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Domestic Exhibition of Korean books for children & teenagers for the 2020 Moscow International Book Fair

Adding futuristic value to the innocence of childhood




The coronavirus has changed so much of our daily life. We can no longer move around without a mask, and social distancing has become a must. Many offline exhibitions got canceled or were switched to online. The 33rd Moscow International Book Fair is being held as an “un-tact (contactless) book fair” on an online platform this year. Korea, as the guest country of honor, has organized a relevant exhibition and created a curating video to be used as an online platform for the Moscow International Book Fair set to be held from September 2nd to 6th. The domestic exhibition of Korean books for children and teenagers for the 2020 Moscow International Book Fair organized by the Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA) was carried out from August 3rd to 12th on the theme of “Meeting the Future Across Time and Space” in Seoul. With the concept of “The Universe of Books,” the exhibition showcased a total of 50 titles while subdividing them into 3 sections – teenagers, children, and picture books with 5 sub-topics - “Open Vision Towards Tomorrow,” “A Child’s Question and Hope,” and “Our Stories,” “Expanding Styles of expression,” and “Voices Calling to Everyone” respectively.
Also, the exhibition served as a venue for book discussions inviting parents and children with a special exhibition of author Baek Hee-Na who won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), along with introductory videos of 6 representative writers of Korean children’s books including Lee Geum-I, Lee Eok-Bae, Jang Hyeon-Jung, Jung Jin-Ho, and Kim Hyeon-Jung.


Poster of the Domestic Exhibition of Korean books for children & teenagers for the 2020 Moscow International Book Fair

Poster of the Domestic Exhibition of Korean books for children & teenagers for the 2020 Moscow International Book Fair


Map of the Exhibition Hall (Source: from A)

Map of the Exhibition Hall (Source: from A)


Once you enter the exhibition hall, you have to have your body temperature checked at the entrance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Then, if everything’s okay, you must have your hands cleaned with the provided hand sanitizer. It was a strict measure of the hall as people would touch and read exhibited books together.
Then, enter the hall, and you will first see the video zone. In this zone, curating videos of authors and books are screened. You can look for the book you would like to read after reading the explanation of books while sitting on the prepared chair.


View of the exhibition hall (left)

video zone (right)

View of the exhibition hall (left) and video zone (right)


Introduction of the theme of the exhibition (left)

a photo spot at the entrance (right)

Introduction of the theme of the exhibition (left) and a photo spot at the entrance (right)



Section for teenagers: Open Vision Towards Tomorrow


The first section you encounter is for teenagers with the theme “Open Vision Towards Tomorrow.” Children look into the future with futuristic thinking and ideas. Works of imagination fly around freely in a spaceship in the vast space and the outer world. Children dream of another world different from the world we live in through the parallel universe theory, and they also examine the nature of human beings and functions of society as they connect with nature and see changed society through virtual reality. It is the reason why the future our child readers will make is highly anticipated – they never stop thinking until their imagination becomes a reality.
Exhibited book Life Traveler provides teenagers thinking of which choice to make at so many crossroads in their life an opportunity to have a test drive for each decision and see how it may turn out. The book suggests readers be more generous, rather than worrying and regretting about the choices they make. Meanwhile, Madman Operation Report likened the characteristic of the adolescence to “madness.” Readers can find themselves consoled as they flip through the book, as the author’s hope for teenagers to find their own world in their own style is well reflected through the main character Lee Yeon-Hee. Also, Par-Int is a novel that takes off from the imagination that you can choose the family you want to live with during your adolescent period when you broaden your perspectives and build subjectivity. The book makes readers look back to the relationship between parents and children in modern society by throwing a question, “What if teens can choose their parents?”


