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Local children’s publisher Bumble Books wins prestigious award at Bologna Children’s Book Fair

Local children's publisher Bumble Books wins prestigious award at Bologna Children's Book Fair
I am AlexThe PossibilitreeThe Rainbow's HeartAnnie Learns to Swim

Mu's Wolf ProblemOom Kallas and the TortoisesTable Mountain's HolidayVumile and the Dragon

 

There’s a certain magic about a beautifully illustrated children’s book, something that can set your child’s imagination soaring and set up a life of reading.

Excitement ran high at the official Bologna Children’s Book Fair awards in Italy earlier this month, when Bumble Books, a small South African independent publisher, won Best Children’s Book Publisher Africa.

This was the second year that Bumble Books, the children’s imprint of Publishing Print Matters, had been nominated.

Winning the award is a huge accolade, and recognises the years of creative vision that Bumble Books owner Robin Stuart-Clark, who hails from Noordhoek in Cape Town, has put into the imprint.

Stuart-Clark’s goal is to publish books that can become a legacy. Bumble Books provides a platform for new South African illustrators and authors to showcase their work internationally, with an emphasis on fun and entertainment. The range offers exquisitely illustrated stories that leap off the page, capturing the imagination of both children and adults.

“This international award not only recognises Bumble Books but more importantly also acknowledges the depth of both the Illustrative and literary talent we have in South Africa,” Stuart-Clark says. “We are world class and we need to think beyond our borders. Our stories can travel, but we’re not using this talent.”

The Bologna Best Children’s Publisher of the Year Prize acknowledges the most significant publishers in Africa, Central and South America, North America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Instituted by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in partnership with the Italian Publishers’ Association, the prize is awarded to publishers that have most distinguished themselves for their creative and publishing excellence over the year, showing originality as well as professional and intellectual skill.

This is not the first time Bumble Books has been recognised at the awards. Table Mountain’s Holiday by Lucy Stuart-Clark was nominated for the 2013 Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrator’s Exhibition, and last year the press was nominated for the Best Publisher Africa – one of five publishers nominated and the only one from South Africa. In 2015, The Possibilitree by Tamlyn Young was voted one of two best books by Jay Heale of the Children’s Books Network.

“People are not reading less – ebook sales confirm this – they are just reading differently, that is, on electronic devices. Children reading for pleasure don’t want lectures, they get those at school. They want to be entertained; they have imagination,” Stuart-Clark says.

In 2014, Publishing Print Matters appointed an international rights agent to represent Bumble Books internationally. Sales of language rights to date include Chinese [Simplified Characters], Spanish and Catalan for Annie Learns to Swim by Katrin Coetzer, and Japanese for The Rainbow’s Heart by Richard Latimer. With the Bologna win, the world is most certainly Bumble Books’ oyster.

See the full list of Bumble Books distributed by Jacana Media:

Book details

 

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