Children’s Book Rights: Bologna’s Fourth ‘Kids Licensing Days’

In News by Porter Anderson

Many trade visitors packing for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair will be at conference sessions in the ‘International Kids Licensing Days’ series.

At the 2023 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Image: BCBF

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

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Manga, Gaming, Licensing, Television, and Film
You, too, may have received today’s email from Italy, telling you that Bologna Children’s Book Fair (April 8 to 11) opens in just 15 days.

One point of of emphasis from organizers is a strong push for the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids wing of this year’s  trade show. Just a reminder, the 61-year-old trade show in the Emilie Romagna now is divided into three parts:

And not only does that third component this year introduce its own rights-trading floor for film and television development, but it also will be staging the fourth iteration of a conference series with an umbrella title, International Kids Licensing Days. All told, more than 40 speakers will be onstage at various moments addressing topics in licensing.

That refers to three days, April 8, 9, and 10, on which various conference programming will be available. All sessions are in the Licensing Conference Room in Hall 29, Mall 2 at BolognaFiere, and this, as we’ve mentioned previously, is the 17th edition of the licensing show.

Here’s a quick look at the three days’ topics and speakers.

The 2024 International Kids Licensing Days Program at Bologna

April 8: ‘Manga and Gaming’

The series will open with a talk from Kodansha on the world of manga, increasingly central to the licensing market, to continue with accurate analysis of licensing and publishing trends, and then explore in the afternoon case studies and trends between gaming, publishing and licensing, a new theme for the Bologna event. 

Keep in mind that in Bologna, the word “conference” is sometimes used to refer to a single panel discussion that might have an unusually big number of people onstage and a running time of more than the standard 45 minutes to an hour.

Anticipated speakers:

  • Yulia Amano (Japan)
  • Ben Roberts, Gary Pope, Samantha Loveday, Fée Heyer (UK)
  • Ludvig Kullander (Sweden)
  • Elena Favilli (USA)
  • Tadeja Irmancnik (Slovenia)
  • Gianluca Marani, Alan Vele (Italy)
  • Thierry Baujard (Germany)

April 9: Licensing

Things may get a bit more promotional on the second day, with “several sessions dedicated to celebrations of major international brands, such as the 25th anniversary of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card game; the 35th anniversary of the bright-colored patchwork elephant Elmer; the 80th anniversary of Moomins; and the 50th anniversary of Hello Kitty with an accompanying cake party.        

Anticipated speakers:

  • Paul Black, Helena Mansell-Stopher, Daniele Tombini, and Marianne James (UK)
  • Silvia D’Archivio, Annita Romanelli, Silvia Figini, Alan Vele, Moris F. Calasso (Italy)
  • Morghan Fortier and Brett Jubinville from Canada
  • Emmet O’ Neil (Ireland)
  • Neal Hoskins (Poland)
  • Philippe Guinaudeau (France)
  • Roleff Kråkström (Finland)

April 10: Book and Television

Making much of the new television and film rights center, programming of “conferences”—those longer panel sessions remember—will focus on April 10 on the “the thriving dialogue between audiovisual and publishing. This day includes analyses of trends in both markets, along with case histories such as “The Brilliant World of Tom Gates,” and tutorials on how to pitch a publishing  property for screen development.

Anticipated speakers:

  • Francesca Perri, Marco Ponti, Alessandro Gatti, Francesco Catarinolo (Italy)
  • Mark Mertens (Luxembourg)
  • Ken Anderson, Liz Keynes, Olivia Deane, Harriet Webster (UK)
  • Stefano Marrone (United States)

Participation in the fourth edition of “International Kids Licensing Days” is free of charge and only requires an entrance pass to the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids, which is on-site with the rest of the show at BolognaFiere.

Pre-registration on the fair’s site is recommended to secure a place at the sessions and request additional materials at the end of the event.


More of our coverage relative to the 2024 Bologna Children’s Book Fair

More from Publishing Perspectives on rights trading in the international marketplace is here, our Rights Roundup series is here, more on licensing is here, more on Bologna Children’s Book Fair is here, more on children’s books is here, more on the Italian market is here, and more on world publishing’s trade shows and book fairs 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.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.