Bologna’s 2018 Children’s Publishers of the Year Nominees from Six World Regions

In News by Porter Anderson

In the run-up to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, 30 children’s publishing companies are nominated for Best Children’s Publisher of the Year.

At the 2017 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Image: BCBF

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Gratifying To See Our Efforts Acknowledged’

Needless to say, being named one of the 55th Bologna Children’s Book Fair‘s Best Children’s Publishers of the Year is a highly motivating concept, and five publishers from each of six international regions have been announced as nominated for the honor.

The fair itself this year runs March 26-29, and the certificates for best publishers will be presented to the winners from each part of the world at the opening ceremony. While this 6-year-old award isn’t a prize that comes with cash, in the bustling business of children’s books, being named one of Bologna’s best carries a certain currency all its own.

The recognition is conferred by the fair in association with the Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE), and is meant to honor “those publishers who have most distinguished themselves for their creative and publishing excellence over the last year, showing originality as well as professional and intellectual skills.”

The 2016 iteration of the prize, for example, saw the United Arab Emirates’ Kalimat—the now 11-year-old publishing company founded by Sharjah’s Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi—named the winner in the Asian region. It’s an honor the house continues to wear with understandable pride. In the same year, Canada’s Groundwood Books was named, bringing to center-stage a company well known for its work in multicultural literature for young readers.

On its nomination for the award Toronto-based Owlkids Books publisher Karen Boersma said in a prepared statement, “We have been working hard to bring our authors’ and illustrators’ books to a worldwide audience, and to bring the best international books to North American readers, and it’s gratifying to see our efforts acknowledged.”

Exhibitors, publishers associations and book institutions will be voting on the winners in each region. Here are the nominated companies from the six parts of the children’s book industry map of the world.

Central and South America
North America

The opening ceremony, which includes the naming of the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year, at the 2017 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Image: BCBF

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.