Summer Reading and Activity Guide for Kids

It looks like my Al Masry Al Youm summer reading guide (Arabic and English) has been edited down a wee bit, so I’ll be adding a few more suggestions here on ReadKutubKids. From Manju Matthew at Kalimat:

For the smallest age group (0-3), I would like to recommend Noura Al Noman’s Qutta Quttna (about a girl and her kitty), Fatima Sharafeddine’s Jaddati (about a grandma who makes paper planes) and Wazifat Mama (about all the different roles of a homemaker mum).

For the next age group (3-6), I would like to recommend Rania Dhaher’s Matha Fee Baten Mama (about sibling rivalry), Fatima Sharafeddine’s Hararat Jude and our forthcoming book Ramadaniyat which will be available in Egypt in mid July.

For the 6-9 age group, I would like to recommend Maitha Al Khayyat’s  Tareeqati Al Khassa (about a girl wanting to wear the hijab), Abir Ballan’s Haddiya Lee (a book about a boy who wants to help save the environment) and Fatima Sharafeddine’s Darrjati about a boy learning to ride a bicycle.

Balsam al-Saad, of al-Balsam Books, had a number of revolutionary and cultural book suggestions. These included a number of titles by Adli Rizkallah and a series from Shorouk called Nisaa 3azimat, about the Egyptian provinces and the Arab countries. She also suggested a series about democracy and Bardi’s Al Raeis.

More suggestions to come (and they’ll be better organized). In the meantime, the piece on Al Masry Al Youm:

Egyptian schoolchildren worked especially hard this year. Now that it’s summer, they deserve to relax and have fun. But that doesn’t mean kids should tune out everything but swimming and TV. Experts say that reading through the summer months helps kids retain what they’ve learned during the year and helps instill a lifetime love of books.

But parents shouldn’t get too heavy-handed. Summer reading is most successful when it’s also enjoyable. A few tips:

-Visit local bookstores and attend their readings and events.

-Start a book group with your children and their friends.

-Instead of always buying new titles, encourage your children to trade books with their friends.

-If you’re taking a trip to the sea, pack books for the ride as well as for the beach.

-If you’re visiting Alexandria, stop in and see the Biblioteca.

-And, perhaps most importantly, show your kids that reading is important by reading for your own enjoyment.

Need a few suggestions?

Ages 0-2: The Earliest Readers

Babies and toddlers aren’t on break from school because they haven’t started! But they are eager to soak up new experiences, which makes this the perfect time to start reading. The littlest readers love rhyming text, colorful pictures and simple stories. Keep reading the book suggestions. 

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