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Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

March 9, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

This weekend is the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai. We will be dropping in each day. Here is day one:

author being interviewed

Qais Sedki, author of Gold Ring, was interviewed by Hisham Wyne. Qais took his love for reading, his love of manga, and his love of the Arabic language and put them all together in the first Arabic manga series. Two volumes are available in Arabic and volume one has just been released in English. Qais is also interested in animation of the story, but he doesn’t want an animated form to keep people from reading the story. This is also the reason for delaying the English version. He wants people to read in Arabic. It is great to see such a strong advocate for reading. We first met Qais at last year’s EAFOL and have enjoyed getting to know him. I hope to have him speak to my students soon and share his love of reading. I hope it is contagious.

sixteen year old author being interviewed

Dubai Abdulla Abulhoul is the sixteen year old author of Galagolia. It is a fantasy novel that she has been working on for years. I’ve only read the first chapter, so can’t give an evaluation, yet. Dubai is a spunky girl.

Kinokuniya Book World is providing the book sales for the festival this year and the selection is great. We purchased several wonderful books (and one dud).

The Pearl Diver by Julia Johnson, illustrated by Patricia Al Fakhri – a picture book about traditional pearl diving. This is wonderful and I will be using it with my students soon. In fact, I plan to buy a class set. (ISBN 97819067688881)

My Own Special Way by Maitha Al Khayyat (spelled Mithaa Alkhayyat on the book) illustrated by Maya Fidawi, translated by Fatima Sharafeddini – a early reader chapter book about a young girl’s struggle to find her own style. Really sweet illustrations and story. Unfortunately, I don’t think my male students would find it of interest, but girls will eat this up. (ISBN 9781444003208)

The Arabian Nights by Wafa’ Tarnowska, illustrated by Carole Henaff – A retelling of the classic Arabian tales of Shahrazade. I’m looking forward to reading this one and hope that it will be one that I can share with students. It won the Smithsonian Notable Books for Children Award 2010.

Bride’s Story v.1 by Kaoru Mori – a graphic novel set in 19th century Mongolia. I have developed a fascination with Mongolia after reading Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford, so I couldn’t resist this one.

Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham, illustrated by Juan Wijngaard – a picture book. I haven’t read it, yet, but the illustrations are amazing. (ISBN 9781406333862)

Saluki: Hound of the Bedouin by Julia Johnson, illustrated by Susan Keeble – a picture book about, you guessed it, saluki dogs. I haven’t read this, yet, but after reading The Pearl Diver I expect this one to be well researched and written, as well. (ISBN 9781906768904)

Now for the dud:
Here Comes the Poo Bus! by Andy Stanton, illustrations by Noelle Davies-Brock – a picture book about poo. Being a classy, sophisticated person, I can’t pass up a book about poo, but I should have stopped to read it before purchase. There is no real purpose to this book other than to say “poo bus” multiple times while reading aloud. The “poetry” is inconsistent, switching from ABCB to ABAB and back, with some missing syllables here and there making for a lack of rhythm. I used to have a collection of awful children’s books. I would have added this one.

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One comment

  1. love your book posts-wish I could have been there with you. I adore Arabian Nights stories and you’ll have to tell me how it was.



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