I generally don’t like to encourage any “screen time,” as I figure most kids are getting more than their fair share: watching TV, looking at the computer, playing video games. But if your child is already a fan of any particular character or series (and I admit my two-year-old loves Felfel), then having books with those characters can help a reluctant listener appreciate books.
From Caroline Bowen’s “Encouraging Pre-Literacy Skills”:
Do not force children who are not keen to listen to stories. Try to find books and activities that are of interest to them. Sometimes children who are not interested in a range of children’s books intended for their age-group will be motivated to listen to stories about movie and TV characters (e.g., Power Rangers, Thomas the Tank Engine, Batman, Teletubbies), or books related to their interests (e.g., books about Barbie dolls and fairies, books about trains and trucks).
For your preschool child, this could mean buying books that feature Barney (there are many translations into Arabic), or فافا (Bloomsbury Qatar has just brought out two new Fafa books), or Clifford (Dar al Shorouk and Scholastic have a number of these in Arabic).
The important thing, I think, is to present your child with a range of exciting books, and especially to engage with the books instead of just reading them.That’s what makes مفتش فلفل و سر أختفى الموز the best of the عالم سمسم series: Instead of just reading it, you can ask your child or children to participate in the (very simple) mystery.