Our friends at Emirates Literature Festival have shared five book recommendations for the parents and little ones… 

Yet another academic year begins, and as always, some school-going children could use a little nudging and reassurance. Especially with many starting or returning to school for the first time since the start of the pandemic and distance learning.

The Emirates Literature Foundation team has prepared a round-up of books to calm the jitters and get children (and parents) excited to head back to school.

Books for the little ones

Sharing a Smile by Nicki Kramar

Sophie is a little girl who’s worried about all the changes in the world. But a peek outside her home makes her realize that other people are also struggling to adapt to the new normal. So together with her grandpa, she creates masks for her neighbours to match their colourful personalities.

Relevant to the many children returning to school wearing masks, this is a sweet and simple tale that teaches kids to be kind, generous and courageous in the face of change. Perfect for ages 4 and up.

Henry at Home by Megan Maynor

Henry at home

A book about two siblings, Liza and Henry. They do everything together until Liza starts kindergarten. Henry is sad and a little bewildered by the abandonment but finds a way to keep himself entertained in her absence. He cheers up when she returns from school, and they start exchanging stories of their solo adventures.

This book is aimed at children aged 4-7 but also works well for younger siblings struggling with the transition of an older sister or brother starting school. A great way to prepare for this common childhood experience and accompanied by beautiful illustrations.

The Ghoul’s Guide to Good Grammar by Leslie Kimmelman

The Ghouls Guide to good-grammer

Grammar is difficult to master at any age – especially after the brain’s been hibernating over a long break from school. The Ghoul’s Guide to Good Grammar is a refresher for basic rules of grammar such as punctuation and correct word choices. Commas, hyphens, apostrophes and contractions – everything will become crystal clear – all from a ghoul’s point of view.

Appropriate for ages 6 and up, a fun way to ease kids back into the learning mode with a silly spooky character that will delight the imagination.

Books for the parents

Parents can also suffer from back-to-school anxiety and so for our bonus reads this week, we’ve got books to help the adults ease back into the school routine. No more rushed Monday mornings looking for the gym socks or frantic Wednesday evenings searching for lunchbox ideas on the internet.

The Home Edit Workbook: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

There have been several books by the stars of the Netflix series Get Organized with The Home Edit. But Shearer and Teplin’s first book is really the starting point for anyone embarking on an organizing journey. The duo’s signature approach to decluttering is not just easy to implement but also fun. The room-to-room guide focuses on arranging everything in a functional and aesthetic way.

The book is filled with beautiful photographs and serves well as a coffee table book. The only danger is that after going through the process at home, you’re going to be itching to get their next book.

Busy Mum’s Cookbook by Annabel Karmel

Busy Mums Cookbook

One hundred family-friendly recipes that are guaranteed to make the life of the busy mum (or dad) easy. Short on time? Pick a recipe from the 20 minute or less chapter. Haven’t ordered groceries? Choose something from the pantry recipes. Feeling lazy? Time to defrost one of the make-ahead meals. And of course, there is an entire section dedicated to snacks and lunchbox ideas.

Annabel Karmel is a well-established name amongst parents and her books for babies and toddlers grace many families’ shelves. This collection of simple and delicious recipes is a must-have for those with school-age children to take the pain out of meal planning.

For more literary news, views and author interviews, head over to the Emirates Literature Foundation website. Subscribe to their YouTube channel for unedited sessions and author interviews from the Emirates LitFest. And follow their podcast channel the Boundless Book Club to catch up on reading recommendations and guests appearances by international and local authors.

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