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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Sharjah Children's Reading Festival 2018: programme hightlights

This year’s theme is, Your Future … Just a Book Away, and it includes a line-up of 2,600 cultural and literary events and activities; books and publications by 134 publishers from 18 countries; and appearances by 286 authors and literary guests, from 121 countries

Sharjah Children's Reading Festival will also include theatrical performances
Sharjah Children's Reading Festival will also include theatrical performances

The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival brings 11 days of discovery and creativity to the emirate. Today, some of the world’s best children’s authors, illustrators and publishers will descend on the city to take part in the family-friendly event, which hopes to instil a love of reading and storytelling in young people.

The festival schedule is packed with activities and events for children that focus on literature and art. This year’s theme is, Your Future … Just a Book Away, and it includes a line-up of 2,600 cultural and literary events and activities; books and publications by 134 publishers from 18 countries; and appearances by 286 authors and literary guests, from 121 countries.

Art exhibition

The Sharjah Children’s Books Illustrations Exhibition will showcase 355 artworks by 104 illustrators from 32 countries. The works shown include 12 from the UAE, 29 from other Arab countries and 63 from the rest of the world.

Cookery corner

Top chefs from across the world – including Canadians Bal Arneson and Suzanne Husseini, Nancy McDougall and Jenny Tschiesche from the UK, American chefs Mark Ainsworth and Lara Starr, and Emirati Majida Jassim – will be sharing their favourite dishes and recipes with guests at the Cookery Corner, where people can take part in workshops that include cotton candy creation, modelling chocolate and the art of making coffee, all for free. Children will be delighted by four-year-old Indian chef Jehan Razdan. She became famous for hosting Jehan’s Kitchen – considered the number-one children’s TV cooking show in both the UAE and India.

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Theatre shows

The festival also presents a series of Arab and foreign theatrical performances that combine education and entertainment. They include the impressive virtual reality illusion show Hara Hiroki from Japan, which showcases the latest in video mapping, and a range of interactive visual shows that blur the lines between reality and graphics, immersing young spectators in a magical world of hologram illusions. Don’t miss Tuta and Monkey Cheetah, a play presented by Kuwait’s Al Rowan Centre for Art and Theatrical Production, which tells the story of two groups from the same village who go hunting for treasure. Both fall prey to a swindle that leads them to wild jungles, villains and ultimately the North Pole, which is home to a giant white bear. Also from Kuwait is Island of Kids’ Area, produced by Kuwait’s Artist for Art and Theatrical Production. The play is about a group of talented children on board a plane who are forced to make an emergency landing on an island. Events escalate when the passengers are taken hostage, leading to the children having to try to escape using the tools of reading, culture and knowledge.

3D book exhibition

Visitors can enjoy a 3D book exhibition, designed by Italian curators Massimo Missiroli and Mathieu Faglia, from the 3D Book Centre in Forli, Italy. It provides an introduction to the ancient art of pop-up, or three-dimensional books, the earliest examples of which are said to have been found in 13th-century Catalonia. The exhibition also contrasts them with the new and emerging technologies of the genre – an image-heavy, performance-based literature. You can also look at 250 of these books, hand-picked by the exhibition curators to represent eight different periods of time, ranging from the 1880s to the year 2000.

Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival starts on Wednesday at Expo Centre Sharjah, and runs until April 28. Admission and all activities are free; the festival is open 9am to 8pm, 9am to 10pm on Thursday and 4pm to 10pm on Friday. For more information, visit www.scrf.ae

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Read more:

What Ed Vere hopes to accomplish at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival

The towering imagination of children’s author Ralph Browning

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