While organizational details of the change are still coming from Italy, we are notified this morning (February 24) that the 57th Bologna Children’s Book Fair is being postponed to May 4 to 7 because of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
The show has originally been scheduled for March 30 to April 2.
Anticipated to bring more than 1,400 exhibitors and some 30,000 trade publishing and professionals to Bologna, the fair is considered the world’s most influential in children’s and young-adult content.
The announcement of Bologna’s postponement now is following the decision of Taipei International Book Exhibition to move its event from its original February 4–9 dates to the new dates May 7–12 this year.
A single notice stands on the Bologna Children’s Book Fair home page at this point:
And the company is tweeting the change in English and Italian so that world publishing rights directors, illustrators, authors, editors, publishers, vendors, and others can alter travel arrangements.
Immediately, responses to the new dates are mixed, some skeptical (“Only a month later … How sure is the next date?”) and many supportive (“This must have been a hard decision to take:).
The UAE’s third emirate Sharjah is Guest of Honor this year at Bologna shortly after appearing as Market Focus at London Book Fair—the organizers of which signal that they continue to go forward on scheduled, March 10 to 12 in the British capital.