Frankfurt Book Fair to look toward the future via today’s children

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Frankfurt Book Fair to look toward the future via today’s children

BERLIN - The Frankfurt Book Fair will spotlight child and youth literature and its role in the avant-garde of the publishing world with playful apps for smartphones and tablet computers as well as interactive games.

The media world for children and youngsters breaks new ground for publishers in the digital age by pushing the boundaries far beyond the printed book, say organizers of the world’s biggest book fair, which opens Wednesday.

Electronics giant Sony and Nintendo, the titan in electronic games, will be among about 7,400 exhibitors at the five-day fair, reflecting innovations in an industry where “content is king,” the fair’s director said.

“Children’s and youth media are a prototype for what is happening in the publishing industry but also for what is happening at the moment socially,” Juergen Boos told reporters.

Sony will showcase its new Wonderbook device, which under the guise of a classic book links up to a PlayStation console to display 3-D images on screen for its young user.

As well as homing in on which trends may evolve into universal standards, industry movers and shakers will ponder whether new technology limits the imagination or encourages it to expand.

“In order to keep up with the changing reading and learning habits of future generations, we need to constantly create new formats and develop and expand popular topics and trends,” Boos said.

He said around 1,500 publishers who deal exclusively with the children and youth market were due to attend the Frankfurt fair, describing the sector as a growth area.

The fair not only acts as a kind of “scout” and “navigation system” but is also a forum for bringing together different multimedia representatives to get a project off the ground, said Katja Boehne, the fair’s spokeswoman.

“When someone has a children’s book, they look for musicians, they look for technology companies, they also look for computer games experts and then together a children’s book is initiated,” she said.

AFP
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