Kalimat becomes first Emirati publishing house to win Bologna Children’s Book Fair Award

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SHARJAH, 23rd February, 2016 (WAM) — In a new achievement for the publishing industry in the UAE, Tongue Twists (Lisanak Hisanak), by Kalimat, has won the ‘New Horizons’ category of the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi Award after being the only Arabic book to be shortlisted for the award in 2016. The award winning book is written by Fatima Sharafeddine and illustrated by Hanane Qai.

Kalimat is the first Emirati Publishing House to win the most important award in the children’s publishing market. Jury members said that the inventive modular composition of the book combines a repeated series of simple geometrical shapes in primary colours. The book is an original attempt to give visual form to tongue twisters and the difficulty of pronouncing certain words very fast. Cleverly crafted juxtaposition of the images hides the words, which if pronounced the wrong way, leads to an amusing jumble of patterns.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, said, “This is the second time in two years that one of our publications was shortlisted at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair awards. In 2014 we got a special recognition, and this year we were able to win the award, and this is a great achievement for the UAE, and an incentive for Kalimat to continue to develop innovative Arabic children’s books.”

Sheikha Bodour attributed the winning of the award to the great ideas and texts by author Fatima Sharafeddine, as well as the outstanding illustrations by acclaimed illustrator, Hanan Qai, and thanked them for playing a major role in making the book an international award winner. She said, “We have a lot of talent in the UAE and the Arab world when it comes to writing and illustrating, which helps us publish more high quality books for children and young adults. They deserve from us innovation and creativity to provide them with publications that suit their intellect, their future, and our nation’s future. We, in Kalimat, will continue in our commitment to provide the best quality books for children and instill the love of reading in them.”

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the most important international event dedicated to the children’s publishing and multimedia industry. In Bologna, Italy, authors, illustrators, literary agents, licensors and licensees, packagers, distributors, printers, booksellers, and librarians will meet to sell and buy copyright, find the very best of children’s publishing and multimedia production, generate and gather new contacts while strengthening professional relationships, discover new business opportunities, and discuss and debate the latest sector trends when the event opens on Monday 4th April.