It was AMAZING - and, for me, it was amazing for five reasons.

Reason 1: Mr Panda

My third picture book, 'Please Mr Panda' (Hodder Children's Books) was revealed to the world, and I can tell you that behind his ordinarily expressionless face, Mr Panda is secretly smiling! 

Me and the panda. Can you spot 'The Queen's Hat' on the shelf?

Me and the panda. Can you spot 'The Queen's Hat' on the shelf?

I took this photo right after pinching myself.

I took this photo right after pinching myself.

An obligatory selfie with Mr Panda.

An obligatory selfie with Mr Panda.

Mr Panda's official launch!

Mr Panda's official launch!

Reason 2: Betty

My second picture book, 'Betty Goes Bananas' (OUP), which was launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair, had a poster of her own!

Betty preparing for her almighty tantrum.

Betty preparing for her almighty tantrum.

A chance meeting with 'Betty's' lovely US publisher was a perfect photo opportunity!

A chance meeting with 'Betty's' lovely US publisher was a perfect photo opportunity!

Reason 3: My first presentation at a book fair

I took part in a presentation, alongside the hugely talented author/illustrators, Sarah Lodge and Carolina Rabei, which was about 'digital printmaking'- how traditional print processes relate to and inform our digitally generated work. Martin Salisbury organised and led the presentation - so thanks, Martin, for allowing me to ramble. Thanks also to the audience for coming, and thank you to Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar for sending me these photos!

Me talking about me.

Me talking about me.

No, it's not a touch screen.

No, it's not a touch screen.

Me talking about banana paper.

Me talking about banana paper.

From left to right: Martin Salisbury, Sarah Lodge, Carolina Rabei and me.

From left to right: Martin Salisbury, Sarah LodgeCarolina Rabei and me.

Blah blah.

Blah blah.

Reason 4: Friends!

Books aside, one of the best things about the Bologna Children's Book Fair, for me, was spending quality time with friends and forming new friendships. One of my very good friends, Elena, had a book launch at her publisher's stand, and, unsurprisingly, she sold out!

Elena and her stunning picture book debut. 

Elena and her stunning picture book debut. 

Reason 5: The MA Children's Book Illustration stand

These guys rock big time!

A bad photo of a great stand.

A bad photo of a great stand.

...and, of course, the books, THE BOOKS. So many books, so little time, and sadly (from me) not many photos of them; and there were the evenings too, but I might save that for another blog post.

I have to say a massive thank you to my agent, Elizabeth Roy, the Hodder team and the OUP team, along with the MA tutors at Anglia.

See you next year, Bologna!

Until next time . . .

Until next time . . .

Posted
AuthorSteve Antony