Demand for quality children’s literature remains at an all-time high, region’s leading publishers opine at SCRF 2023
Panel discussion highlights that good literary content for children must be age-appropriate, culturally diverse and flexible for both print and digital formats
Sharjah, May 5, 2023
Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2023)’s popular Cultural Forum hosted leading publishers in the children’s literary industry in a panel discussion entitled ‘Looking at Children’s Literature from a Publisher’s Perspective’.
Distinguished representatives from some of the most reputable publishing houses, namely, Moanes Hattab, director of ABT Publishing and Distribution, Latifa Al Falasi, a publisher and prominent children’s book author, and Neeraj Jain, the managing director of Scholastic, a leading Indian publishing house participated led the session moderated by Sheikha Bin Khamis.
They offered unique perspectives on a range of topics ranging from the selection and acquisition of manuscripts to the editorial process and production.
Character development was emphasised by the publishers as a significant criterion for manuscript selection. The panellists also shared valuable insights on the trends that currently dominate the landscape of children’s literature publishing.
The panel shed light on other several factors to be considered when evaluating children’s literature. Neeraj stressed the importance of age appropriate publishing, and advised families present at the discussion to consider the same while deciding what books to buy for their children.
“The book must be suitable for the intended age group, with content that is neither too advanced nor too simplistic”, he added.
Children’s literature is crucial in shaping the intellects of young readers. Therefore, as publishers, we must always strive to ensure that we can give them access to quality literature that reflects their diverse experiences,” explained Moanes Hattab, stressing that works of children’s literature “must have well-developed characters that are culturally diverse, relatable and memorable”.
As literacy rates continue to rise across the globe, the demand for quality children’s literature remains at an all-time high, observed Latifa Al Falasi, further stating that authors as well as the publishing industry as a whole must stay ahead of the demands of a rapidly changing market.