With over 50 years of experience, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair has succeeded in bringing together a unique and diverse global audience: the result is the world’s premium copyright business hub when it comes to publishing and a new core that now extends to all multi-media content for children. The fair is also a venue for professional development, with hundreds of meetings on different topics. Located in different halls around the fair, the Cafés are areas for debate and entertainment with opportunities to listen and share experiences with a whole range professionals. Each café specialises in one particular area and so there are: the Authors Café, the Digital Café, the Illustrators Café and the Translators Café. Every year the fair organizes numerous awards, given to publishers, authors and illustrators; these are some of the most coveted international prizes in the publishing world — for excellence in graphic styles, innovative format, artistic strength, balance, and with voice and narrative for young people to engage in.

Winning one of the prizes or gaining a special mention means extraordinary visibility for a title in the publishing world, leading to the sale of rights in many countries. As is crucial in the digital domain: the award-winning apps in Bologna invariably comes from global group of digital work recommended to parents as a safe and educational experience to enjoy. The media coverage and focus of the thousands of professionals attending the tradeshow each year put the winners at the centre stage of events. One of the most recent thematic events within the fair is Bologna Digital Media: a hub where publishers, developers, TV and cinema producers, audiobook professionals, animation studios, artists and authors take part in exciting events that mix start-ups with established brands and take advantage of the many opportunities offered by the digital, print and media worlds.

The Illustrators Exhibition displays a wide selection of artists from different countries forming a unique showcase for both fiction and non-fiction. An international jury of experts examines thousands of works submitted by both established and emerging illustrators to select those who will be included in the exhibition and in the Illustrators Annual.

The meetings

The 2018 edition of the Fair will, once again, offer a line up that involves over 200 appointments. Among these Bologna Children’s Book Fair has organised some particularly significant events: six conferences will bring some of the leading figures from Italian and international publishing together to discuss the history of publishing as well as the latest news, innovations and current trends, and propose new ideas and perspectives to the visiting public at the Fair.


The fifth edition of the Dust or Magic Masterclass, organised in collaboration with the American Children’s Technology Review, will bring together the leading experts from the sector to discuss the latest trends concerning digital content for children and young people. The key points of the 2018 edition will concern the main technologies in Augmented Reality with a focus on the interaction with illustrated books, the use of vocal applications (through Google Home and Amazon Echo9); the ways that developers can work with schools and video content for children and young people on mobile devices. Sunday 25th March, the day prior to the opening of the Fair, from 3.00pm to 8.00pm in the Sala Concerto at the Service Centre. Speaking at the masterclass will be Barry O’Neill (CEO, Touch Press), Sebastian Wehner and Daniel Matzke (Wonderz), Japhet Asher (Director of Polarity Reversal and Digital Director of Carlton Publishing), Luca Prasso (Google) and Amanda D’Acierno (Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group).


Audiobooks, statistics, new markets, the potential and opportunities for publishers An appointment dedicated to audiobooks. Innovation and development in the field of publishing for children and young people have always been two key words for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. For this 2018 edition the Fair has reserved a special chapter for the discussion of the growth around the world of the sector of audiobooks. The international market for audiobooks has grown by around 30% in the last year and it is in continuous expansion, with significant growth also in the sector of publishing for children and young adults. According to a recent study of the American market, around 50% of the users of audiobooks are younger than 35 years of age and use mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to listen to the audiobooks. In the last three years around 40,000 audiobooks have been released on the US market alone.

Tuesday 26th March from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, Digital Conference Room (pavilion 32) The conference will present the activities that have led to the gradual international development of this specific sector in recent years. International speakers representing some of the leading players will be sharing data, case studies and success stories, development strategies and best practices

Bologna Digital Media

Bologna Digital Media is a vibrant hub where publishers, developers, TV and cinema producers, animation studios, artists and authors take part in exciting events that mix startups with established brands and take advantage of the many opportunities offered by the digital, print and media worlds.
Augmented reality and digital tools for the today’s artist are fast becoming the new centre points to this fascinating area that also includes the Digital Café, Digital Conference Room and Business Lounge for clients. The popular and innovative Illustrators Survival Corner will be joining us next year. The activities of the digital area have been extended to 4 days, the same dates as the Book Fair.

  • Digital CafèThree days of intense discussion around kid’s content and new media. Apps, web, augmented and virtual projects, all make this public space one of the most vibrant and fascinating in the fair.
  • Digital Conference Room

    A large space where companies can launch new products or train developers on aspects of new software and marketing tools. With over 100 seats, this room is available for hire for both exhibitors and non-exhibitors.
  • BolognaRagazzi Digital Award

    Now in its 7th edition this prize sees hundreds of developers who submit their work in interactive publishing with the selected handful each year receiving prominent displays of their work in the awards area of the space.
  • Solo and collective stands

    A space for new start-ups and established players to bring their opinions and products for all of the kids content industry to see. There are a variety of options for clients to take part in this area.
  • Business Lounge

    Following feedback from 2017, the business lounge with special services proved popular with corporate and consultant clients and will continue to be part of this area in 2018.

Following up last year edition, Aldus returns to Bologna with a series of events addressing digital innovation from an international perspective at Bologna Children’s Book Fair, from 25 to 29 March 2018. For a complete overview of Aldus events:, you can visit this page.