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K-Books Blossoming in Central America

South Korea's picture book exhibit at the Guadalajara International Book Fair, Traveling book fair in Central America

 

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The joy of discovery, South Korea's picture book exhibit

 

From Nov. 25 to Dec. 3 in Mexico, the 31st Guadalajara International Book Fair was hosted. Spain participated as the guest country of honor while more than 2,000 publishers from around 40 countries took part in the book fair, cementing the fair's status as the largest of its kind in Central America. With the support of the South Korean culture ministry, KPIPA also participated with KBBY and operated a picture book exhibit at the book fair. It was the third year for the picture book exhibit, which began in 2015.

 

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The theme of this year's exhibit was 'El deleite de descubrir' reflecting the joy of discovering new, excellent South Korean picture books. A total of 57 books were on display, including Hyde and Me (Ji-min Kim), Mom's Present (Yoon-jung Kim) and The Mole's Wish (Seong-keun Kim). Inside the booth were carried out active discussions on book exports.

 

In-sup Lim from Choicemaker Korea, who participated in the book fair as an export expert, said publishers of Central and South America showed interest in non-fiction picture books like What Is This In a Human? (Jong-hoon Moon) and Great Day (Shin-ae Ahn). Lim added publishers who specialize in picture books in Central America tended to gravitate towards books with high quality illustrations and strong storylines.

 

Picture book reading, lecture for local readers

 

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Yoon-jung Kim, an author well known in South Korea and abroad for her warm picture books like To A Friend and Mom's Present, met with local readers inside and outside the booth through various events. Inside the booth was a workshop where she read To A Friend and readers were invited to try creating their own picture books. The author later visited a school for the Korean language in Guadalajara and gave a lecture to roughly 20 high school, university students and local residents. The lecture ended a success and the principal of the school, Ho-geun Ryu, said young Mexicans have a good image of South Korea and are open to being exposed to South Korean content.
"I hope this interest in South Korea that came from Hallyu extends to many other fields," Ryu said.

 

Traveling Book Fair in Central America

 

After having seen success in Thailand in June, Vietnam in July and Indonesia in September, South Korea's traveling book fair finally landed in Central and South America, aimed at boosting exports of South Korean books abroad. 69 books from 20 publishers were on display and at the request of Mexican publishers, a special line-up of 11 South Korean literary works was also made available.

 

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At the booth visited not only various publishers that represent the local area, but representatives and officials in charge of publishing South Korean content in Mexico. They carried out discussions regarding exports according pre-confirmed schedules for "business matching". The local publishers showed interest in South Korea's children's books that have many themes and methods of illustration and regarding literature, they showed an acceptance to South Korean elements. The books on display were also open to the normal crowds that visited the book fair and were later introduced on local broadcast and radio.

 

 


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