I went to the fair with my friend Aisha Al-Hajjar who was asked to cover it for Arab News, she writes columns for Saudi Life and has her own blog Saudi Birth Story too. I was honored to be asked by her to cover for the photos for the Arab News article.
Coming from an extremely strong culture of reading, (we grew up reading books, not watching TV) the fair was a very positive surprise for me. There was so many children's books for sale ranging from toddlers touch and learn type books to older kids bedtime stories. The fair had many books in English as well and some English learning centers were represented along with a few embassies such as Sweden and Japan.
My husband bought some books for our baby because she is already such a little bookworm! These were her first Arabic language books. I started reading to her when she was a few weeks old in Finnish and now whenever she sees a book she tries to grab it so it is definitely paying off already.
Reading to children is not as common in Saudi-Arabia than it is in Finland, but it seems to be growing in popularity. Reading to your kids is always highly beneficial for their language skills and strengthens the bond between the child and parent.
A nice bedtime story will help the child relaz and wind down before falling asleep and even look forward to going to bed. I hope many parents get the inspiration and encouragement of reading to their kids from this fair.
The fair had many other aspects to it on top of the book fair there was a museum, plays and shows and interactive learning center. I would recommend all parents Saudis and expats alike visit this fair with their children!
Children being interviewed for television.
Can you guess the sponsor of this event?
Cute little boy hugging his book!
This book was about the history of Saudi-Arabia
These young Saudi men were dressed in traditional outfits and were performing traditional dancing at the fair.
Saudi hand puppets!
A happy kid enjoys the fair with his father
Face paintings were a hit!
You can have your name written in Japanese at the Japanese embassy booth!
Pretty Saudi girls dressed in traditional dresses with flower bands on their hair.
A girl being interviewed by media.
More toddler books! Was hard to choose which ones to get for my daughter.
Monkey manners is a marvelous way to teach kids basic manners ;)
A marvelous book for expecting mothers with children and curious questions to answer how the baby got there!
The architecture inside the King Fahad cultural center is impressive!