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The most prominent representatives of children’s book publishing will gather together at the anniversary 60th Bologna Children’s Book Fair from March 6 to March 9, 2023. Book Arsenal, in collaboration with Pictoric Illustrators Club, organizes the exhibition Illustrated Ukraine and a panel discussion on Ukrainian illustration.

The exhibition Illustrated Ukraine presents the works of Ukrainian illustrators which were created during last year. Instead of illustrating children’s books, they draw Ukrainian children suffering from Russia’s aggression. They depict Ukraine as it is now and as it has been for the last twelve months — war-torn, heartbroken, in pains, but also strong, dignified, invincible, and united as never before. The works of Ukrainian illustrators, in a clear language of poster art, say: we will be fighting until we win, and we ask every European to stand with us in this fight.

On Wednesday, March 8, at 2:00 pm, a panel discussion with famous Ukrainian illustrators Ukrainian Illustration. Experiencing the War” about creativity in wartime will take place at the Illustrators Survival Corner.

Art has always been a medium for communicating ideas, self-expression, protest, and solidarity. Amidst Russia’s war in Ukraine, illustration became a powerful tool that helps Ukrainians to spread the truth about what’s happening in their country, to share their emotions and stories with the world. 

So what’s it like to live through war? Where to find inspiration? How can artwork become an instrument or even a weapon? How to keep working while in danger? What is the role of creators today? And what’s it like to be Ukrainian? 


  • Oleg Gryshchenko, painter, illustrator, cofounder of the Pictoric Illustrators Club
  • Anna Sarvira, illustrator, curator, cofounder of the Pictoric Illustrators Club
  • Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv, Art Studio Agrafka

Moderator: Yuliia Kozlovets, director of the International Book Arsenal Festival

Organized by the Ukrainian Book Institute, the Ukrainian national stand will exhibit a selection of current children’s books by 22 Ukrainian publishers. The concept of the stand under the slogan “Mom, I see war” was borrowed from the eponymous charitable project, a digital collection of children’s drawings about the war in Ukraine. The Ukrainian national stand calls on foreign publishers to translate and publish Ukrainian books.

During the fair, Tales of EUkraine project will be presented, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Its purpose is to print and distribute Ukrainian bilingual books in kindergartens and schools where children of Ukrainian refugees study, after being forced to leave Ukraine.

Full information about this year’s presentation of Ukraine at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and the Ukrainian Program can be found on the Ukrainian Book Institute’s website.

We shall remind that this year the Book Arsenal was the partner of Ukrainian publishers’ participation in the BOLOGNARAGAZZI AWARD – 2023, the winners of which will be awarded on the opening day of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on March 6. Prize laureates for the Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year, which included the Ukrainian Old Lion Publishing House in its shortlist, will also be announced.

International Book Arsenal Festival (IBAF) is an annual project of the Mystetskyi Arsenal (Kyiv) since 2011. It’s the biggest intellectual event in Ukraine, where the book, literary, and artistic scenes develop and interact with each other. IBAF’s international projects, being organized and presented at the main literary festivals and book fairs abroad, integrate the Ukrainian book, literary, and art community with the international one and promote better understanding and visibility of Ukraine in the world.

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) is an industry leading event that has succeeded in bringing together a unique and diverse global audience thanks to 60 years experience. The Fair is a place where ideas from all over the world meet, giving life to new and unexpected creative production. This success is thanks to the permanent dialogue and collaborative relationship that BCBF has established and nurtured over decades, since its initial foundation, with publishers and the entire international children’s book community. The result is the world’s premium copyright exchange hub when it comes to publishing which also extends to current multimedia and licensing businesses for children’s stories, illustration, animation and related areas. The world famous Illustrators Exhibition and industry recognized BolognaRagazzi award are some of key pillars of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. In 2023, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair celebrates sixty years with the slogan Still Rocking at 60!