1964-2023: the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) celebrates sixty years of scouting, research and continuous growth that have seen the creation of projects abroad, the launch of innovative initiatives and fruitful partnerships.

Even in the face of significant recent and current challenges, the world’s most important event dedicated to the trade in publishing rights for content for children and young people has proved its huge capacity for resilience and inventiveness. The Fair, in fact, is a place where ideas from all over the world meet, giving life to new and unexpected creative production. This success is thanks to the permanent dialogue and collaborative relationship that BCBF has established and nurtured over decades, since its initial foundation, with publishers and the entire international children’s book community. The Bologna Children’s Book Fair has always been a space for dialogue, debate, exchanging ideas and professional development.

This year’s edition will host meetings on some of the most topical issues concerning the future and the present of global publishing: from censorship in children’s books, to the new role of artificial intelligence, the promotion of reading in disadvantaged areas of the world and specific initiatives aimed at promoting Aldus Up’s goals, addressing core topics for the book sector such as accessibility, translation and reading promotion, digitisation, new forms of reading and storytelling in the digital dimensionnew models to develop and engage with book professionals.

Among the initiatives promoted by Bologna Children’s Book Fair to support and disseminate the objectives of Aldus Up are projects and meetings dedicated to technological innovation ( together with its brand’s extension BolognaBookPlus) , in particular the BolognaRagazzi CrossMedia Award, the prize aimed at publishing projects developed through different media conceived by BCBF and now in its third edition, which this year welcomes a new competition category dedicated to digital bookshops able to offer innovative and effective reading experiences;  the Global Rights Exchange the digital platform dedicated to the exchange of publishing rights and licensing of content developed during the pandemic period and still active today, having become a valuable tool for publishers around the world to maintain active global relations and exchanges throughout the year, while waiting to meet in person at the next edition of BCBF. The GRE is now also open to the participation of publishers and exhibiting companies in the spaces of BolognaBookPlus, Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids and in the Comics Corner.

Here below are the activities organised within the framework of Aldus Up for BCBF 2023.

ALDUS UP events are also available on BCBF website  here

For the full program of Bologna Children’s Book Fair and BBPlus see here


Monday, 6 March

Accessible Illustrated Books and Where to Find Them

h.10.30 – h.11.15

BBPlus Theatre – HALL 29 MALL 1

New technologies and the adoption of standards allow publishers to create digital publications accessible since the first publication, the so-called Born accessible publications. Complex layout books, as children’s books, require specific knowledge to achieve this goal.

Thanks to the participation of international experts working in the field, the seminar will provide an insight on the opportunities and the challenges for the companies working in this market segment:

  • European Accessibility Act and illustrated books: what is it required.
  • Fixed layout children’s books: dream or reality? One of the first international case study.
  • Image descriptions: how to provide meaningful descriptions for different categories of images (photos, infographics, schemes, graphs)

SPEAKERS: Gregorio Pellegrino, Chief Accessibility Officer of Fondazione Libri Italiani Accessibili; Beatrice Martelli, Editor, The Passenger, Iperborea; Maruizio Mattioli, Director of the Educational Digital Projects, Zanichelli Editori


In cooperation with Fondazione Libri Italiani Accessibili


Greece Market of Honour BBPlus 2023 Programme:

The Italian market: facts and figures – with an insight on the Greek book market


BBPlus Theatre – HALL 29 MALL 1

The market focus will present the latest figures of the Italian publishing market to foreign operators; this year the seminar will also host a short in-depth look at the publishing market in Greece, the guest of honor at the Fair.

SPEAKERS: Bruno Giancarli, AIE Research Department; George Andrew Zannos, Managing Director OSDEL – Collective Management Organization for Literary Works.

Organized by BBPlus

In cooperation with The Italian Publishers Association


From Measuring Reading to achieving its growth: the Evolution of ERICS and Reading Promotion


BBPlus Theatre – HALL 29 MALL 1

Presentation of the last achievements of ERICS, the Aldus Up project’ contribute to collect homogeneous data on reading habits and the development of reading promotion initiatives in Europe.

