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Estonia to be guest of honor at 2025 Bologna Children's Book Fair

Children holding Estonian-language text books on the first day of school.
Children holding Estonian-language text books on the first day of school. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

In 2025, Estonia will be the guest of honor at the Bologna Children's Book Fair. The fair, which is the world's oldest and largest children's literature event, brings together thousands of children's book authors and creators from around the world every spring.

Each year, one country is awarded the status of Guest of Honor at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, providing it with the opportuntity to introduce its domestic children's literature to a wider audience.

The fair's primary goal is the sale and purchase of international publishing rights, but it also provides an excellent overview of the cultural diversity of children's literature and trends in illustration art.

"Bologna Children's Book Fair is the pinnacle event in the field of children's literature, and taking on the role of the Guest of Honor is a great responsibility and challenge. We are delighted to step onto the global stage to showcase our latest children's books and their authors," said Triin Soone, director of the Estonian Children's Literature Center.

"Above all, it is a picture book fair with a focus on illustration. Having participated for 15 years with our national stand alongside other countries and reflected ourselves in the vast array of books, we have now received confirmation that Estonian illustration art is distinctive and diverse, and we have stories to tell to the world in both words and pictures," Soone added.

Elena Pasoli, director of the Bologna Book Fair, recently visited Estonia and the Tallinn Illustrations Triennial. The purpose of Pasoli's visit was to get to know more about Estonian children's literature and illustration art, as well as to explore the best opportunities for collaboration with the organizations leading the effort to present Estonian children's literature in Bologna.

The Guest of Honor program at the Bologna Children's Book Fair is extensive and includes illustration and book exhibitions, author presentations, as well as discussions and workshops in both the fair halls and the city of Bologna. The program will be developed in collaboration between the Estonian Children's Literature Center and the Estonian Publishers' Association, and funded by the Estonian Ministry of Culture.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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