Isobel Abul Houl, publisher for Jeroboam Books that publishes children's books in both English and Arabic, says: "There's a lack of good children's books in terms of illustration, quality and imagination, so the majority of children's books in Arabic are often translated or they're poor quality."
Isobel feels that there's "a belief that books should be cheap but parents will happily pay Dh42 for a children's book in English, but won't pay this for the Arabic equivalent, because it's perceived as too expensive. Why should it cost less money because it's in Arabic?"
To read more about the paucity of good quality books in Arabic for children click on this link to the Gulf News article, Children’s Books in Arabic are a Sad Tale, 21 June 2008.
Dr Geoff Pound
Image: Children’s books. Photo (which accompanies the article) courtesy of Alice Johnson, Gulf News, who also wrote the story.