Saw my 'indulgence buy' of the Fair: L'alfabeto dei sentementi by Janna Carioli and Sonia Possentini (will post later about it), then my 'fun buy' of the Fair - a story about a circus strong man who is into knitting: Ettore, L'uomo Straordinariamente Forte by Magali Le Muche.
Then I spotted my absolute favourite Claude, in Italian! Had to turn him face out so lots of Italians would get to know him too.
I've not had a stand for many years and I really miss the buzz the fair has the day before as stands are put up. It always got me psyched like being backstage before a performance. So I was happy to go along to the Troika Books stand to meet Martin West and Petula Chaplin.
Took a break to see Margaret's IBBY showcase...
...and ran into the fabulous Judy Goldman from Mexico who has been shockingly busy with seven books out this year! One is with the fabulous Charlesbridge who of course also publish Lulu).
Marianna has just published the second Lulu story and presented us with a copy.
Here they are swimming underwater among the jellyfish:
It struck me at the fair that alongside the ever increasing numbers of pink/blue books for boys/girls, there is also a growing number of books about bullying. Now, could this be connected?
As I argued in a blog to launch Alanna Books' What Are You Playing At?, (quoting Lyn Mikel Brown) “When you offer few options and give kids a very narrow slice of life, there are things they don’t learn, experiences they don’t have. What the children do learn is strict gender norms – and children who don’t adhere to those norms frighten their peers. They’re made anxious by difference because we’ve given them sameness. To alleviate that fear, they tease the child who doesn’t conform.” So, as books and toys become more and more gender segregated, the social costs of boundary crossing and the peer pressure to stay within the lines are huge.
A frightening thought and one that compels us to keep fighting for books that are open and inclusive and all embracing rather than narrow and limiting.
OK, mini-rant over, on to nicer things - my favourite image of the fair one from the illustrators' wall.