Festivals, organisations and websites
If you want to know more about French picture books then there are few better ways than to plunge in to the festivals and book salons. France is remarkable for the diversity and number of events to promote reading. Even a small town will have its book festival (fete du livre). Here I have listed some of the larger ones, including the main festival for comics and graphic novels (bande dessinée). Most of these links are to French websites.
Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse is the essential showcase for French children's and YA books. Held at the end of November, SLPJ kicks off the Christmas book season, and brings together everyone who matters: kids, families, publishers, creators, educators. An extraordinary event.
La Fédération des Salons et Fêtes du livre de jeunesse lists 26 annual book salons or festivals throughout France.
The Fete du livre jeunesse is a two-week celebration coordinated by Centre national du livre.
Festival internationale de la bande dessinée - Europe's biggest comics/graphic novel event. A quarter of million French people can't be wrong.
Etonnants Voyageurs - held in beautiful St Malo, Brittany, this festival with a strong international agenda includes children's, youth and bande dessinée. Plus exhibitions and a huge book pavilion.
Quai des Bulles - annual bande dessinée festival of with a strong exhibition program and book pavilion.
South Kensington Kids Festival at l'Institut français in London is a unique festival. All events are in English and feature the very best illustrators and writers from France and the UK. It's a bold, creative program.
La joie par les livres - Offering a array of quality publications and events for professionals, the LJPL is a national centre for children's and youth literature. Based at the Mitterrand library, LJPL is well worth a visit if you are in Paris.
Ricochet - dedicated to the promotion of francophone children's literature. Encyclopaedic.
IF Verso - a database and network for French books in translation. An agency of l'Institut français.
The Picture Book Agency - foreign rights sales of French-published titles