25 bestselling children’s authors from five continents will headline 13th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival

25 bestselling children’s authors from five continents will headline 13th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival

Renowned industry names will educate and entertain young readers,
May 11 – 22, in Expo Centre Sharjah

Sharjah, May 1, 2022

A stellar group of 25 international children’s authors from 5 continents will be leading a vibrant cultural programme at the 13th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), which takes place from May 11 – 22 in Expo Centre Sharjah.

Organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the annual festival for children and youth runs for 12 days this year and is themed ‘Create Creativity’.   

From US to Australia, authors will fly in from around the world

This edition of the festival will see Kyle Balda, American animator and film director, who co-directed children’s movies like Minions, and did the animation for Despicable Me and Jumanji. Also attending the SCRF is the bestselling children’s author of Big Noah Little Boa, Ken Spillman from Australia. A successful mentor and presenter of workshops on writing and creativity for adults and teens, Spillman has written 90 books so far.

British author-illustrator Curtis Jobling, who is best known as the designer of Bob the Builder TV show, will be a celebrity presence at SCRF this year, in addition to Sebastian de Souza, actor-author who wrote the best-selling time-travelling adventure story, Kid: A History of the Future.

Vashti Harrison, the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling author-illustrator of children’s books from the US, will also be at SCRF this year. Her middle-grade books Little Leaders, Little Dreamers, Little Legends is a best-seller. She is also a two-time recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children.

Claire Legrand, the New York Times bestselling author of eleven novels, most notably the Empirium Trilogy will fly in from the US along with Kobi Yamada, award-winning children’s author of picture books such as What Do You Do With An Idea? and What Do You Do With A Problem?

Shanda McCloskey, who writes and illustrates children’s books and enjoys talking to kids about robots, drones, and stories with words and pictures, and Alicia D. Williams, author of children’s titles such as Genesis Begins Again; andNanette Heffernan, author of Earth Hour are other US authors at the festival.

Indian authors of children’s books at SCRF are journalistPurva Grover, best known for The Trees Told Me So; best-selling children’s author and poet Vibha Batra,author ofIncognito; Anita Vachharajani, whose pictorial book Amrita Sher-Gil: Rebel with a Paintbrush won the Sahitya Akademi award; and Priya Kuriyan, author of Ammachi’s Glasses who doubles as an illustrator and comics maker.

Other literary figures whose presence will enrich the SCRF are Ahmed Shah of Pakistan; author and publisher Mireia Trius of Spain; and British author Sharna Jackson who lives in the Netherlands and whose latest book The Good Turn is a spooky mystery.

From the African continent, the guest authors are Lorato Mary Trok from South Africa, a creative writing facilitator best known for her Unsung Heroes series; Christopher Okemwa from Kenya who wrote Sabina the Rain Girl among others.

UK-based writers gracing SCRF are Ella Berthoud, bibliotherapist and author of The Art of Mindful Reading; Award-winning children’s author Helen Docherty, author of The Screen Thief; Bangladesh-born Burhana Islam, author of Mayhem Mission; Russia-born Evgenia Golubeva, an award-winning animation director and illustrator; Radiya Hafiza, author of Rumaysa; and Yasmin Rahman, author of young adult books such as This is my Truth.

Themed ‘Create Creativity’, the forthcoming 13th edition of SCRF will see the participation of 139 publishers from 12 nations. A host of popular artists and experts will lead 750 workshops and 130 art shows and performances. The event will also host cookery shows, competitions and plays, among other interactive sessions.


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