What’s On the Bookshelf: 5 Books for Young Readers
… And they’re all authors from the 2023 EmiratesLitFest
Buying books for children might be tricky at times. Books that have come to be considered classics — like Oliver Twist or Black Beauty — might not appeal to them, while modern releases might not hold their attention quite as well as the latest Netflix show or video games. That’s why our friends at the Emirates Literature Foundation have put together a list of books that are fun for not just younger readers, but will also suck in the whole family! Packed with heartwarming messages, beautiful illustrations, and fun activities, they’re the perfect way to make some more treasured memories.
And better yet, each of these authors will be appearing at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature from 1-6 February. So not only will any young fans have a chance to meet an author in person, but they’ll also be able to get their books signed!
Let’s get started!
Escape Room by Christopher Edge
Escape Room by award-winning author Christopher Edge is an immersive experience that will have you at the edge of your seat. Ami arrives at The Escape thinking it’s just a game with puzzles to beat before the time runs out, but she quickly finds out that she was chosen to save the world.
From an ancient Mayan tomb and a dark library of dust, to a deserted shopping mall stalked by extinct animals and the command module of a spaceship heading to Mars, the challenges and dangers of The Escape seem unending. There are so many twists, turns, and cliffhangers, that you will be left asking for more. Read this thrilling book to find out if Ami and her friends find the answer before it’s too late!
Crystal of Storms by Rhianna Pratchett, with art by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone
With a superhero story and incredibly fun games, Rhianna Pratchett’s Crystal of Storms ticks all the boxes for family bonding this winter season. Explore the Ocean of Tempests and get hunted by demonic harpies in this fantasy battle gamebook. There will be storms to conquer and rabid monsters to defeat to achieve your mission. The action-packed illustrations by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will transport you into a majestic mystical world.
Rhianna Pratchett is a video game writer who had previously worked on popular franchises like Tomb Raider, Overlord, and Mirror’s Edge. Get this book for your adventure-loving kids and watch them dive into enthralling discoveries!
The Blue–footed Booby by Rob Biddulph
Award-winning author and illustrator Rob Biddulph is back again with a new book for nature lovers! The Blue-footed Booby is a shenanigans-filled picture book featuring boobies, a Pacific ocean seabird known for their colourful feet, that love to bake. The tale kicks off when a red-footed booby named Desmond bakes a frangipane that mysteriously goes missing. He goes in search of it with the other boobies and finds a suspect: a blue-footed booby!
This is a heartwarming tale that warns kids against jumping to conclusions. The vibrant illustrations and rhythmic stanzas make for an amazing read-aloud for kids at home.
Meanwhile Back on Earth by Oliver Jeffers
A car ride through space becomes a journey back in time. This book starts with a road trip with a dad and his two children. Like most siblings, the two start to argue and fight as soon as the journey begins. As a solution, their dad suggests they take a little detour into space. Yes, you read that correctly: Space!
Throughout the book, author Oliver Jeffers links the time taken to travel to each planet with what was happening back on earth exactly that many years ago, an exploration of true historical events and the human conflicts that have taken place since the beginning of time. It’s a unique look at life on Earth with a cosmic perspective, and an enduring message that what binds us together matters more than what differentiates us.
Space Blasters by Katie and Kevin Tsang, with art by Amy Nguyen
If you can experience a TV show in real life, which one would you choose?
In Space Blasters, gadget-obsessed Suzie Wen loves inventing things and doing experiments, but they don’t always go as she plans. She tries to create a super 3DTV Gizmo but ends up as a character in her favourite TV show: Space Blasters!
On board, the spaceship with Captain Jane, Spaceman Jack and the alien with an attitude, Five-Eyed Frank, Suzie explores new planets and saves the moon from disappearing. Space Blasters teaches courage and friendship, and is packed with witty humour and inspiring messages for your adventurous ones at home.
If you enjoyed today’s variety of book recommendations from Esther Oti, a member of the Communications team at the Emirates Literature Foundation, then you should check out her other suggestions on their blog. For more recommendations, tune in to their podcast, the Boundless Book Club and follow them on social media and YouTube to enjoy full sessions, author interviews, fun reels – everything in the name of books.