Guadalajara, Jalisco, ,

Babel Libros has housed a space dedicated to literature for children and young people since 2001, and today includes a book store, publishing house and library. “All editors should be more aware of what is going on in children’s literature”, she says.


Having trained as an architect, María Osorio has worked with children’s literature since 1986. She was the director of publications published by the Colombian Association for Books for Children and Young People. In April 2001, she founded Babel Libros, a project that replicated the book chain process within one small space: distributor, specialist book store, library and publishing house. “When working with children’s books, we need to see a world that goes beyond the immediate and familiar; we need to immerse ourselves in a broader context. Everything I do in the world of literature and books, I learned studying architecture and working as an architect”, said the Colombian publisher, who will receive the Publishing Merit Award at the 32nd Guadalajara International Book Fair.

 “I am really moved, truly excited. It touched me, and I can’t believe that I am the one receiving this. When I was told about it, I thought it was a joke. I never imagined I would be in this situation, and where the majority of publishers that I respect, and that have played an important role in my work, have been before.  It is a huge honor to be a part of it, but it is also an honor for Latin America and children’s books”, commented María Osorio Caminata, who will receive the award on Monday November 26 in the Juan Rulfo Auditorium at the FIL.

In a telephone interview, the book promoter highlighted the importance of this award; she considers it “an enormous responsibility with regards to my country and the rest of Latin America. There are a lot of people that were here before me and that certainly should have won this homage, but I will obviously receive it with incredible pride”. Osorio Caminata emphasized the importance of the work and involvement of Latin American publishers: “I want everyone to work together, for us to face what is happening in other countries, and fight for our position not only in the market, but in literature too”.

The director of Babel Libros (who received the BOP Prize at the Bologna Book Fair in 2017, for best book children’s publisher in the Central and South American region) emphasized that “the future starts with those that are beginning to read. If we don’t do a good job from the outset, we will lose readers later on. Every publisher must be aware of what is going on in children’s literature, because this will result in children caring about what publishers of adult literature are doing when they are older”.

The Publisher Merit Award was introduced by the Guadalajara FIL in honor of the Argentinean Arnaldo Orfila Reynal, who was director of the Fondo de Cultura Económica and founder of Siglo XXI Editores, with the intention of highlighting the vision and profession of this fundamental figure in the world of books. The decision is the responsibility of an international committee made up of renowned publishers from previous years and important figures in the contemporary publishing world.


Publishing Merit Award to María Osorio Caminata
Monday November 26
7:30 – 8:50pm
Juan Rulfo Auditorium, ground floor Expo Guadalajara




For further information contact:

Press Office and Publicity General coordinator, Mariño González at the phone number (52 33) 3810-0331, ext. 952