Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth to open the Bologna Children’s Book Fair

Around 50 Swedish authors and illustrators will be present as Sweden becomes the first Nordic country to be guest of honour at the world’s largest children’s book fair in Bologna, Italy, on March 25–28 2013. The overarching theme is Children’s right to culture and the fair will be opened by Sweden’s Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.

“It is a great honour to be opening this important event and it will be exciting to see Swedish literature for children and young  adults in an international context,” states Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.

“As well as giving Sweden an opportunity to promote its children’s and young adult literature, the fair also offers a forum for discussions and debates on how we can stimulate young people to read more books.”

As guest of honour, Sweden will be presenting a major exhibition of contemporary Swedish illustration. The exhibition, covering approx. 300 square metres, will present 31 illustrators chosen by an expert jury. In making the selection, the jury focused on the child perspective. Several of the illustrators have a long and distinguished career, among them Olof Landström, Sven Nordqvist, Eva Lindström, Pija Lindenbaum and Ilon Wikland, while others are young and and in the beginning of their careers – a third of the exhibitors were born in the 1980s.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue providing information about the illustrators.

The book fair will feature a range of seminars and presentations, including the authors Sara Elfgren Bergmark, Mats Strandberg, Ulf Stark, Martin Widmark and Moni Nilsson. Sweden’s Reading Ambassador Johan Unenge will be meeting colleagues from Ireland and Australia for a discussion on how to encourage children to read more books.

Bologna’s central library, Salaborsa, will be the venue for a reading promotion day – Sweden at the Library! – with talks and activities for children, the general public, teachers and librarians.

The local cultural association Hamelin will arranging a second exhibition of Swedish illustrations at Bologna’s Archaeological Museum in partnership with the Swedish Institute.

The Swedish Arts Council is responsible for the events, in cooperation with Swedish children’s book publishers, the Swedish Institute, the Swedish Film Institute, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, Business Sweden and the Embassy of Sweden in Rome.

“The Swedish Arts Council administers the world’s greatest award in children’s and young adult literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), whose recipient is announced each year in Bologna. Now we have an additional opportunity to promote reading among children and young people internationally, and we are very pleased for this chance to present Sweden as guest of honour,” says Kennet Johansson, Director General of the Swedish Arts Council.


Eva Ottosson
Project Manager
+46 (8) 519 264 24