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Renowned children’s illustrator attends UAEBBY’s Children’s Book Fiesta

United Arab Emirates: Saturday, April 23 - 2011 @ 14:25

The day’s events kicked off at 10am with a 30-minute reading from Pat Mora’s Book Fiesta!, for which López’s illustrations the 2010 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, given by the American Library Association to honour work that best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books. After the reading came the 90-minute drawing workshop, run by López, followed by a range of fun activities for children, including a Dubai drums session at The Shelter and a session on the Knowledge without Borders Bus where free books were distributed.

López spent three days enjoying some of Sharjah’s artistic, cultural and culinary highlights, including Sharjah Heritage Village, the Sharjah Biennale and Shababeek (meaning ‘window’ in Arabic) – a unique contemporary Lebanese restaurant situated in the heart of Al Qasba.

Speaking of the workshop, Sheikha Bodour said, “Children’s Book Fiesta includes a number of activities that are geared towards instilling a love of reading in our children. Rafael López is a gifted and talented artist who has done excellent work on children’s books, and we were privileged to have him on hand to share his wealth of knowledge and skills with children eager to learn and enjoy drawing. The strong cultural aspects of his illustrations are particularly important to us, as they show what can be achieved when you have a rich history and heritage to draw on, as Sharjah – and the UAE as a whole – does.”

López is an award-winning Mexican-born artist and illustrator living in San Diego. His distinctive style is a fusion of strong graphic style and magical symbolism, strongly influenced by Mexican surrealism, dichos (sayings) and myths. His children’s books have won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, two Americas Awards and a Pura Belpré Honor. In addition to his work on children’s books, López has a large international client base, including the United States Postal Service, Amnesty International, Apple, Harper Collins, IBM, Intel, Los Angeles Times, the Grammy Awards, and the World Wildlife Fund, and in 2009 he was invited to create 3 paintings for Oprah Winfrey’s school in South Africa.

Speaking of his participation in the event, López said, “I have really enjoyed my visit to the emirate of Sharjah, and the workshop in particular was a very interesting and fulfilling experience. I have always been interested in drawing and painting, and it was a delight to be able to spend time with children who are similarly interested and teach them some of what I have learnt about drawing and illustrating.”

ICBD is celebrated annually on 2 April is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.

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Saturday, April 23- 2011 @ 14:25 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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