the books on the Planeta Tangerina and Topipittori stands (not pictured)Helium - "Tous les ponts sont dans la nature" (I have one of their books in english and its a stunner, but it seems they produced another couple of titles in the series on different buildings and architects, and I saw a pop up Frank Gehry book by them too. So some very exciting stuff from them). 
Also the many books from the Japanese and Taiwan stands. I think the art is fantastic! Fingers crossed we see some of them in our bookshops soon.

It wasn't just the books I love about Bologna Fair, there is the illustrators exhibit stand and the illustrators wall.  It's great to be able to see the art work from a wide range of illustrators up close and not on a computer screen. Its also interesting to see the variation in artwork and styles, which varies from country to country, especially as an illustrator. It was really insightful and gave me lots to think about.

It seemed this year there was a great number of British illustrators who had their work on show. Including Maisie Shearring from The MA Cambridge Course, who also won the International Prize this year (well done Maisie!) Next year she will have an exhibition at the fair, just like Catarina Sobral did this year...

I really loved the bold colours and simplicity of shape in this book, and it was interesting to see her different style in her other books we spotted through the fair. 

I also spotted this gorgeous cat poster on the Russian stand and bought two posters from Planeta Tangerina including this one... 
Outside the fair we visited the Pinocchio exhibition, which was in a really fascinating building, that had been reconstructed after being bombed in the war. I never really like Pinocchio as a story, but the pictures in this show were great, the compositions and colours were fantastic. I love how smug and cunning the cat and fox are in this picture, it was a shame they didn't have prints of this on sale…
One other stop was the Hamelin Cultural Association,which is quite tucked away. Last year they had a show of Benjamin Chaud (The Bear's Song) work. This year there was a show by Steven Guaranaccia called Fatherland. 
I really enjoyed it and there was some interesting pieces, including these saws and brushes. There was lots of hand lettering too, which was great - reminded me of so many things. 
which brings me on to the signs and hand lettering around the city - theres so much! 
I was the annoying one who constantly kept stopping to snap restaurant and shop signs. 
I kept finding different colour combinations and styles. 
and if thats made you hungry Bologna is not only good for books but food too! 
We ate our weight in pizza, pasta and wine, as well as filling up on Geleto, very thick hot chocolates and Spritz! plus the odd lethal gin cocktail and GIANT croissant.
Lastly, one of the best and my favourite places in Bologna is the Bookshop - Something the continent is brilliant at (theres also the Chantelivre in Paris which is also brilliant). I would love to run a book shop like this, a shop solely devoted to selling children's books. It's such a wonderful shop.
We even spied an Italian version of Lucy's Atlas of Adventure and a copy of Penguin In Peril among the many shelves of books on offer. 
You could spend your whole trip in here, but its good  and advisable to go outside and see the sites too. 

we each paid 3 euros to go up one of the two towers in the centre, I only got half way up  before turning back around (my legs couldn't carry me to the top, but for 3 euros its a very nice looking ticket) - which judging by photos is stunning if you can make it up the old,creaky,wonky stairs.

And heres a few books that managed to come home with me...
and if you want to read more here is a link to Lucy's blog post about Bologna. 

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