The Bologna Children's Book Fair runs for four days. On the fourth day, publishers begin packing up for the journey home, but they don't always take all their books with them. This is something my Bologna buddy and fellow author-illustrator, Elena Arévalo Melville, discovered, so we challenged ourselves to collect as many books as possible to donate to IBBY. IBBY stands for International Board on Books for Young People and is a non-profit organisation that represents an international network of people from 75 countries; at the fair their Italian branch had a sign asking for book donations for refugee children.
Elena and I went on a mission to collect as many donations as possible. Hachette leant us a red trolley, and off we went. We hashtagged our spree with #HelpIbbyBCBF16. It was a race against time; we wanted to collect as many books as possible before the publishers all packed up; and we had a flight to catch, too.
Two or so hours later, we had 100's of books for IBBY. IBBY were delighted. It was magical moment. It felt empowering. In our own little way, we helped.
We'd like to thank all the publishers who kindly donated so, so many books!
I had intended to post this blog shortly after the Fair, which took place in April, but didn't due to one reason or another. This morning, I found it sitting in my 'drafts', so here it is... Below are some photos of the event. For a much better blog post about our spree, which includes more details, please visit Elena's blog HERE.