During this session will be shared the latest figures from Spain (using ERICS), the progress in different countries, the challenges and the benefits from the implementation of this initiative. There will also be an invitation to join this undertaking: building comparable data with respect to this core set of questions in Europe and use this information for the design of national reading policies and the European agenda in this field.

SPEAKERS Christoph Blässi, Johannes Gutenberg University; Kristenn Einarsson, Norwegian Publishers Association; Luis González, Germán Sánchez Ruipérez Foundation; Bruno Giancarli, Associazione Italiana Editori.


In cooperation with ALDUS UP


The State of Artificial Intelligence – Friend or Foe? – Masterclass with Julien Palier


The Illustrators Survival Corner – Masterclass Area – Hall 30

The recent release of new powerful Artificial Intelligence models, with acclaimed tools like chat GPT, are forcing us to rethink how we work and create. But is Ai a threat, or an opportunity?

SPEAKERS: Julien Palier, former journalist, entrepreneur in Tech and Ai, in charge of Product Management at Aily Labs


Bologna Ragazzi Cross Media –

Stories across media. How children and young adults experience new forms of reading and storytelling in the digital dimension


Authors Café – Hall 30

In the digital space children and young adults experience news forms of reading and storytelling in complex narrative worlds in which books become webcomics and webnovels, podcasts and audiobooks, video and tv series, immersive and interactive stories.
Now in its third edition, the BolognaRagazzi Crossmedia Award (BRCMA), organised in the framework of the European project Aldus Up and in collaboration with Mamamo’, is an international award for excellence and innovation of publishing projects that expand their narrative universe through different media in a particularly effective way, identifying narratives that have been able to migrate from traditional forms of publishing to other platforms. Starting with this edition, the BRCMA dedicates a new category to digital libraries that are able to offer reading experiences on the screen in an effective way

SPEAKERS: Warren Buckleitner, editor Children’s Technology Review; Kuo-Yu Liang, consultant in Pop-Culture & Publishing Ku Worldwide; Gareth Osborne, artistic director, Wonderspun Researcher, University of Bristol; Moderator Roberta Franceschetti, Co-founder, ContentMakers/Mamamo.it.

ORGANIZED BY Bologna Children’s Book Fair


Mixing the Digital and Physical World: two Publishing Projects for Today


Authors Café – Hall 30

From a top YouTube creator to storybook success – Super Simple is bringing their digital characters off the screen and onto the pages of printed books in a cross media collaboration with Scholastic. Brett Jubinville and Lauren Mowat will talk about their design process, working with their publisher and how they’re able to attract a new audience of readers using QR codes, their website and their award-winning subscription mobile app.

Mr Motivator Tik Tok – Nearly 60% of 16-25 year olds say that BookTok has switched them on to reading. Students will highlight a project and share some of the content they have been creating. The project will launch a new children’s series with digital and physical products about mental wellbeing, kindness and caring for the environment.

SPEAKERS: Brett Jubinville, COO Super Simple; Lauren Mowat, designer and illustrator Super Simple; Debbie Williams, senior lecturer Manchester Metropolitan University; Student Group: Sarah Cartwright, Kathryn Austin, Ciara Hanley, Lydia Hickson, Mia Johnson, Olivia Dennison, Georgina Eley, Isobel Neill;

MODERATOR: Neal Hoskins, WingedChariot

ORGANIZED BY Bologna Children’s Book Fair


Tales of EUkraine: Sharing Stories


BBPlus Theatre– HALL 29 MALL 1

Tales of EUkraine (TEUk) is an opportunity for European publishers to support their Ukrainian counterparts and to display their solidarity to the most vulnerable victims of the conflict by doing what they do best: publishing books. This project will bring together European and Ukrainian publishers to deliver bilingual children’s books to several communities hosting Ukrainian refugees, fostering integration and mutual understanding. TEUk has built a catalogue of Ukrainian children’s books available for publishers to acquire the rights to and publish them in bilingual editions. The project partners will purchase the part of the print run to be distributed to displaced children and organise its distribution to the Ukrainian refugee communities, whilst publishers will be invited to promote the book to their national communities. TEUk will facilitate the integration of Ukrainian children in their host countries, increase the knowledge of Ukrainian culture across the Union, and support the Ukrainian publishing sector in a time of dire need. TEUk is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

SPEAKERS: Olena Odynoka, coordinator Ukrainian Book Institute; Enrico Turrin, FEP Deputy Director; Paola Malgrati, from the press office of Il Castoro.