Exhibited Books


  • The World of Bs (Choi Sang-Hee, MUNHAKDONGNE PUBLISHING GROUP)  
  • The Secret of the Ring (Oh Si-Eun, Baram Books)  
  • Madman Operation Report (Song Mi-Kyoung, SigongJunior)  
  • The Leopard of the Limitless Hexagon (Park Yong-Ki, Baram Books)  
  • Come Visit Bangju (Gu Byeong-Mo, Moonji Publishing Co., Ltd.)  
  • Blackout (Park Hyo-Mi, Hankyoreh Publishing Company)  
  • Syncher (Bae Mi-Ju, Changbi Publishers, Inc.)  
  • Par-Int (Lee Hee-Young, Changbi Publishers, Inc.)  
  • The Second Universe (Seon Jae-un, Jaeum&Moeum Publishing Co., LTD.)   


<Life Traveler>

<Madman Operating Report>


Life Traveler, Madman Operating Report, Par-Int



Section for children: A Child’s Question and Hope


The second section is for children with the theme “A Child’s Question and Hope.” Our future seen from the eyes of a Korean children’s book writer is quite different from today. Space stretches out into the distant universe or parallel universe, and time is a mixture of the past, present, and future. Also, humans become one with A.I, animals turn into humans, and my replica comes from the future, all making you fiercely think about your identity. However, one thing not so different from today is that children ask questions filled with pure hope and curiosity. How our children see the world is our future and light for hope.
Exhibited book The Green Humans is a Sci-Fi book for children where humans are fused with plants and photosynthesize themselves using a gene manipulating technology. Readers can mull over our health and food security. Meanwhile, the The Human Clone Yun Bong-Gu is another Sci-Fi novel to be the first in Korea covering the troubles and lessons the main character experiences and learns as he figures out that he is a human clone. The book delivers a message to the children readers that there is no being on Earth that is okay to be sacrificed for others in an easily understandable way.


Exhibited Books


  • The Green Human (Sin Yang-Jin, Byeolsoop)  
  • My Teacher Is AI (Lee Kyung-Hwa, Changbi Publishers, Inc.)  
  • Two Moons (Jeon Seong-Hyeon, Moonji Publishing Co., Ltd.)  
  • Underwater Vet (Won Yu-Soon, Woongjin Thinkbig)  
  • The Human Clone Yun Bong-gu (Yim Eun-Ha, BIR Publishing Co., Ltd.)  
  • Soonjae and the Midnight Visitor (Oh Ha-Rim, MUNHAKDONGNE PUBLISHING GROUP)  
  • The Future of Dragons (Choi Yang-Sun, Moonji Publishing Co., Ltd.)  
  • Stairway to Space (Chun Soo-Kung, Changbi Publishers, Inc.)  
  • Jaehoo's Choice (Kim Tae-Ho, MUNHAKDONGNE PUBLISHING GROUP)  
  • HUNTER GIRL (Kim Hye-Jung, Sakyejul Publishing Ltd.)  


Books exhibited in “A Child’s Question and Hope”1

Books exhibited in “A Child’s Question and Hope”2

Books exhibited in “A Child’s Question and Hope”



Section for picture books 1. Our Stories


You can meet picture books from the third section. Books that can purely resonate with adults too are exhibited in this section. The first sub-topic for picture books is “Our Stories.” The word “we” is an expression that encompasses family, neighbors, and friends, including myself. This word does not change with the changing era. Children find their own stories through picture books. They laugh out loud reading a story about which they can easily see in daily life and dream of hope for tomorrow.
The exhibited book Suspicious begins with the curiosity of the main character Chorok. In the story, it all begins when Chorok starts following several footsteps on the floor after staring at the green juice his Dad made for him. It provokes the curiosity and imagination of child readers with the offbeat imagination of the book that quietly takes a peek into daily life.


