Silent books

The project promoted by IBBY Italia in conjunction with IBBY International and with the Palazzo delle Esposizioni di Roma's Education Department-Art Workshop, first got under way in 2012 with the aim of putting together a selection of the best silent books published throughout the world and of building a library for the boys and girls of Lampedusa. The creation of a public library on the island is of immense symbolic value because Lampedusa also symbolises every other remote and border area in the world, and this project aims to provide us with an opportunity to draw the attention both of the institutional authorities and of civil society to the needs of those children who grow up without access to reading and to the principles of respect and understanding of their fellow man that reading can stimulate.

The choice of the collection of books for children that IBBY Italia has chosen to put together and to donate to the island of Lampedusa consists of a set of silent books, in other words books without words, which, in entrusting their stories to images alone, manage to break down all linguistic and cultural barriers. The project, now in its fifth edition, has resulted to date in a collection comprising almost five hundred albums without words from the five continents, housed both in the island's library and in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni's Art Bookshelf and freely available to researchers, teachers and enthusiasts. The collection can also become a travelling bibliographical exhibition which can circulate on demand both in Italy and abroad.

For each edition, an international jury comprising critics and illustrators, librarians and booksellers, selects from among the albums received a special honour list of works considered exemplary for their originality, their complexity, their historical value and the themes that they address.

The exhibition, curated by the Palazzo delle Esposizioni's Education Department - Art Workshop, is a travelling exhibition held every two years, which travels with its suitcases full of stories in Italy and throughout the world, accompanied by workshops, encounters and training and refresher courses.


 Honour List 2013 
 Honour List 2015 
 Honour List 2017 
 Honour List 2019 
 Honour List 2021