Favorites of 2010: Board Book

In Cairo, one doesn’t find a wide selection of quality Arabic board books. They’re expensive to produce, I assume, and the idea of reading in Arabic to “babies” is a relatively new idea.

Of course, they are out there. Some of our favorites this year have been—of course—the Fizo board books (animals, numbers, shapes), done with author/illustrator Walid Taher’s characteristic humor.

Perhaps our most-read board book of the year has been the wonderful أيْنَ أنامُ الآن؟, written by رانيا زبيب ضاهر and charmingly illustrated by دنيال قطّار. To enhance its charm, it’s also a lift-the-flap book, which is always fun; it invites children to call out what’s hiding beneath the flap. (However, this book was published in 2009, so isn’t really eligible for “favorites of 2010.”)

The Al-Salwa nursery rhymes set might have been our favorite, if we could ever get our hands on it!

So, of the 2010 board books we managed to get hold of—in Cairo, Sharjah, or Doha—our favorite was:

جدتي

This book, written by Fatima Sharafeddine and illustrated by Lujaina Al-Assil, is charming both for its non-traditional grandmother and for Lujaina’s absolutely wonderful collage-like drawings.

One of our favorite pages is here:

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