Sharjah kids’ reading fest to show Disney classics - GulfToday

Sharjah kids’ reading fest to show Disney classics


Young impressionable minds are being honed into developing their own perspectives and versions.

Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) will be screening one Disney classic every day during the 11-day Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2019), coming to Sharjah Expo Centre on April 17.

SBA is calling it the ‘Disney Throwback’, and has dedicated their theatre to a daily celebration of all-time daily favourites in a bid to enhance children’s artistic and cultural appreciation through cinema.  

The list is packed with all time-favourites, ‘Alice in Wonderland’; ‘Beauty and the Beast’; ‘Jungle Book’; ‘Pinocchio’; ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’; ‘101 Dalmatians’; ‘Bambi’; ‘Toy Story’; ‘The Little Mermaid’; ‘Peter Pan’; and ‘A Bug’s Life’. 

The new feature has been added to the festival’s comprehensive cultural agenda to present to viewers of all age groups, especially the young lot, noble human values through the magic of cinema.   

Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival is the leading event in the UAE and the region that promises fun-filled entertainment as well as cultural education for children. It aims to broaden children and parents’ knowledge and experience in the arts, sciences and literature, in collaboration with a host of institutions, associations and centres involved in children’s education and development.

Celebrating the theme ‘Explore Knowledge’, the largest and most important event of its kind in the Middle East will run till April 27.


Bringing interactive workshops that cover techniques on how to turn short stories for children into illustrations, was among the inaugural sessions that rolled out the 11th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF 2019).

While writing an excellent story for a children’s book is only half the battle, even the most engaging plots simply won’t come to life without vivid illustrations to match the text. Shaimaa Subhi, who is a member of the Egyptian Syndicate of Fine Arts, held a workshop on these lines, suggesting the main actions in the spread of a book using engaging illustrations techniques. Divided in teams of four, 15 young schoolgirls in Sharjah were engrossed in creating a children’s picture book.

These girls were handed out references, hoping to spring inspiration. The reference photos of animals like owls and snakes were aimed at creating a mood board for each sketch – varying the opacity and flow, using pencil drawing techniques. Each sketch varied in tone and texture – with a smooth finish or ‘toothiness’.   

Explaining the importance of turning short stories for children into illustrations that lead to picture stories, Shaimaa Subhi said, “The main objective of the workshop is to turn the text into illustration. So, each girl is translating the text into a picture book employing her own style, technique, imagination and vision. I also think that regardless of the art you want to create, you should always work on your drawing and painting skills first.”

She further said, “Children are first taught the rules and once they become proficient at it, they learn themselves to think out of the box and break the rules. This enables them to express themselves, put forth their vision, their interpretation and understanding of the text. So, initially, we support the girls verbally by walking them through the text, then our aim is to assist them visually to develop the story. I always teach my students that art is a state of mind, it’s like an experience that is to be lived. These young impressionable minds have to be honed into developing their own perspectives and versions using different genres, pushing them towards greater creativity, as they are our future and the people of tomorrow.”

This activity will be held every day until the end of the festival on Saturday, April 27.

Over 2,500 cultural and literary events and activities, visits confirmed by 198 international, regional and local authors and cultural personalities, and the best in children’s and YA literature being flown in by 167 publishers from 18 countries – will all focus on making reading fun for young children at this 11-day festival organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA).

Related articles