On 4th April 1964, the first Children’s Book Fair was inaugurated at Palazzo Re Enzo in the heart of the old town of Bologna. It marked the start of the wonderful story that has few parallels. Today the Fair is fifty years old. To mark the occasion this volume looks back over its history, recalling the phases of its constant development, and the people who helped make it the most important international venue for children’s books in the world.This publication also takes a wider view, looking more generally at how children’s books have developed over the last fifty years since the beginning of the Fair. Children’s literature experts and scholars from all parts of the world stepped up enthusiastically to outline the history and state-of-the-art of books for children in their part of the world. The result is a fascinating overview showing interesting differences due to particular social, political and cultural features in the way children’s books have taken hold, sometimes slowly, sometimes explosively.The essays provide stimulating insights into how children’s books are themselves a child of their times, impacted by ideology, the dominant culture or countercultures of their day.