Brilliant Children’s Books By Dubai Based Authors – Get Ready For Stories, Adventures & More, Mamas!
We’re always on the lookout for children’s books to add to our home collection (and make bedtime reading a little more varied) and we love supporting local so how about doing both at the same time?! There are some brilliant children’s authors here in the UAE, many of them mamas themselves and all of them ambitious enough to put pen to paper. Here are just some of our favourite local kids authors and books to check out – oh and these stories make for great gifts if you know families who are leaving Dubai and want a little reminder of our desert city. Happy reading!
Read More: 10 Books To Read Before They’re 10
All About Me, Dubai are a series of kiddie books set in…. Dubai! The stories feature many of our much loved places in the city plus fun facts and more. And the really cool part? the books can be personalised using the pen and character stickers which are also included.
Julia Johnson is a drama teacher turned children’s author, storyteller and performer who’s lived in Dubai for years and who is a very Sassy Mama (and Grandma too!). With over 13 books for kids under her belt (including “The Pearl Diver” and “The Camel That Got Away”), we love A is for Arabia, a journey through Arabia from A to Z, accompanied by charming illustrations and witty rhymes that gently introduce kids to life in this region. The perfect gift for children up to the age of eight (and for those learning the alphabet!).
A super cute story & e-book about a girl who is born with sand in her hair – a metaphor to her roots and where she grew up. At first Alayah is bothered by the sand in her hair and washes it and washes it but with no luck. She soon discovers that she doesn’t really mind the sand after all, as she loves her background and the place she is from. This story is about growing up, acceptance and being comfortable with who you are – perfect in our multicultural city. In the end, “Alayah always knew that no matter where she was the sand in her hair was her home and forever with her.”
Imagine this – every night when you go to sleep, Dubai’s famous landmarks (from the Burj Khalifa to the Burj Al Arab and World Trade Center), walk about and have all sorts of adventures! This story by Sassy dad Ralph Browning follows two children who wake in the night, notice the towers wandering about and join them as they play. Fun, lighthearted and the result of made up bedtime stories with his boys.
If you or your little ones can read in Arabic (we can’t…shame on us..) then this lovely story about a fluffy, flashy pink flamingo, Fanteer, who’s lost on an island after unintentionally drifting afar from his parents sounds magical. Written by environmentalist and mama of three Noura Al Khouri, the story is one many children would relate to, tackling the fear of getting lost or being away from their mamas or dads while providing a happy ending and something positive to hold onto.
Written by a German mama of two boys, ‘Friendship Is About Dubai’ is all about the challenges of making new friends when you’re in a new place plus dealing with the transient nature of an expat community. The book takes its readers on a lovely journey across the city, following four characters (an owl, a camel, a tiger and a hippo – created to mimic the multicultural nature of Dubai) and discovering the priceless gift of friendship. A great book to gift kids whose family are relocating, Stefanie wrote the story when her own family were preparing to leave (they ended up staying!), as a way of helping her boys deal with saying goodbye to friends. We love that children can personalise their copy in the dedicated empty pages which call for photographs, notes and mini diary style entries. Super cute.
If your curious kids are forever on backyard adventures and on the look out for bugs and birds then this is the perfect book for them! Written by a mama whose inspiration came from her daughter’s curiosity and the realization that there’s so much natural beauty and wildlife to be discovered in Dubai, I Spy Dubai is all about getting the kids outside to observe, explore and discover via activities include bird watching, colouring in and bug hunting/recording bug data! Each copy comes with a pair of foldable binoculars and a magnifying glass guaranteed to delight your wannabe explorers.
This book magically brings the geography of the beach alive through rhyming verses, encouraging children to think about all of the things they might see from the beach. Beautifully written and illustrated – a firm fave amongst many year 1 – year 3 teachers too!
Rachel Hamilton is an award-winning children’s author and lover of ‘all things silly’ (we can relate!) who writes beautifully for 7-13 year olds and is probably best known for her debut novel, ‘The Case of the Exploding Loo’. ‘Louie Lets Loose’ is the first of her ‘Unicorn In New York’ series and tells the story of Louie the unicorn who’s traveled from his home in Storyland to New York City to make all his dreams come true! He’s enrolled at an elite performing arts school because he’s determined to become a star (this book is perfect for all your wannabe performers and unicorn lovers!). But his ride to super stardom is bumpy-the school already has a superstar unicorn, not to mention singing mermaids and dancing trolls. And apparently you can’t pay for things with glitter! We love the fact that Louie won’t give up – he’s determined to see his name in lights!
This lovely story was written by a British expat mum who channelled her postnatal depression into creativity after making up stories for her little boy with all of the teddies he had, telling him what adventures they get up to whilst he was at nursery. Together, she and her little boy created the tale of a group of stuffed animals who navigate the house when nobody is in, climbing out of the cot and raiding the kitchen. A really lovely book for little ones – especially those who are particularly attached to some of their toys and love to know that they’re also having fun when they’re being left behind! The five very different, lovable, cuddly best friends: Marshall Bear, Leo the Lion, Blue Rabbit, Smartie and Doggy are just adorable.
Thiago’s Shell is a compassionate story about a little turtle who has a wonderful fulfilling life and yet seems to struggle with his self-confidence. One day something very unexpected occurs and puts him in a vulnerable position through which he discovers a whole new side to himself and changes his view of his world..This book comes from a place of motherly love and support towards the common childhood issue with shyness. We love it.
featured image sourced via Shutterstock