Exhibited Books


  • Guard up (Goh Joung-Soon, MANMANBOOKS)  
  • Itchy Itchy (Seo Hyun, Sakyejul Publishing Ltd.)  
  • It's Okay (Choi Sook-Hee, Woongjin Thinkbig)
  • The Rocket Boy (Jo Ara, Hansol Soobook Publishing Co.)  
  • When Spring Comes to the DMZ (Lee Uk-Bae, Sakyejul Publishing Ltd.)  
  • Suspicious (Skye, Changbi Publishers, Inc.)
  • It Is So Cool! (Kim Gyeong-Deug, Gilbut Children Publishing Co., Ltd.)   
  • Hello, Alien! (Park Yeon-Cheol, SigongJunior) 
  • Elevator (Kyung Hye-Won, SigongJunior)  
  • Such a Trifle! (Park Hyun-Joo, iyagikot)
  • Mr. Tutti and 100 Waterdrops (Noh In-Kyung, MUNHAKDONGNE PUBLISHING GROUP)  


A mother recommending a book to her child (left)

and exhibited books of “Our Stories” (right)

A mother recommending a book to her child (left) and exhibited books of “Our Stories” (right)



Section for picture books 2. Expanding Styles of expression


The second sub-topic of the picture book section is “Expanding Styles of expression.” Picture books are a medium of expression for many authors. In the aspect that picture books are a combination of letters and visual images, various fusions and innovative attempts are being made, while new genres are ceaselessly pioneered by fusing information with visual language, language with music, and videos with books. The second sub-topic of this section tears down the boundary between fields by expanding methods of expression and delivers stories in an interesting style.
The exhibited book Waiting for Mom is a picture book about a child who waits for Mom at a trolley station. The kid only asks when Mom would come. However, excitement, anticipation, and frustration can all be felt in the face and tone of the kid. In particular, the kid walking with Mom holding hands together on the last page is enough to linger in the reader’s mind, stimulating imagination.


Exhibited Books


  • Just a Frog (Jang Hyun-Jung, Kidari Publishing Co.)
  • Wishes (Choi Eun-Mi, Chobang) / A Bride with a Paddle (Oh So-Ri, iyagikot)
  • A Bride with a Paddle (Oh So-Ri, iyagikot)
  • Oh, Sweet, Sweet, Sweetness (Yun Suk-Nam, Sakyejul Publishing Ltd.)  
  • The Opposite Pigs (Lee Soon-Ok, KINDERLAND)  
  • A Dandelion is a Dandelion (Kim Jang-Sung, iyagikot)  
  • Lion Masked Dance (You Sung-Jeoung, Chobang)
  • Waiting for Mom (Lee Tae-Joon, Borim Press)  
  • A Bouquet of Grass from Yeonnam Brook (Jeon So-Young, Yellowpig (Dalgrimm))  
  • Hyde & Seek (Kim Ji-Min, Hansol Soobook Publishing Co.)  


Waiting for Mom exhibited with an explanation on “Expanding Styles of expression.

Waiting for Mom exhibited with an explanation on “Expanding Styles of expression.”



Section for picture books 3. Voices Calling to Everyone


The last sub-topic in the picture book section is “Voices Calling to Everyone.” Modern picture books are experiencing a fast expansion of readership and topics. In particular, they call out to the society on various phenomenons taking place with a critical voice by not limiting readership. Marginalized neighbors or the environment devastated under the name of development are commonly found topics for picture books.
Exhibited Book Plastic Island makes us think once again about the environment with our kids. From the perspective of a seabird, it talks about manmade civilization and our future. The same goes for A Guide for Homeless Wild Boars. It tells boars that have lost their home overnight to “not be upset and look for a new house.” The boars’ wandering journey in the city somehow looks like our life. As such, environmental issues are something that adults and children must solve together through various enlightening methods.


