Last week I went to the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy with Hodder Children's Books for the launch of my next Mr Panda title, 'I'll Wait, Mr Panda'. In this, Mr Panda's second picture book, we discover that GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT. Speaking of waiting, it's not out until January next year.
I was at the fair from Monday to Thursday morning. Lots of things happened in that very short time. Here are 15 things I won't forget.
1. Seeing the mahoosive 'I'll Wait, Mr Panda', poster.
2. Having Very Important Meetings with foreign publishers, UK booksellers and other book folk.
3. Sitting on the floor with Sang-Keun Kim and poring over his utterly amazing work.
4. Chatting philosophically for ages with Sun from Some Books about the importance of picture books.
6. Meeting lots of author and illustrator friends, and making new friends, too.
7. Emma, my publisher, giving me a Mr Panda plush (picture below)!
8. Watching a truly fascinating and thoroughly entertaining talk by Dav Pilkey at the Scholastic Reception.
9. My agent, Elizabeth Roy, giving me a Compeed plaster for a painful blister on my heel.
10. Introducing Mr Panda's US publisher to Professor Martin Salisbury at the Cambridge School of Art stand.
12. Spilling a full glass of red wine all over the white tablecloth at a dinner with foreign publishers.
13. Spotting Mr Panda bags all over the fair.
14. Chatting with friends from Hachette (and eating Pringles and drinking Coke) in their little hideaway room behind their stand.
15. Biting into the most delicious slice of pizza I think I've ever had.
Below are some photos of my time there, in no particular order. I spent most of my time near or at the Hachette stand, so most of these photos were taken there. Yet again, I wish I had taken more photos of the stands from around the fair.