Parents point to academic books while children lean towards story books at the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival
Sharjah, May 27, 2021: As Fatma Al Darmki, an Emirati mother of three young girls, leafed through the pages of a collection of BrainQuest Workbooks at the 12th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, it was the attractive, pastel-hued cover of Build Your Unicorn that seemed to have caught the fancy of 6-year-old Moza.
More than the beautifully detailed artwork within its thick glossy pages, or the warm-hearted stories in the book, what appealed to the young girl was her fond love of the majestic animal. “I love unicorns because of their beautiful horns and wings, but I adore their colourful rainbows even more!”
Justifying her choice, Al Darmki said: “I just picked up several story books for my daughters, and the reason I chose the BrainQuest series is because it is packed with study material that reinforces what is being taught in the classroom but in a more engaging and entertaining format.”
She added: “As a parent, I am interested in developing their curiosity and knowledge about the world around them, and academic-oriented books that are full of colour and packed with fun activities and games are, I believe, the right way to do it.”
The books that children naturally lean towards and the choices that parents make are often on either side of the spectrum, noted Jesudas Sanjay of DC Books, an exhibitor at SCRF 2021.
He said: “Fun, engrossing stories that relate to childhood, or books with a mixture of text and pictures are what generally appeals to the young ones. Parents, on the other hand, tend to pick up titles like Curious Questions About Space or Train Your Brain to be a Maths Genius - but these books are a wonderful way for children to explore the world around them and features fun-filled visuals and exciting challenges!”
The children’s best sellers continue to be Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series, the Geronimo Stilton range of books, and Captain Underpants, amongst others, he added. “Here again, we find how parents try to veer children towards books they had read as a child – like Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, for instance.”
“No matter what books they buy, what is important is the fact that children are reading. And it is heartwarming to see parents bring their young ones to SCRF each year – inculcating a love of books is the best gift for children everywhere,” added Sanjay.
The 12th edition of SCRF is organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), and concludes on Saturday, May 29.