Bloomsbury-Qatar on FUN Summer Reading Suggestions for Kids

The newly launched Bloomsbury Qatar publishing house has sent in their suggestions for your child’s summer reading. The suggestions come from Educational Program Director Amira Abed.

I believe the delightful الغرفول  is available at Diwan stores in Egypt, as well as Virgin, and I have seen  حينما كان للشوارع أسماء widely available: this is an excellent choice for teen-aged readers.

Ages 3-8

الصواريخ الحمراء  وجيلى القوس قزح (Al Sawareekh Al Hamraa wa Jelly Al Qus Qazah / Red Rockets and Rainbow Jelly – Arabic edition

A book about colours, friendship and fun by the two award winning artists Nick Sharratt and Sue Heap , each illustrating alternate pages in his own distinctive style. The simple Arabic text is a lively translation of ‘Red Rockets and Rainbow Jelly’, its message speaking to the youngest of readers in the language of colours about how you can have a strong friendship and still be yourself. It is the story of two friends who have different tastes of all sorts of things – from Apples to Aliens – in a magic mix of colours and combinations. But there is this one thing that they both like.

عزيزة وغلام  القمر (Aziza wa Ghulam al Qamar / Elizah and the Moonchild – Arabic edition)

The Moonchild is tired of seeing only white so he pops down to Earth in search of color. Disappointed to find a grey shadowy place, he meets Eliza who tells him that when the Sun rises, the Earth will shine with brilliant colors. Together they watch the sun rise while Eliza paints everything they see. When it’s time for the Moonchild to go back, Eliza has a surprise for him.

مهما كان (Mahma Kan / No Matter What – Arabic edition)

Feeling grouchy and uncertain, a little fox asks his mother if she will love him no matter what happens. What if I’m a scary bear or a big green bug, he asks? The mother reassures him that she will always love him and that her love for him is greater than everything else. “Love, like starlight, never dies.”

With simple rhymes and bold illustrations of this international bestseller, award- winning Debbi Gliori explores the unconditional love of a parent while dealing with the anxieties and insecurities that children sometimes feel.

الغرفول (Al Gharfoul / The Gruffalo – Arabic edition)

A rhyming tale about a cunning mouse. When a series of predators invite the mouse for dinner (and who will be served for dinner?) the mouse pretends he is on his way to meet the big scary Gruffalo. Hearing the mouse describe the monster, the animals run for their lives until the mouse finds himself face to face with … the Gruffalo!

التمساح الأناني (Al Timsah Al Anani / The Selfish Crocodile – Arabic and dual-language editions)

What do you do when a big angry crocodile tells you to stay away from his river? You stay well away! All the animals in the forest are frightened of the cranky crocodile and dare not go anywhere near him or the river until one day the whole forest is woken up by the sound of loud groaning. The moans were coming from the crocodile who was in a great deal of pain! While the animals stand and watch in fear, it was the tiny mouse who finds a clever solution that makes everyone happy again.

Available in Arabic and as an Arabic/English bilingual edition.

Ages 7-10

الإنتصار على  أبى دريا (Al Intissar ala Abu Derya / Victory over Abu Derya)

The pearl fleet has returned from another hard season at sea. The legendary guardian of the Sea Kingdom, Abu Derya, has inflicted a terrible defeat and many ships and sailors have been lost.

When Rashid’s grandmother has a dream in which her grandson’s hands are filled with pearls, the villagers are determined to reverse their fortune. But Abu Derya is ready once again to unleash his forces including poisonous jellyfish and a giant whale.  Who will be victorious?

Available in both Arabic and English editions.

Ages 12+

حينما كان للشوارع أسماء Where the Streets Had a Name – Arabic edition

When 13-year-old Hayaat’s grandmother falls gravely ill, she knows that there’s only one thing to do. She vows to bring back a handful of soil from Setti Zeinab’s ancestral home in occupied Jerusalem, where her grandmother yearns to return to. Taking along her friend Samy, a daredevil troublemaker who dreams of playing football in Italy, they leave their homes in Bethlehem pretending they are going to school. It is the most dangerous and eventful journey of their lives. They must cross the Wall that divides the land with its watchtowers, checkpoints, barbwire and heavy iron gate.

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