What’s On The Bookshelf: Four children’s books to read to your child (or on your own)
Our friends at the Emirates Literature Foundation share books that the little ones will just love…
March is the Month of Reading in the UAE and this year’s theme is #MyFamily Reads. Its aim is to transform reading into a daily habit for everyone which will help build a future generation capable of driving the perpetual growth journey of the UAE.
To help you and the family out, visit the Emirates Literature Foundation website to register for the reading challenge. You can participate as an individual or compete as a family.
To give you a head start, the team at the Foundation have compiled a list of recently published children’s books that you can read to and with your children. The books target different age groups from newborns to middle graders, and tackle current issues like social distancing, female empowerment and climate change with a style that is easy to read, and difficult to put down.
Here are four books to read to your child (or on your own).
For the little ones
While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin
This is a sequel to the popular children’s book The Hug and features Tortoise and Hedgehog as returning characters with a special appearance by Owl. It acknowledges children’s feelings of having to physically distance themselves from their friends and teaches them ways to remain in contact and be affectionate. The language of the book is simple and beautifully matched by the pretty pastel illustrations by Polly Dunbar. It’s a picture book and would be perfect for babies and young children. Though it was written especially for Covid-19 times, it also works for kids who are missing friends and family abroad.
Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris
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The book is authored by Meena Harris and the protagonists are based on her mother, Maya, and her aunt, the American Vice President Kamala Harris! It’s the story of two little girls with big dreams and the obstacles they have to overcome to achieve them. The central message of the book is ‘no one can do everything, but everyone can do something’. It inspires children to set goals, have a can-do attitude and work in teams. The writing is engaging and would appeal to early readers. We love the growing body of literature about strong women and women of colour, and this book delivers.
Greta and the Giants by Zoe Tucker
Inspired by Nobel Peace Prize-nominee Greta Thunberg, this book reads like a modern fable. Greta is a little girl who is worried about the giants destroying her home, the forest. She decides to take a stand and soon other young activists join her in her mission. Short and simple text, beautiful illustrations and the use of allegory make this book attractive to its audience. It is a wonderful starter book to raise awareness for an environmentalist in the making!
One for the pre-teens
Me and the World by Mireia Trius
This book is a collection of 26 fun and colourful infographics to teach kids about other countries and cultures. It covers a wide variety of topics that are of interest to this age group like breakfast, school uniforms, holidays and pets. This book is great for children who prefer to get information from numbers and data over the narrative. It is also great for parents looking for non-screen-based edutainment options for their child. As travel restrictions continue, we have books like these as proof that even when we can’t fly, words can take us on a journey across the world.
For more reading recommendations from the Emirates Literature Foundation team and guest authors, tune in to the podcast, the Boundless Book Club. Check out the website regularly for author interviews, news, views, and more, and don’t miss all the literary videos on the YouTube channel.