Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival to return with authors, illustrators and filmmakers

The annual event will take place at Expo Centre Sharjah from May 11 to 22

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - April 18, 2019: Children look at their favourite books at the Sharjah children's reading festival. Thursday the 18th of April 2019. Expo Centre, Sharjah. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Powered by automated translation

International bestselling authors from Africa to Australia will take part in the 13th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF).

Running from May 11 to 22 at the Expo Centre Sharjah, the annual event will feature 25 authors from five continents for a programme that includes literary and trade discussions, author meet-and-greets, workshops, industry conferences and performances.

Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority and running under the theme Create Creativity, the festival will feature an appearance by Kyle Balda, the acclaimed US animator and filmmaker who co-directed Minions (2015) and produced the animation for box-office hits Jumanji (2005) and 2009’s Toy Story 2.

Also attending is prolific Australian author Ken Spillman, who has written more than 90 books, including his latest, Big Noah Little Boa.

Author-illustrator Curtis Jobling, best known as the designer for popular children’s television series Bob the Builder, will also be on hand to share her experiences.

Fellow English actor and author, Sebastian de Souza, will attend the festival to discuss the 2021 best-selling time-travelling adventure story, Kid: A History of the Future.

India’s emerging children’s literary scene will be highlighted with appearances by Purva Grover, best known for The Trees Told Me So, and Vibha Batra, the poet and author of Incognito. They will be joined by a number of African authors, including Kenya’s Christoper Okemwa and South Africa’s Lorato Mary Trok, renowned for her Unsung Heroes books series.

On the regional front, the Arab world will be represented by more than a dozen writers, including Egyptian television-host-turned-author Qaswa Al Khalali, Lebanon's Tariq Ahmed Al Bakri and Intelaq Ali from Iraq.

Sharjah Book Authority chairman Ahmed Al Ameri described this year’s festival as the biggest yet. “Each year during SCRF, I can see the vision of the festival being realised as a key investment of knowledge and creativity in young minds,” he said.

“[The festival] is investing in building the future of our country by paving the way for our children and youth to attain their goals and be loyal patrons of Sharjah’s cultural vision, as well as our rich Arab culture.”

More information is available on

Scroll through images from the 2021 Sharjah Children's Reading Festival

Updated: May 02, 2022, 12:50 PM