Kalimat, the Sharjah based award-winning publisher of Arabic children’s books and an imprint of Kalimat Group, has received a special mention in the New Horizon’s category of the prestigious BolognaRagazzi Award.
Promoted by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair the Award aims to reward the best books in terms of graphic and editorial design and is considered to be one of the most prestigious recognitions in the sector, as publishers from across the world submit their best productions, thus guaranteeing the exceptional quality of candidates.
The Award’s judging panel singled out Kalimat’s innovative children’s title, ‘Don’t Open this Book / When I Open this Book’, an imaginative book that features an accordion style production allowing children to access two stories in one, during Kalimat’s participation in the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, taking place from the 24th to the 27th of March.
Speaking about the honour, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, remarked, “We are pleased to be recognised by this prestigious award which will galvanise us to continue our efforts to expand and invigorate the children’s book industry in the UAE and Arab world. We are constantly striving to combine high quality content with attractive production in our publications so that we provide attractive and useful books to children. With the increasing dominance of technology on all aspects of our day to day living, we want the book to be a friend and companion to Arab children everywhere.”
With text by celebrated children’s author Fatima Sharafeddine and illustrations by Fereshteh Najafi, ‘Don’t open this book / When I Open this Book” brings together the famous villains of classical fairy tales and then unfolds into a world of beauty and warmth. The accordion shaped book flips between a world where the child sees villains and is then asked to be the hero of the book and rescue a frightened monster from the rest of the villains, and that of a warm and welcoming home environment – a world of hand picked mint, fresh baked bread, burning incense, and rose water. The title – ‘Don’t Open this Book / When I Open this Book” – is also specifically designed to trigger young readers’ curiosity and spur their imaginations, creating a playful read for both of the book’s stories.
In motivating their special mention of ‘Don’t Open this Book / When I Open this Book”, BolognaRagazzi Award Jury, which consisted of Jury Chairman Martin Salisbury, Manuel Estrada, and Laurence Tutello, stated, “This richly decorative, unfolding concertina book from the United Arab Emirates presents two sides of a child’s consciousness. On one side we follow his uneventful, everyday experience whilst on the other, rich hot colours lead us into his alternative world of fantasy and imagination. The artist demonstrates a strong personal visual vocabulary of heavily textured brushwork and distinctive, confident use of colour.”
Kalimat is the first publishing house in the UAE dedicated solely to publishing and distributing high quality Arabic children’s books. With over a 140 publications to its credit since inception five years ago, Kalimat focuses on producing books that the children of the UAE and the region can relate to, with vibrant illustrations and stories that talk about the value of family, relationships, simplicity, and happiness.
For more information please contact:
Yousef Al Taweel
+971 50 556 25 20
+971 50 538 39 73