Readingstart

Archive for March, 2014|Monthly archive page

“SPIDER’S SURPRISE” “مفاجأة العنكبوت”

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2014 at 7:42 pm

“Spider’s Surprise” was born out of a dire need to promote the use of Arabic among young children at a private pre-school in Amman, Jordan. Author Reem Abu-Ragheb noticed that the kids at her pre-school were speaking to each other in English, and so she decided to promote the use of Arabic through a week of activities that encouraged the kids to use the language for daily communication. The prize? A copy of a book designed specially to entertain while teaching a little something about numeracy and friendship. “Spider’s Surprise” is a delightful read, with easy to remember rhyme and a simple heartwarming story. And, as an added bonus, it’s available in both Arabic and English!

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The book is available online at Maktabetcom,  Mintaad online lending library as well as at Book’ n’ Brush Preschool in Amman, Jordan.

Let’s Read – “هيا نقرأ” : Our New Poster is Ready!

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

Our new “Let’s Read” poster is ready! We’re very excited to share this wonderful illustration by Ashraf Al-Maani, which highlights both the importance and the fun of reading together as a family.

Please email us on info@readingstart.org if you would like a copy of the ready-to-print poster to hang in your classroom, clinic or establishment.

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About the Illustrator: One of our favorite things is working alongside talented local individuals who are as passionate about books as we are, and Ashraf was one such talent. A graphic designer, cartoonist/ illustrator, video editor, web designer and passionate artist, Ashraf graduated from Al Zaytooneh University in Jordan in 2009. He us currently living in KSA, where he works for a design company on various key projects. You can check out more of his work on his Facebook page.

 

 

Illustrator Profile: Dina Khalifé

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Dina Khalifé is a textile and jewelry designer whose work lends itself so perfectly to the whimsical world of children that she also illustrates kids’ books. I’m not only in love with her polka dotted elephant ring and hold me tight necklace, but also with her work for Kalimat Publishing.

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Dina graduated from the School of Architecture and Design at the American University of Beirut, and then went to work for several regional design firms including Mind the Gap and Mohtaraf Beirut Graphics. She then went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Textile Design and Surfaces at the renowned Instituto Europeo di Desgin in Madrid. After working with famous Spanish fashion house Bimba & Lola, she returned to Beirut in September 2011 to launch her label, Dina Khalifé.

We chatted with Dina briefly to get to know more about the person behind all the color and texture.

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RS: How did you get started as an illustrator?

DK: During the 5 years I worked for graphic design companies in Beirut, I got to illustrate magazine articles, book covers, children’s packaging and more. I loved these projects and realized that I would love to work more on children books.

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RS: How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?

DK: I have a particular style that people can identify. It’s very colorful, simple. It has a lot of patterns and flowers. It has developed, of course. It is more refined than the first drawings I did.

RS: Do you have a particular routine that you follow when you illustrate?

DK: I start with a rough sketch in black and white (outline). After refining it, I start looking for beautiful patterns, textures, colors. I try to incorporate them in the drawings.

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RS: What was your favorite children’s book growing up?

DK: Le petit Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, and Le petit Nicolas by René Goscinny

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RS: What projects are you working on at present?

DS: I’m working on my Spring/ Summer  ’15 collection. The collection includes clothing, scarves and jewelry. While designing the collection, I always get to work on illustrating Arabic children’s books whenever I get the chance to.

And of course, we’re looking forward to seeing both Dina’s new collection and any new illustrated work!