This year I decided to take the plunge and go to the Bologna Children's Book Fair. I've had a bit of a headache ever since and I'm not sure I've ever done so much walking in such inappropriate shoes but it was well worth it.
A big draw for me was the Cambridge School of Art's stand which I was lucky enough to be a part of. It was buzzing almost constantly (not just the afternoon we handed out wine) and I could barely squeeze in through the mob that consistently surrounded it to see my own book in situ. Having just said that I seem to have managed to take a photo at one of the few times it was empty, you'll have to take my word for it. I know for a fact that a variety of people who had work on the stand have had offers from Japanese, Brazilian, Italian, French and UK publishers and I'm not surprised because the standard was so high it was making me start to wonder if I should just quit now and become an accountant.
Thanks to my cunning agent, Frances McKay, I've met more publishers than I can count and I very much enjoyed a talk by Jon Klassen of 'I Want My Hat Back' fame. I learnt he has the laugh of a chipmunk and a Martin Salisbury attitude to the concept of style.
|The Cambridge School of Art Stand|
|My books 'The Monkey Bus' and 'Monty the Monster' on display. Courtesy of Sarah Whelan.|
|The illustrators wall where you can see the highest concentration of promo pieces anywhere on earth.|
|And some people I know who do pictures looking a touch manic. Also courtesy of Sarah Whelan.|