Silent books. Final destination Lampedusa

International IBBY Project - Honour List Announcement


Bologna Children's Book Fair


Illustrators' Café - Wednesday 27 March, 1.30 pm



Etienne Delessert, Ahmad Redza Khairuddin (President IBBY International), Sophie van der Linden, Deborah Soria (IBBY Italia board member)


Paola Vassalli (Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome)


Silent books, books that rely on pictures alone to tell their story, are increasingly popular both with publishers and with the reading public.  Using pictures alone to convey their message, they can overcome the language barrier and foster intercultural encounter and exchange. Taking its cue from the popularity of this medium, IBBY Italia, in conjunction with Rome's Palazzo delle Esposizioni and with the support of IBBY International, presents Silent books. Final destination Lampedusa.  Mobilising IBBY sections throughout the world, the project has involved four continents and over twenty countries in collecting the best in books without words to donate to Lampedusa, the remotest island in the Mediterranean and the first "port of call" for people arriving from across the sea.  The books collected are going to form the initial core of a library for Italian and immigrant children, which Ibby Italia promotes and supports with the backing of the Lampedusa local authorities and of a variety of different associations and institutions.

An international jury comprising critics, illustrators, librarians and booksellers has selected, from among the over one hundred and twenty titles collected, ten works which are exemplary in terms of their originality, complexity, historical value and subject matter, and it will be presenting the first silent books honour list at the Illustrators' Café.

The project also includes a travelling exhibition which will kick off at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in May, in the context of the Bologna a Roma retrospective organised in conjunction with the Biblioteche di Roma (Rome municipal libraries department), and then travel throughout Italy and the rest of the world, on a request basis, with Lampedusa for its final destination.  The exhibition will be accompanied by a master travelogue run by Chiara Carrer and Sara Verdone.

And lastly, the establishment of a centre for documentation and research, hosted by the Art Bookshelf in the exhibition area in Rome and open to scholars and the general public alike, will help to spread an awareness both of this important branch of publishing and of the illustrated book's potential as a tool for cultural mediation and for initial education to the visual arts.


The Honour list may be consulted after the event at the IBBY Italia stand - Pavilion 25/ A47

The project, currently in its first edition, has been produced thanks to the efforts of IBBY Italia's Rome members: Azienda Speciale Palaexpo-Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Biblioteche di Roma-Biblioteca Europea, Donzelli editore, Ottimomassimo Libreria Itinerante, Sinnos editrice.


for further information


for information on the exhibition

Segreteria IBBY Italia