Understanding the teenagers’ relationship with reading


Services Centre – Wing D – Sala Suite

Conversation about the main conclusions from the report about the teenagers’ perception of reading (Spain) as a form of leisure and its attributes and the data from international research on the connections between reading and digital consumption and interaction. The study shows the teenagers’ opinions on the influence of the educational system, libraries and other organisations on their reading habits; identify the main challenges facing reading books in order to increase its attractiveness as a leisure activity and define a “probable scenario”, based on the adolescents’ on their opinions and behaviours.

SPEAKERS: Luis González, FGSR (Spain), Elisa Salamini, Mamamò (Italy)

ORGANIZED BY BBPlus, Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez

In cooperation with Bologna Children’s Book Fair


Tuesday, 7 March

La lettura in Italia da 0 a 14 anni (Reading in Italy 0-14 years)


Services Centre – Wing D – Sala Suite

 An in-depth focus carried out every two years as part of the AIE Observatory on Reading and Cultural Consumption and aimed at investigating how much and how children and young people in Italy read.

Presenting data from surveys carried out as of February 2023, it will be an opportunity to present the very first data on reading in all segments of the child population between the ages of 0 and 14.

SPEAKERS: Giovanni Peresson (AIE), Beatrice Fini (Commissione ragazzi di AIE), Elena Pasoli (Bologna Children’s Book Fair), Nicoletta Gramantieri (Biblioteca Sala Borsa), Carlo Gallucci (Gallucci editore), moderati da Cristina Mussinelli (AIE).

ORGANIZED BY AIE – The Italian Publishers Association


Laureates in Conversation


Illustrators Café with The Folio Society – Services Centre

A panel discussion with seven Children’s Laureates and reading ambassadors from around the world

SPEAKERS Julia Eccleshare, chair; Áine Ní Ghlinn, Laureate na nÓg, Ireland; Joseph Coehlo, Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate, UK; Casi Wyn, Bardd Plant Cymru, Wales; Gabrielle Wang, Children’s Laureate, Australia; Tialda Hoogeveen, Berneboeke ambassadeur Fryslân, Friesland; Nioosha Shams, Sveriges läsambassadör, Sweden; Susanna Mattiangeli, Children’s Laureate, Italy.

ORGANIZED BY Bologna Children’s Book Fair


Discover New Talent in Europe: The European Prize for Literature Longlist


BBPlus Theatre– HALL 29 MALL 1

On this event, the names of the 13 nominated books for the European Union Prize for Literature 2023 will be revealed.

Come and discover the spotlighted authors, who will showcase the diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, and promote the circulation of non-national literary works beyond linguistic borders.

SPEAKERS: Julie Belgrado, Director, European and International Booksellers Federation; Anne Bergman-Tahon, Director Federation of European Publishers.



Wednesday, 8 March  

How Artificial Intelligence can make publishers more competitive and lead to higher quality and New Media Productions. The Management of massive resources and a personalization of readers’ experiences


BBPlus Theatre – HALL 29 MALL 1

SPEAKERS Adele Magnelli, International Project Manager, ETT; Sam Habibi Minelli, Business Manager at GruppoMeta



Thursday, 9 March

I mestieri del fumetto: come presentare il portfolio (Working in Comics: the portfolio review)


Illustrators Café with The Folio Society – Service Center

The Comics Professions series curated by the Comics & Graphic Novels Commission of AIE continues, dedicated to all those who dream of working in a comics publishing house and told by those who work there every day. The theme of this meeting will be portfolio review, presented from the different points of view of the publisher, the comic book artist and the specialized fair.

SPEAKERS Emanuele Di Giorgi, Commissione Comics & Graphic Novels; Gud, fumettista; Paola Cantatore, Franco Cosimo Panini; Lucca Comics & Games

Moderator: Enrico Fornaroli

ORGANIZED BY Comics & Graphic Novels Commission, AIE and Lucca Comics & Games