More Prizes: The Best Children’s Publishers of the Year at Bologna

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

At the 60th Bologna Book Fair, the closely watched Best Children’s Publishers of the Year Prizes are named in six world regions.

Australia’s Magabala Books wins the 2023 Best Publisher of the Year Prize at Bologna Children’s Book Fair. The win is celebrated by, from left, IPA president Karine Pansa; AIE and the Federation of European Publishers’ Richardo Franco Levi; Bologna Children’s Book Fair director Elena Pasoli; and BolognaFiere president Gianperlo Calzolari. Image: BCBF

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

Mozambique, India, Ukraine, Canada, Chile, Australia
As part of the notably crowded 60th-anniversary events at Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the most widely prized industry awards of the trade show’s many honors have been announced tonight (March 6), here in a cool but dry and breezy Emilia Romagna.

The Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year was created about a decade ago in cooperation with the Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori) and is handed out in six geographically defined regions of the world:

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • North America
  • The Caribbean, Central and South America
  • Oceania

In an interesting feature, the jury for this award is the world’s publishers.

They vote for their sister houses that have been standouts in various developments of innovation, creativity, and “the quality of their editorial choices”—an intriguing criterion in itself, considering the vast range of topical content and debate now embraced by the industry serving younger readers.

Here are the winners announced tonight at the Palazzo Re Enzo, the 11th iteration of this prize program. In a departure from many other awards programs based at Bologna, this one does not announce its winners in advance.

Bologna Prize: Best Children’s Publishers 2023

Sandra Tamele of Mozambique’s Trinta Zero Nove, center in white, accepts her win of Bologna’s Best Publisher of the Year Prize for the African region. Image: BCBF

The commentary we have edited in the case of each region’s winner is provided to the awards program by the publisher in question and the award organizers. We edit primarily for brevity and to remove promotional content.

Africa

For Africa, Sandra Tamele’s Trinta Zero Nove from Mozambique is the winner. Publishing Perspectives readers are aware of Tamele’s work from our previous coverage.

Edited program commentary: “Editora Trinta Zero Nove is the first independent publisher dedicated to publishing translated works in Mozambique. Founded in 2018 by Sandra Tamele to publish a collection of short stories translated by the winners of the Literary Translation Competition as part of International Translation Day, it has since expanded its catalogue to give a voice to minority authors.”

Asia

Wonder House Books from India has been selected as the winner for the continent of Asia.

Edited program commentary: “We are an enterprise engaged in the business of publishing interactive books for children,” is how Wonder House Books describes itself. An imprint of Prakash Books India Pvt. Ltd, India’s largest book distributor, Wonder House began activities in 2017. Output ranges from stories to picture books, activity books to fairy tales. The mission is to develop children’s interest in reading.”

Europe

The winner for Europe is The Old Lion Publishing House from Ukraine. Publishing Perspectives readers are aware of Mariana Savka’s work in this house based in Lviv from our earlier coverage.

Edited program commentary: “Old Lion Publishing House is a Ukrainian publisher producing books for a range of family members:  picture books, poems for children, stories for school-aged children, a series for teens, nonfiction for various ages as well as atlases and more.”

North America

The winner for North America is the Canadian publisher La Courte Échelle.

Edited program commentary: “Created in 1978 by the author Bertrand Gauthier, La Courte Échelle became the first publishing house in Québec to specialize exclusively in children’s literature. Influenced by Europe’s approach to young peoples’ literature, Gauthier said he wanted to “bring Québec up to date,” and published original works by local authors. The catalogue includes books for several ages of young readers: board books, picture books, and novels for pre-teens and teens. Purchased in 2015 by Mariève Talbot and Raymond Talbot and brought into the Short Scale Publishing Group in 2018, the house targets consumers to age 18.”

Central and South America and the Caribbean

The winner for Central and South America and the Caribbean is Chile’s Editorial Amanuta.

Edited program commentary: “Editorial Amanuta has been publishing picture books for children and young people since 2002. Amanuta means with intent in the Aymara language. The goal, is to offer innovative and creative proposals that adapt to the current times in order to promote the development of young people with books that stimulate their creativity and imagination, preparing them to face the future by combining tradition and modernity.”

Oceania

For Oceania the winner is Magabala Books from Australia. Publishing Perspectives readers are familiar with Magabala from our previous coverage.

Edited program commentary: “Magabala Books is among Australia’s leading Indigenous publishers. Owned and managed by Indigenous Australians, it publishes the work of islanders from the Torres Strait and Aborigines from many parts of Australia. A non-profit, Magabala publishes picture books, memoirs, stories for juniors, teens, and adults, essays, graphic novels, social stories, and poetry. Magabala’s commitment is focused on developing new and emerging Indigenous writers, illustrators and narrators and protecting intellectual and cultural property. 

Lviv’s Old Lion Publishing House wins the European region Best Children’s Publisher of the Year Prize at Bologna. Image: BCBF


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 of our coverage of the 60th anniversary edition of Bologna Children’s Book Fair:

Bologna’s 60th Edition Draws 28,894 Visitors
Hometown Hero: Bologna Illustrator Andrea Antinori Wins Big
International Women’s Day: PublisHer’s Bologna Stand
The Best Children’s Publishers Prizes of the Year at Bologna
At Bologna: Abu Dhabi International Translation Conference
Elena Pasoli and Jacks Thomas on the 60th Bologna Book Fair Opening
At Bologna: Spain’s Publishers Report Growing Children’s Exports
Nicholas Yatromanolakis on Bologna’s Market of Honor: ‘The Modern Face of Greece’
IPA’s Events Lineup at Bologna Children’s Book Fair
‘AI’ at Bologna: The Hair-Raising Topic of 2023?
At Bologna: PublisHer Will Have Its First Trade Show Stand
At Bologna: The ‘Taiwan Stories Market’ Program
Pre-Bologna Rights Roundup: ‘Buy Ukrainian Book Rights’
Children’s Rights Edition: A 16th Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids
Bologna Book Fair Names Cross Media Award Winners
Bologna Focus: Italy’s €283 Million Children’s Book Market
Rights Edition: Bologna Book Plus’ Rights Programming
Bologna Book Fair: 2023 Ragazzi Awards
Bologna’s 60th Book Fair: Illustrators Exhibition Winners
Greece Is Bologna Book Plus’ First Market of Honor

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.com, 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.