TIA Trends Specialist Attends Bologna Children's Book Fair and Kids
The 46th annual Bologna Children’s Book Fair just wrapped
up in Bologna, Italy (March 23-26th). More than 5,000 attendees from 69
countries attended this annual event to see more than 1,300 exhibitors
representing the best in children’s literature and
TIA Toy Trends specialist Reyne Rice attended the show and presented
at the Kids Licensing Forum. She reported that “buyers were
‘picking well’ and ‘focusing’ – industry
buzz words for a higher level of selectivity. Which is not at all
surprising given the current world economy.”
According to Rice, there were no breakthrough introductions –
although major publishers including Scholastic and Harper Collins
continue to explore electronic and multi-platform publishing. Tried and
true brands persevered with publishers continuing to introduce new
releases from their big-name authors as well as new twists on classics
such as Robinson Crusoe.
Other highlights of the event included:
- All things supernatural in the burgeoning tween category, following
the success of such properties such as Twilight, Graceling, and
The Battle of the Labyrinth series.
- A gallery show dedicated to renowned illustrator Roberto Innocenti,
whose unique style of “metaphysical realism” has won him the
coveted 2008 Hans Christian Andersen Prize; his work also adorned the
Fair’s 2009 show guide cover.
- "Round, Round and in a Circle,” an exhibit celebrating the
literature and vivid illustration art of Korea, showcased this
nation’s strong ties to animation, cartooning, and bold graphic
- The 2nd Annual Kids Licensing Forum was a perfect platform
for sharing U.S. licensing trends. The Fair’s TV/Film &
Licensing Centre helps facilitate new business connections, copyright
exchange and licensing agreements among children’s book
publishers, toy companies, licensors and TV/film production
- Myriad examples of re-invigorated book sales – for both
existing and new properties – via licensing platforms in a broader
range of categories. Sales of Roger Hargreaves’ popular Mr. Men
and Little Miss books rose 60% in 2008 due to the increased TV exposure;
Fisher-Price has the rights to produce toyetic products for this
property in the USA.
- One of the world’s most important literary prizes, The Astrid
Lindgren Award, was given to the Tamer Institute for Community
Education, a group helping children in Gaza and the West Bank to read
and write, taking a prize of $630,000 in memory of the author of
- A major announcement that Academy Award winning director Steven
Spielberg has optioned the rights to direct Scholastic’s 39
Clues as a major motion picture.
Next year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair will be held
March 22–25, 2010.