In a new achievement for the publishing industry in the UAE, Tongue Twists (Lisanak Hisanak), by Kalimat (A Kalimat Group Company), 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 this prestigious award that is considered as the most important award in children’s publishing market. Jury members said that the inventive modular composition of the vibrant book combines a repeated series of simple geometrical shapes in primary colours. No exercise in abstract painting, it 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 award winning to the great ideas and texts by children's book author Fatima Sharafeddine, as well as to outstanding illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Hanan Qai and thanked them for playing a major role in making this 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.
Lisanak Hisanak book brings a new twist to tongue twisters by visually representing the confusion that happens when tongue twisters are read out loud. Made from a burst of colors and letters, these hand-made illustrations play on the meaning of each tongue twister and take readers into a visual world that’s as confusing and fun as the verbal one. The resulting illustrations hide the words of each tongue twister in a witty puzzle for readers to decipher. To further reinforce the repeating aspect of tongue twisters, when multiple books are displayed side by side, cover illustrations continue seamlessly across books.
The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the most important and the biggest international event dedicated to children’s publishing and multimedia industry and it has been running since 1963. Over 1,200 exhibitors from 98 countries and 25,000 international professional trade representatives participated in the 2016 edition.