Oversized books build the base for independent reading, says SIBF 2020 exhibitor Fatima Al Breiky

Sharjah-based publisher explains that the size of pictures and text helps
children to focus better and follow a story

Sharjah, 8 November 2020

Stepping into Expo Centre Sharjah where 1,024 global publishers are exhibiting millions of titles at the 39th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), it is impossible to miss the vibrant and colourful stand of Sharjah-based Sama Publishing Production and Distribution in Hall 1.

With pictures of toys and extracts of stories on the walls, and an activity corner for the little ones, what also instantly draws attention are the large sized story books on display here. Thoughtfully designed and full of images, young children seem naturally attracted to its vivid images and colours.

“These large size books are perfect for shared reading and reading aloud in the classroom or at home,” explained UAE national Fatima Al Breiky, an experienced Arabic language educator, who has authored all books released by her publishing company.

Al Breiky, who currently heads the Arabic Language Department at UAE University, explained: “Children are excited by the sheer size of the pictures and words in big books. It is a fun way to get them to experience books, and the size of pictures and text helps children to focus better and follow the story.”

Designed primarily for the 0-8-year group as part of the curriculum for early childhood, Al Breiky explained: “This book format, with big fonts and bright primary colours, marks the first step in introducing a child to reading, and sets the pace for the start of language development for many. My experience of teaching Arabic over the years was what inspired me to introduce Arabic language in an easy format for young learners.”

Sama Publishing also specialises in several other educational resources including games.

“We do not limit ourselves to merely selling books; instead, to enrich the learning experience and enable the young ones to explore their creative potential further, we offer a host of workshops and group activities to children at our newly opened bookstore in line with the COVID-19 guidelines of the UAE,” said Al Breiky, who was encouraged to write at a young age by her father and an uncle, a poet.

“Poetry was my first love, but I have since moved on to writing children’s books,” says the author whose recent work, Wasim’s Fingers has been longlisted for the Abdelaziz Al Mansour Award launched by the Arab Publishers Union. “It is the only entry from the UAE and the book has the core message that although all of us can see and read, the way our eyes perceive things are different, and this is what makes each of us unique.”