Someday when I'm rich, really disgustingly wealthy, I'm going to the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, and I will meet aaaaalll the wonderful illustrators and buy them a glass of vino. Seriously, I am obsessed with picture book illustration, and the book fair in Bologna attracts artists from every corner of the globe.*
This year, though, we're all in luck! Because you don't have to go any farther than your local Oakland Public Library branch to see almost all the 2015 winners of the Bologna Ragazza Awards. 2015 is the 50 year anniversary of the award, which means--fun fact--that it was created during the birth year of Alex Winter, aka Bill S. Preston of seminal American film Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. CONNECTIONS.
This year's winners are:
Avant Après, by Anne-Margot Ramstein, illustrated by Matthias Aregui (we have the English translation)
NEW HORIZONS (A special recognition reserved to the publishing industry in the Arab countries, Latin America, Asia and Africa):
Abecedario, by Ruth Kaufman and Raquel Franco, illustrated by Diego Bianki
That last one is my personal favorite. I bought it for OPL at FIL Guadalajara, and loved it so much I got a copy for myself, too. These pictures!
The last Bologna Ragazza Award is the Opera Prima, which recognizes exceptional first books. We don't own this one, and I haven't seen it for sale in the US yet.
Here's hoping some intrepid US publisher snaps it up, along with all the awards' Special Mentions. (Enchanted Lion, are you watching?)
*Globes don't have corners, FYI