The UAEBBY Highlights Role of Silent Books and Illustrations in Enriching Children’s Literature

March 20, 2018 - 8:22 am

The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), the local branch of the International Board on Books for Young People(IBBY), was at the helm of two discussion panels, which explored the vital role played by silent books in enriching children’s literature, as well as the significant role illustrations play in adding value to literary content that targets young generations, These discussions were part of the cultural programme at the 38th Livre Paris (Paris Book Fair), which runs from 16 to 19 March.

The silent books’ panel addressed their significant role in nurturing children’s intellectual capabilities, by helping children unlock their imagination with only visuals making up the book’s content. The panel featured Alia Al Shamsi, an Emirati author and illustrator; Geraldine Alebeo, Representative of the French Board on Books for Young People (FBBY); and moderated by Anne-Laure Cognet.

The second panel on children’s books’ illustrations shed light on the important role visual art plays in helping children understand and appreciate the story contained within an illustrated book. It highlighted the latest practices in this field, discussing the most significant challenges that face children’s books illustrators. The panel also discussed the crucial role played by awards like the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, which dedicates a category to ‘Best Illustrations’, as it believes that visual content has an equally substantial role to play in enriching a story, its creative message and goes a long way in enhancing the aesthetic dimensions of children’s literature. Moderated by Alya Al Shamsi, the panel comprised Egyptian illustrator Walid Taher, winner of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature’s and French Illustrator Luwick Ghom.

Marwa Al Aqroubi, said: “Through these discussion panels, the UAEBBY’s aims to open broader horizons to in-depth discussions and dialogues on the realities of artistic illustrations featured in children’s books. These intellectual dialogues enable us to exchange expertise with European intellectuals, fair-goers and children’s illustration experts, which provides Arab illustrators with a more nuanced creative experience,”

“We seek to promote the developed cultural reality in the Emirate of Sharjah and UAE during our participation in Paris Book Fair – an exceptional global cultural event. Through our presence, we intended to educate a large segment of European intellectuals on the array of cultural activities and programmes that are planned and implemented by the UAEBBY throughout the year. We also enlightened visitors about the role the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature has been playing since 2010 in furthering the creative capacities of Arab authors and illustrators and contribute to not just Sharjah’s but the UAE’s overall cultural projects,” she added.

The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) is the local branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) that was founded in 2010 upon an initiative by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi to encourage publishing and distributing high quality Arabic children’s books. UAEBBY aims to provide publishers, authors and illustrators as well as publishing houses, with opportunities to network and share expertise with other professionals in the book industry and help them build their capacity.