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Indulged in Korean Science Books at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair

Indulged in Korean Science Books at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair

Posted April. 28, 2007 03:07,   


The 44th Bologna Children’s Book Fair was held in Bologna, Italy from April 24 to the 27. Approximately 1,200 publishers from 64 countries participated in the book fair where the copyrights of children’s books are traded. The numbers of participating countries and publishers were about the same as last year, but that of visitors was not because the London Book Fair was held right before this fair.

The Korean Publishers Association (KPA) set up a Korea Hall, and 18 publishers established booths in the hall showcasing 704 kinds of books. Sixteen publishers consigned 33 kinds of books to other firms. Apart from the Korea Hall, six other publishers set up individual booths at the fair.

Lee Eok-joo of Dong-A Science, who participated in the Korea Hall for the first time, said that foreign buyers are more interested in individual volumes like comic books “Galilei Comes Back” or “Dreaming Einstein” and knowledge books like “Sseolong Holmes” than magazines.

Chairman Park Sang-hee of Biryongso, who established an individual booth at the Asian Hall, said, “There were few books that attracted the attention among the big international publishers this year. But I felt that the level of Korean writers has increased significantly. Now is the time for Korean publishers to export books aggressively based on their experience.”

Representative Kim Dong-hui of Yeowon Media, who set up a booth at the International Hall, was satisfied saying, “As I continually consulted with buyers, which started at the London Book Fair, I made more than 30 deals.”

Since most copyright contracts are concluded at the London Book Fair, fewer deals are made at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair; however, the contracts of Korean children’s books are increasing because they have sharpened their competitiveness edge at this particular fair.

Park Eun-jeong, an employee of the international business department of the KPA, said, “One of the publishers that participated in the Korea Hall sold 13 kinds of books and made a deal of selling 30,000 volumes.” Park continued, “Asian buyers tend to be interested in education books such as science text, while North American and European buyers show interest in children’s picture books that do not reveal Korean culture.”

This year’s guest of honor was Wallonia-Brussels, a French-speaking region in Belgium, and the works of the illustrators from the region were exhibited en masse. South Korea is to be the guest of honor country in 2009.

One of this year’s illustrators, Park Yeon-cheol, who wrote a picture book titled “Grandpa Mangtae is Coming” of Sigong Junior, and Kim Suk-gyeong, who illustrated the children’s book, “A Lucky Pig of the Corner,” displayed their works with 83 other participants. After the book fair, their works will be exhibited at Paju in Gyeonggi Province this December following an exhibition in Japan.