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Canada hosts IBBY Italia’s International exhibit of wordless picture books

In response to the international refugee crisis that began last year, the Italian arm of the International Board on Books for Young People has launched a picture-book exhibit to support the first children’s library in Lampedusa, Italy, where many African and Middle Eastern refugees are landing. The books on display will end up in Lampedusa, stocking the library.

Recognizing the island’s cultural diversity, the travelling exhibit comprises exclusively wordless picture books from 23 countries. After stops in Italy, Mexico, and Austria, Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa currently is touring Canada. It premiered in Edmonton at the Stanley A. Milner Library in August, and will next proceed to three Vancouver locations – the UBC Irving Barber Learning Centre from Oct. 1 to 23, the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch from Oct. 8 to 18, and the Italian Cultural Centre from Oct. 10 to 22 – before exhibiting at the North York Central Library in Toronto from Nov. 2 to Dec 11.

Three Canadian books are part of the exhibit: Sylvie Desrosiers & Rémy Simard’s Hocus Pocus (Kids Can Press), and Daniel Wakeman and Dirk van Stralen’s Ben’s Big Dig and Ben’s Bunny Trouble (Orca Book Publishers). The show also includes books from an honour list selected by a jury of experts from the 2015 Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which includes Ajubel’s Robinson Crusoe (Spain), Ara Jo’s The Rocket Boy (Korea), and Madalena Matoso’s Todos Fazemos Tudo (Switzerland), among others.

See some of the books from the exhibition below. The full catalogue can be viewed online.