Exhibited Books


  • RIVER, the Black Dog (Lee Suzy, BIR Publishing Co., Ltd.)  
  • Mudflat War (Jang Sun-Hwan, Kidari Publishing Co.)  
  • I'm Opportunity, a Mars Exploration Robot (Yi Hyeon, MANMANBOOKS)  
  • The Tin Bear (Lee Gi-Hun, Rejam)  
  • Look up! (Jung Jin-Ho, HYEONAMSA PUBLISHING Co., Ltd.)
  • Strange Houses (Lee Ji-Hyeon, iyagikot)
  • A Guide for Homeless Wild Boars (Kwon Jung-Min, Borim Press)  
  • Grass Friends (Saida, Woongjin Thinkbig)
  • Plastic Island (Lee Myung-Ae, Sang Publishing)  


<Plastic Island>

<A Guide for Homeless Wild Boars>

Plastic Island (left) and A Guide for Homeless Wild Boars (right) exhibited in “Voices Calling to Everyone”



Special Exhibition of Author Baek Hee-Na
The 2020 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Special Exhibition


Author Baek Hee-Na was the first Korean to win the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the best award for children’s literature in the world with her work Cloud Bread (Hansol Soobook) in March 2020. Established by the Swedish government to inherit the spirit of author Lindgren who had opened a new chapter for children’s literature while advocating the right of kids and children is also referred to as the Nobel Prize for children’s literature.You can meet 9 best picture books of author Baek Hee-Na including Magic Candies, The Bath Fairy, and The Strange Visitor in the exhibition.
Her representative work Magic Candies begins from the imaginative idea that you can hear what others are thinking about by eating a magic candy. Once you have a piece of this magic candy, the sofa tells you where you put the remote, and as you eat another candy, you can hear a story of an exhausted marble and also Dad’s voice. It is a heart-warming book led by the main character Dongdong. Books by Baek Hee-Na have a magical happiness inside that melts the heart of not only children but also adults, with awe-inspiring imagination and touching stories with a scent of art.


Books of author Baek Hee-Na (Bear Books Inc.)


  • The Blowfly in My Dream
  • I Am a Dog  
  • Moon Sherbet
  • Little Chick Pee-yaki’s Mom
  • Magic Candies  
  • Last Night
  • The Strange Visitor
  • The Strange Mom
  • The Bath Fairy  


Special exhibition of author Baek Hee-Na (left)

<her representative title <Magic Candies> (right)>

Special exhibition of author Baek Hee-Na (left) and her representative title Magic Candies (right)


The Universe of Books
Stories never end.

Imagination unfolded in books are so vast like the universe,
which sometimes grasps our mind like a black hole.

Voices in each book shine like a star
and travel endlessly to people seeking for the meaning of life, being, and future.

While swimming in the universe of books,
why not forget about your worries and listen to the story of books?

Then, you might be able to feel small but warm consolation and find hope
that will lighten up the boundless darkness

- Prologue to the Domestic Exhibition of Korean books for children & teenagers
for the 2020 Moscow International Book Fair (Source: fromA)



Meeting the Future Across Time and Space


“In the year 2020, the world is having a nightmare. Can we dream of the future today?”


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has been on a rampage since the end of last year, we have no choice but to think of how the future will unfold after the pandemic ends.
Picture books look at the present days, offer insights for life, and attract readers of the new generation by expanding their format. Children’s literature has been mainly talking about “beings” such as space and A.I, animals turning into humans, and my replica traveling from the future. Meanwhile, teenagers’ literature lures readers into a fantasy about environmental issues, A.I., and virtual reality by examining the human nature and functions of society in the future. The future has come near, and children and teenagers are walking toward the center of that future world. The Domestic Exhibition of Korean books for children & teenagers for the 2020 Moscow International Book Fair is a story about “a task called the future that we should resolve together.”


The Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA) is hosting domestic exhibitions from September 2nd to 10th as the 2020 Göteborg Book Fair will be held online from September 24th. Even though international book fairs are choosing to be held online to minimize human contact, attempts to connect books with readers will continue.



2020 Moscow International Book Fair

Link to Introducing Republic of Korea as The Guest of Honor


Platform of Republic of Korea as The Guest of Honor


Written by Lee Ji-Hyeon


Lee Ji-Hyeon

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