Bologna 2019

A Swiss ABC

Switzerland is the guest of honour at the 2019 Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and Swiss illustrators and picture books will be in the spotlight. In the “A Swiss ABC” exhibition, illustrations by 26 artists will be shown: for each letter of the alphabet an illustration and a word that sometimes obviously—and sometimes with a sly wink—refer to distinctive features of Switzerland.

Picture books unite illustrations and the written word in a unique way. The Swiss exhibit in Bologna exemplifies this connection. The leitmotiv is the ABC. The alphabet, with its 26 letters, can also be understood as a reference to the 26 Swiss cantons, which stand for individuality and variety and yet come together to form a colourful and vibrant whole.

The 26 words used in the exhibition, beginning with the letters A to Z, come from all four of the Swiss national languages—Romansh, Italian, French and German—and have been translated into English for the international audience at the Fair. Each of these words was matched with the illustration of an artist who was chosen by a jury of experts. The illustrations selected are typical of the work of the individual illustrators and all come from children’s books that are currently available.


Schweizer Buchhändler ­und Verleger-Verband SBVV
Limmatstrasse 111
CH-8031 Zürich

Ana Albom

Pro Helvetia, person responsible for Literature, Italian-speaking Switzerland

Francine Bouchet

Children Books Expert, Founder and Publishing Director of La Joie de lire

Dani Landolf

Director SBVV

Myriam Lang

Head of international department SBVV

Hans ten Doornkaat

Children Books Expert, Editor at Atlantis Verlag, Lecturer and Journalist