A world of imagination, creativity and entertainment opened its doors for children and young adults on April 17 with the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF).
Running until April 27, the 11th edition of the annual SCRF was inaugurated by His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah at the Expo Centre Sharjah.
He was accompanied by dignitaries and officials as he visited different sections of the festival.
A group of small girls presented a musical performance to welcome Shaikh Sultan as he inaugurated the festival.
Following his customary tour of the event and interaction with the children, Shaikh Sultan presented awards to winners in various categories of best children’s literature and illustration.
The opening also saw scores of schoolchildren visiting, browsing the huge selection of books and taking part in activities.
The 11-day event hosts more than 2,500 cultural and literary activities, while 198 international, regional and local authors and cultural personalities are participating.
Organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), the festival hosts the best in children’s and young adult literature by 167 publishers from 18 countries, focusing on making reading fun for children.
Apart from reading experiences, book lovers are in for exciting meet ups with a stellar line-up of 33 authors, including Elisabetta Dami, international best-selling children’s author from Italy and #1 New York Times best-seller and award-winning children’s author, Carole Boston Weatherford.
Alongside the Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Book Illustrations that will feature 320 artists and illustrators from 55 countries, SCRF 2019 is hosting two brand new exhibitions, ‘Travelling the Silk Road’ and ‘Voyage to the Deep’.
Engaging the children further, the ‘Kids Café’ brings together young talents who have attained remarkable achievements, with Arab chess champion Sultan Al Zaabi; the youngest Arab journalist Durar Al Muraqeb and others to meet and share their experiences with young visitors.
The cookery corner is sizzling with a packed culinary itinerary of 140 workshops and live masterclasses presented by some of the youngest Arab and international chefs from eight nations.
And there is so much for comic and Japanese manga lovers as well, with 80 different comic-book and graphic novel-themed activities and workshops to learn from and a chance to venture into the unique ‘Artists Alley’ to buy their favourite comic merchandise.
This edited article first appeared in Gulf News.