Friday, February 19, 2021

One Step Closer to Publication: Advance Copies of CIAO, SANDRO!

With some regional visitors in town for Carnevale, gondoliers temporarily returned to their stations this past week. But in the weeks before, when the above photo was taken, no gondoliers were to be seen-- except, as chance would have it, the one captured above tutoring his son.


Though the official publication date of the children's picture book, Ciao, Sandro!, that I wrote and Luciano Lozano illustrated is 8 June 2021, I recently received 15 advance copies, of which you can see some examples above and below in what I suppose might be called their "native habitat."

During non-pandemic times, such advance copies would be among the titles displayed at the Abrams Publishing booth at the annual Bologna Children's Book Fair, the most important such fair for the children's publishing industry, attracting over 1,400 exhibitors and  around 30,000 visitors from around 80 countries, and typically held in March. Last year the fair was first postponed, and then canceled outright. This year its date has been pushed back from March to 14-17 June. 

One need not be in the industry to attend, and along with a staggering array of titles and publishers from around the world, its exhibitions of the original artwork of illustrators from every corner of the globe would merit a visit all on their own.

I spent a full day at the 2019 edition of the fair, and look forward to doing so again in 2021. In terms of scale, it's rather like the Venice Biennale of the children's book publishing world, with as many things to see and almost as much ground to cover as the Biennale's Arsenale setting.

You can pre-order Ciao, Sandro! now if you'd like by hovering your mouse over the word "PRE-ORDER" on the Abrams Books for Young Readers site and then clicking on one of the choices that appear. 

Or, more directly, you can pre-order it now if you're in the United States by clicking here.

If you live in the UK the direct link is here.

(And both of the above sites benefit independent bookstores rather than monopolistic chains.)

The opening two-page spread of the book (a few other pages can be found at end of post)

A quick search also shows that is available for pre-order on sites in the Italy and the EU, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia

All of the above links are to the US English language edition. The sale and purchase of translation rights between publishers is chief among the industry business transacted at the Bologna Children's Book Fair; no foreign editions have yet been announced for Ciao, Sandro!


The pandemic has been a terrible time for gondoliers and taxi drivers and delivery drivers (who have seen their volume plummet with the closure of hotels and restaurants) but, in the absence of water traffic, an almost edenic time for rowers.  


  1. I have put that on my "For children I like" present list.Hope it becomes a best-seller.

    1. Thanks, Ella. A "Children I like" list actually makes a lot more sense than those "Naughty" and "Nice" lists Santa is supposed to keep--less gray area to be disputed and interpreted.

  2. Congratulations -- it looks great from what I can see!

  3. we look forward to seeing and selling it!
    Gary and Beth
    Gulf of Maine Books

    1. Thanks, Gary and Beth. I'm sorry you guys weren't able to come to Venice last year as had been planned with the EHF--though on a practical level I'm glad you did not, as I think the risks were still too high even last summer. I hope to see the Gulf of Maine bookshop in the not-too-distance future (we still use your heavy duty tote!: it's got the proper size & strength for books, a rare thing).

  4. Auguri auguri! Can't wait to get my copy...!