Bologna Book Fair Names Its Children’s Publishers of the Year

In News by Porter Anderson

This award program’s honorees are based in Tanzania, Switzerland, Iran, the United States, Colombia, and New Zealand.

Students reading in the garden at Sicily’s University of Catania. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Radio Kukka

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

Announced by AIE and the IPA
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, Bologna Children’s Book Fair—the world’s most influential and largest annual industry-facing trade show for young readers’ content—issues a group of six awards each year that are particularly prized by children’s publishers.

These are the Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year.

Bologna organizers, deeply devoted to their pet short names for everything they do, like to call these the “BOP” awards.

The Children’s Publishers of the Year prizes are based in world areas. There are five shortlisted publishing houses for each of six geographical regions.

The Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year is comparatively young among the many Bologna awards, having been established in 2013. The program enjoys the collaboration of the Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE), led by Ricardo Franco Levi. He and Bodour Al Qasimi, president of the International Publishers Association, made the announcement Monday.

And the AIE, one of world publishing’s most accomplished research-oriented publishers’ associations, tells us that in the Italian market, among children 14 and younger, 77 percent have done some reading in digital formats as opposed to 61 percent of the adult readership.

A part of that high percentage of digital reading among kids has to do with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, of course, but it’s a striking figure and here’s one even more impressive: Among children 14 and younger, 72 percent are reading print books compared to 55 percent of adults surveyed. Who are the biggest readers of them all? The little ones aged 4 to 6.

The association will be presenting more of these figures on the youngest set of readers during the week’s fair events from Bologna.

Here are the shortlisted publishers and winners announced today (June 14) as the show opens.

Shortlists and Winners 2021 Bologna Best Publishers Prize


  • Cassava Republic, Nigeria
  • Winner: Mkuki na Nyota, Tanzania
  • New Africa Books, South Africa
  • Protea Boekhuis, South Africa
  • Yanbow Al Kitab, Morocco


  • Anhui Children’s Publishing House, China
  • Bronze Publishing, Japan
  • Mirae Media & Books, South Korea
  • Picturebook Gongjackso, South Korea
  • Winner: Tuti Books, Iran


  • Winner: Éditions La Joie de Lire, Switzerland
  • Liels un Mazs, Latvia
  • Pato Lógico, Portugal
  • Samokat, Russia
  • Topipittori, Italy

North America

  • Eerdmans Publishing, USA
  • La Courte Échelle, Canada
  • Lee & Low Books, USA
  • Levine Querido, USA
  • Scholastic, USA

Central and South America

  • Editorial Amanuta, Chile
  • Ojoreja, Argentina
  • Pallas Editora, Brazil
  • Rey Naranjo, Colombia
  • Tragaluz Editores, Colombia


  • Affirm Press, Australia
  • Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, Australia
  • Little Pink Dog Books, Australia
  • Magabala Books, Australia
  • Oratia Media, New Zealand

More from Publishing Perspectives on Italy and its book publishing industry is here. More on Bologna Children’s Book Fair is here, more from us on children’s books is here, more on publishing and book awards is here, and more on world publishing’s trade shows and book fairs is here

More from Publishing Perspectives on the coronavirus pandemic is here.

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.