The logo was created by Polonca Strman and it consists of three letters, specific for Slavic alphabets, which clearly and playfully communicate the theme of the Bologna project: books. The letters chosen are not only a symbol of the Slavic world, but also a universal and primary communication tool that children acquire even before they learn to pronounce whole words. The unique illustrations accompanying the letters help children recognize how those letters should be pronounced: ššššššš (“sh”, as in shush) is for when silence is requested, čččččččč (“ch”, as in chair) recalls the sound of a rumbling train, žžžžžž (the second “g” in garage) is like the buzz of bees in a hive.

Polonca Strman, author of the logo


Bologna Book Fair

The fair in Bologna is a 4-day event intended exclusively for professional visitors (it always takes place from Monday to Thursday in late March to early April) from the field of YA and children’s literature. Bologna book fair is engaged in and is developing its focus on (book) illustration. There are close to 30 000 professional visitors and over 1400 exhibitors from 80 countries participating the fair. The fair is covered by over 800 journalists from 40 countries and also has a strong presence in digital forms of promotion. Bologna is the most important fair for the sale and purchase of licences or rights in the field of children’s and young adult literature and offers excellent opportunities for establishing long-term international contacts and for becoming informed about trends in the field.

The Bologna Children's Book Fair is, beside the book fair in Frankfurt, the international platform at which the greatest number of Slovene publishers from the field of children's and young adult literature are presented, either independently or as part of the Slovene national stand.

The appearance of Slovenia as honorary guest is a unique opportunity to focus attention on our book publishing industry and rich creativity and tradition in the field of books for children and young adults. This is particularly relevant as it occurs within the context of an international fair with a permanent and high reputation and guaranteed attention of the publishing and bookselling media.

While the exhibition areas of individual publishers in the exhibition halls primarily function as spaces and forums for negotiating licences and rights, the appearance of Slovenia as honorary guest will function as a complete cultural project presenting Slovene creativity for children and youth, surpassing by far the boundaries of the fair, with its cultural programme also expanding to the town of Bologna itself. As such it also builds the reputation and recognition of the publishing industry, profession and the country.

The organisers of the fair have long recognized Slovenia as a country where authors’ expression in the fields of illustration and literature for children exist at the highest level. In 2017 the Slovenian Book Agency began working to secure a date for Slovenia’s guest appearance and in March 2018 successfully negotiated and signed the contract for Slovenia’s honorary guest appearance at the 2021 fair. Due to the corona the Slovenian presentation was postponed to year 2024. The project also represents an important connection to Slovenia's guest appearance at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2023.

Aims of Slovenia’s appearance at Bologna 2024

With Slovenia’s appearance as honorary guest at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair we wish to pursue and achieve the following aims:

  • to present current Slovene creativity in the field of children’s and young adult literature from the viewpoint of publishers, authors, as well as presenting the rich illustration scene in Slovenia.
  • to encourage more translations of Slovene books for children and young adults into (major) foreign languages.
  • to connect the project in a meaningful way with the appearance of Slovenia as a guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2023, building upon a common aim – prestige and recognisability.
  • to present Slovene books, authors and illustrators to the wider Italian audience (with an emphasis on Bologna and its surroundings).

About the design of the exhibition of Slovenian illustration in Bologna

About the exhibition And Then What Happens?

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