Three days later I was on a (thankfully restful) train to Paris, preparing for more buzz at the Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse, the French national kids book fair.
Hilarious comic illustrator, author and cartoonist friend Sally Kindberg who is also published at Bloomsbury, came with me - an ideal travel companion.
We lodged close to the fair thanks to another friend, the illustrious Doug Cushman, fellow author and illustrator at Hen & Ink.
|When we arrived Doug was painting a watercolour of an owl in his Paris studio.|
A couple of hours later Sally and I went to the grand opening of the French kids book fair.
blogged last year too, enthusing about this mecca for illustrators, authors, kids and book lovers. I just can't resist going on about it! What is it about this particular children's book fair that stands out from any other?
One big difference is that kids can attend, not just the industry pros.
They come with their parents or schools armed with a few euros. They queue up to watch illustrators and authors sign their books. There's a buzz around books which older kids notice. Yes, it's cool to look at books.
Another feeling you get strongly here is real pride in the produce. It speaks for itself. There's not so much glitzy corporate marketing and hard sell. Yet it's a fair that seems to help even the smallest publishers survive. From the huge variety of books and inventive formats it seems they can afford to take risks and publish the books they love. This year it was great to see Nobrow come from London who also take pride in publishing stand-out books.
|Sally loved this beaked tight rope walker on the wall of a publisher's stand. |
Wish we had noted the book it was from - anyone know?
|Little girl and appetizers at one send of the Tourbillon stand|
|wine and tasty canapés at the Bayard stand -|
where there was a real buzz this year...
Aside from incredible standard of art in French kids books, and the daring formats and subjects, there is more than enough to entice children, parents, librarians and booksellers into buying mounds of books before Christmas...
|A book of historical maps to make kids love maps forever|
|one shelf in the BD (comic / graphic novel) section|
|Telling kids stories of WW2|
|from publisher Rue du Monde|
|for teens, a newspaper-like fantasy in pictures|
|"What are swear words?" asks this article in a Bayard kid's magazine |
(Not sure such graphic visuals would be tolerated in some other countries I can think of!)
|Notice the washing line of illustrations up in the Belles Histories / Tralalire offices!|