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Who says you have to be physically present to run around the world's biggest children's book fair in Bologna? My Reeve & McIntyre co-author Philip Reeve got invited out by his Mortal Engines publishers, Scholastic UK, while I stayed back in London to work and recoup from an op. But I still really, really wanted to go. So Philip took a Mini Me along. We did a handover at Paddington Station, right before he flew out, and I tweeted these photos.



I didn't want to be a nuisance by demanding my own fancy hotel room in a city with hotels that are chock-a-block for the festival, so I took along a warm sleeping bag:




And lots of provisions to keep me going. You don't always get a lot of extra time at Bologna to grab food and drink and cuddly toys, etc.



I was totally READY.



And look! Proof in The Bookseller festival-daily magazine that I was, indeed, at Bologna!




So what did I get up to while I was in Italy? According to Philip, I got off to an awfully rough start. (Oops.)






SORRY!! But by the next morning, I was full of energy and we popped over to the David Fickling Book stand to visit rights agent Bronwen Bennie and see my new picture book, The New Neighbours, on display. (You can find out more about it here.)



The next stop was the Oxford University Press stand, which publish our joint books, including Oliver and the Seawigs, Cakes in Space, Pugs of the Frozen North and Jinks & O'Hare Funfair Repair. Here's our fab editor Clare Whitston! And our US publisher at Random House Kids Books, Mallory Loehr.



So happy to see a big display of our cover for The Legend of Kevin, our book (the first of four) coming out in September. (Hello, Kevin!) And a bit of artwork I did for The Bookseller magazine:



Some Instagram pics of the lovely OUP team:



Whenever you're at a book event, you always have to seek out the Irish book people, who are the most sociable people on the planet. Let's see who's at the Children's Book Ireland stand... Ah, it's Grainne Clear and Siobhan!



Oh look, lovely writer-illustrator Yuval Zommer! Hello, Yuval!



I wasn't the only virtual person at Bologna! Here's virtual Alex Paterson at the book fair, interacting with virtual me:





And then, too early, it was time to leave.



Here's my grand reunion with Philip and myself. Well done, Philip and Mini Me. (We treated ourselves to afternoon tea.)



A few more bits and bobs! Hannah Penny from Oxford University Press sent me this photo of my Kevin artwork in The Bookseller Daily:



In The Bookseller, Scholastic revealed Ian McQue's gorgeous artwork for Philip's new Mortal Engines book covers, designed by Scholastic’s Jamie Gregory, in the run up to the big Peter Jackson film. So exciting! You can read the article online here. (If you click on each cover, you can get larger versions of each to come up. And yes, he's hoping there will be posters made, too.)


Photo by Sarah Reeve, article tweeted by @ScholasticUK

There's also a peek at an upcoming book The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines, written by Philip Reeve and Jeremy Levett, with illustrator details to follow; there may be more than one. If you're a fan, be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter (@jeremylev3tt), as they've been working closely on this book and he knows everything there is to know about the world of Mortal Engines. Ian's @ianmcque on Twitter and he's already a legend in the world of concept art. Find out more on Philip's blog here.



And that's my Bologna roundup! I miss it already.

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