We read books, we share ideas… at the Children’s and Teenagers’ Corner!

Under the auspices of H. E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou

20th Thessaloniki International Book Fair, May 16-19, 2024 

«A child, a teacher, a book, a pen can change the world», Malala Yousafzai had mentioned in her historical speech at the UN, in 2013. The cultivation of the love for reading and the interactive connection between children and teenagers and the quality book and its people is one of the timeless priorities of the Thessaloniki International Book Fair. Furthermore, every year, the events, the actions and the workshops for children, teenagers and educators constitute one the most dynamic poles of attraction of the TBF. 

Thus, this year as well, celebrating its twenty years, the TBF has created the liveliest, most colourful and vibrating space at the Children’s and Teenagers’ Corner, that awaits young and adult visitors, always for free! 

Let’s get to know the Children’s and Teenagers’ Corner of the TBF 

As every year, Greek writers, illustrators, animators and artists are present at the Corner and children and teenagers are the protagonists! Young people and adults get in touch with new and older editions, participate in events for every age and taste, exchange ideas and share impressions. 

Open events for young people and adults 

On Thursday and Friday afternoon, as well as during the weekend, young and adult book lovers will have the opportunity to attend book presentations, meetings with writers, illustrators and animators, theatrical, music and artistic events, workshops etc. organized by 37 publishing houses and 17 cultural bodies. In addition, educators and parents will be asked to participate in a cycle of events, meetings, workshops and discussions. 

Organized visits for groups of students 

On Thursday, May 16, and on Friday, May 17, 09:00-14:00, the TBF will welcome 50 schools, that is 2,500 students in total, of all educational levels. The students will participate in events or/and will tour the Book Fair accompanied by the educators. After previously contacting the TBF, the organized groups of students will be able to visit the Book Fair all afternoons and during the weekend, participating in the events. 

Guest foreign writers 

French illustrator Benjamin Strickler, invited by the French Institute, and German writer Will Gmehling, invited by the Goethe Institute, are waiting to meet the young book lovers. 

Since 2007, Benjamin Strickler illustrates for the Press and for children’s and young adults’ editions. Being a restless spirit, he never ceases to search by taking the reader on a trip to space and through the ages. At the TBF, he will present to organized groups of students as well as to the audience, his book entitled La veritable histoire de Timée qui rêvait de gagner aux Jeux Olympiques. 11-year-old Timée is a slave in Sparta. He is the closest friend of the king’s son and the best wrestler of the whole region. He dreams of participating in the Olympic Games, but being a slave forbids him from wrestling. In order to manage to get exempted, he must prove his value and undergo the hardest of trials. 

Will Gmehling will present his book entitled Summer in the pool (Kastaniotis Publications), a story for a group of children, their everyday life, their concerns and dreams, their discussions during a specific summer, what they are going through next to the pool, a summer that helps them mature, as they use their humor in order to adapt to their age and its problems. 

In addition, in collaboration with the National & University Library and the national delegation of the Republic of Serbia in Greece, Berislav Blagojević, the writer of the book entitled «Meet Gagarin, the clumsiest dog in the whole universe» and Marijana Milunović, translator and coordinator, will wait children and teenagers in a fascinating workshop of activities, learning the Cyrillic writing together with… Gagarin. 

Educational actions with the Network for Children’s Rights 

This year as well, the Network for Children’s Rights will participate in the Children’s Corner with a stand full of information and events for children. The Network realizes initiatives and interventions for children’s rights, while the Network’s book entitled «Do I have a Right? I do have a Right!» (Mikri Selini Publications) was recently awarded by IBBY – Kyklos Paidikou Vivliou. This year, at the TBF, the Network will organize educational programs focusing on books and women, highlighting, in this way, one of the basic themes of the Book Fair. 

Narration Performances with the Center for the Study and Dissemination of Myths and Folktales 

Stories from One thousand and one nights and folktales of the Balkans will be presented by the Center for the Study and Dissemination of Myths and Folktales for organized groups of students as well as for the audience, while at its stand it will inform the audience about its educational actions. The Centre is an active organization, consisting of people of the letters and the arts, and, through actions and programs, aims at promoting the global folk culture. 

“Kopeloudes” illustration exhibition 

This year as well, Greek illustrators have responded with great enthusiasm to the invitation to give life to the Children’s Corner with a new theme. More than 40 creators will present to young and adults their work, which depicts women of every age – young girls (kopeles), grandmas, femininities, feminine creatures in a human or other shape; each one of them in his or her special way. 

«One Thousand Nights and a thousand more» Reading Corner 

A corner-landmark of the Book Fair, as, except from a space for reading and getting acquainted with old and new editions, it operates as a space for having a break between the events for children, teenagers and educators. This year, due to the emirate of Sharjah being the guest of honour, the corner is dedicated to myths and favourite folktales of Arabic-speaking countries and it will host books offered by many publishing houses. 

Actions within the framework of Sharjah being the Guest of Honour 

Sharjah (Sharjah-UAE), this year’s Guest of Honour, one of the seven Emirates and a cultural center of the federal state of the United Arabic Emirates, presents a program based on the dialogue and the bridges of culture between the two people since the antiquity. 

Sharjah Book Authority, in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, realizes the creative program entitled Philosophies, with Greek and Arab illustrators. Three renowned Greek illustrators, Daniela Stamatiades, Soloup and Vassilis Grivas, have collaborated in Sharjah with three Arab illustrators in a dialogue inspired by the Greek and Arab philosophy that are closely connected since the antiquity. More specifically, the illustrators were inspired by the words of Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and the Arab philosophers Ibn Hazm, Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Rushd. The works that have been created will be presented at the TBF along with the realization of several workshops. 

IBBY of the United Arabic Emirates in collaboration with the Greek Section of IBBY-Circle of the Greek Children’s Book and the Hellenic Foundation for Culture are organizing an illustrators’ exhibition from Greece and the Emirates in the Central Municipal Library of Thessaloniki. Five Greek illustrators, members of the Greek Section of IBBY, are illustrating five myths from the Emirates and five illustrators of the Emirates are illustrating respective Greek myths. The Greek illustrators are: Filomyla Vakali-Syrogiannopoulou, Gerasimos Galiatsatos, Vassilis Grivas, Emmanuela Kakavia and Lela Stroutsi 

Sharjah Book Authority will also organize three workshops at the Children’s and Teenager’s Corner: «The World as we see it» with Nasser Nasrallah, «Reflections» with Rashed Al Mulla and «We are together» with Alya Al Hammadi that will introduce young people and adults to the artistic creation through many and different occasions. 

This year, also within the framework of Sharjah being the Guest of Honour, for the first time in Athens as well, immediately after Thessaloniki, there will be actions and events, such as workshops for children, in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Municipality of Athens. 

More information and details about the program of the 20th TBF will be announced soon. Visit the TBF webpage https://www.thessalonikibookfair.gr/. 

Photographs of the participants in the Children’s and Teenagers’ Corner can be found HERE. 

The Thessaloniki International Book Fair is organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in cooperation with Greek publishers, TIF-HELEXPO, the Central Macedonia Region and the Municipality of Thessaloniki, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. It is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the 2021-2027 Regional Operational Program (ROP) of Central Macedonia. The TBF is a member of the International Book Fairs Forum and of ALDUS UP – the European Book Fairs Network. 

With the support of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Many thanks to the Department of Programs and Lifelong Learning of the Municipality of Thessaloniki for providing us with the space for the workshops and events for children.