Children of Ghassan Kanafani, illus. Burhan Karkoutly, ca. mid-80s. Via Soorah. Source

Four Arab illustrators will be taking part in the 52nd Bologna Children’s Book Fair, running from  March 30 till April 2. The illustrators come from the UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt and have been participating in the Warsha initiative set up by Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, which aims to “foster talent in the Arabic children’s and young adult book industry.”

Speaking about the decision to take the four illustrators to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board said, “The importance of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair as a platform is unparalleled and together with the Warsha initiative we’re working to elevate the skill of Illustrators both literal and visual within the region, by providing them with international exposure.”


  • Petra Dünges provides a very long list of very useful resources on Arabic children’s literature, frequently updated, here.
  • Julinda Abu Nasr, a specialist in early childhood education, has an article in the International Companion Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature on children’s literature in the Arab world, where she also cites several articles in both Arabic and English. Abu Nasr discusses the challenges facing children’s literature and its history in the region, discussing magazines such as Sandouk El Donia, Majalati and perhaps most famously Majed.
  • Arab Thought Foundation has its own Kitabi prize for children’s literature
  • A wonderful collection of illustrations from children’s books, taken from one of my favourite sites, Soorah. As the tagline of the tumblr says, it is not in words only that stories are told.


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