L’occhio del mondo, published by Topipittori, Bologna, Italy
The Italian version of L’œil du Monde is held in the city of Bologna – the international capital of children’s publishing – and is supported by “Settore Bibliotheche e Welfare Cultural”, which manages and coordinates the city’s libraries. The project is co-organized by Topipittori and Hamelin, with the collaboration of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and the “Boom! Crescere nei libri” festival.
The project comprises several stages: training for librarians in the Bologna network, the adoption by libraries of one of the project’s publishers, and, on the occasion of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, a study day and exhibition devoted to the history and illustrations of the publishers.
Since September 2023, librarians have been taking part in four days of training with artists and experts, with the aim of offering quality workshops to Bologna’s elementary school pupils during 2024. The libraries will involve a total of thirty classes, or more than 500 children.
A day of professional meetings is also planned to coincide with the Bologna Book Fair, on April 7, 2024: the morning will be devoted to discussions on the use of illustrated books in schools, with the participation of 6 teachers and professors; the afternoon will be devoted to topics related to independent publishing, with the participation of 6 publishers and experts.
Finally, an exhibition of original illustrations will be held in the covered piazza of Bologna’s Salaborsa library from April to May 2024, highlighting distinctive features between the publications of the 12 independent publishing houses of the Eye of the World.
Les éditions Topipittori
A small publisher of illustrated books, like Topipittori, is a bit like a small coastal boat: it doesn’t carry large loads or travel along major trade routes, but it moves at its own speed, sometimes close to the coast, sometimes where you can only see water all around. It stops in many ports, but only for a short time, just enough to unload something and load something else.
In our ports, we load people, ideas and projects, and unload books. In our own way, we bring together very different and distant regions of the world. The fact that we operate over short distances does not mean that we are content to stroll around our house: our itineraries have led us, in fifteen years of sailing, to navigate domestic and exotic seas, calm and stormy waters, along known and unknown coasts.
Authors and illustrators from Italy, France, Poland, Croatia, Iran, Japan, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Korea, Colombia and Spain have come on board our ship. And our books have landed in many countries: from Thailand to the United States; from Argentina to Sweden; from China to Holland; from Russia to France.
We think of ourselves a bit like the Venetian merchants who left for faraway lands to trade what they had for what they didn’t have, and sometimes didn’t even know existed. They left, they travelled, they came back. Through this back-and-forth, they have made the world smaller and at the same time larger, people closer and friendlier.
Hamelin is an association dedicated to reading education.
All our activities revolve around children’s literature, comics and illustration, based on one guiding principle: reading is a fundamental aesthetic act for finding meaning in oneself and the world.
We work all over Italy with children, teenagers and adults who interact with each other at school, in the library and in educational settings.