When I Grow Up I Want to Be...
“We believe books are treats to be savoured. They should be held, pored over, snuggled with and shared.” - Luqoom
This week, I’m launching the brand new Bookstore section on the new Studio Kenzie website! The bookstore is opening with a very special book from a unique new publisher, Luqoom. When I Grow Up I Want to Be (عندما أكبر أريد أن أكون) is Luqoom’s first Arabic children’s book, and I am so excited to finally share this treat with you!
First, please read this charming bio from their website:
“We have a sweet tooth for books
Founded by Racha Mourtada, Luqoom is a boutique publisher of pretty picture books in Arabic and English, based in Beirut. We believe books are treats to be savoured. They should be held, pored over, snuggled with and shared.
At Luqoom, we know that the combination of spare prose and beautiful imagery can create something magical. We strive to make luscious books that are captivating and visually rich, inviting kids (and the young at heart) into a world where they can let their curiosity and imagination run free.
We are particularly partial to science, silliness and good storytelling.”
Luqoom has done an amazing job with their approach to publishing unique children’s books in the nonfiction genre in Arabic. The nonfiction content in Arabic is generally lacking in quality, and the majority of nonfiction books are translated from other languages. Luqoom understands that nonfiction does not mean there is no room for imagination.
“We strive to make luscious books that are captivating and visually rich, inviting kids (and the young at heart) into a wold where they can let their curiosity and imagination run free.”
This book’s collection of modern day careers communicates a beautiful and strong message to children that they can dream big! The beautiful illustrations present a wide selection of innovative careers within technology, healthcare, science, music and art - and all presented in Arabic! This will encourage children to follow their own interests and create their own paths, whether it be to become music conductors, movie producers, or journalists!
I admire this book’s approach to addressing the issue of gender stereotypes associated with career roles and choices. Children will read about a nurse and a kindergarten teacher who are men, and they will also read about a robotics engineer and an astronaut who are women. It also ventures away from traditional careers such as doctors or lawyers and into exploring unconventional ones like video game designers, beekeepers, and circus acrobats.
The book aims to change the perceptions that children internalize at an early age about what is appropriate or not when it comes to following their interests and passions because of the messages they receive from people around them and the environment they grow up in.
The illustrations show a great and well-balanced representation of people of color. It is great to see books like this doing it right and hopefully setting the precedent for other Arabic children’s literature to follow suit.
You will be pleased with the wealth of vocabulary related to real-life, modern day jobs, professionals, and career settings in a simplified Modern Standard Arabic language that does not sound heavy or unnatural as we see in translated literature. Children can easily make connections between the nouns and action verbs related to each job and its setting and location. There is so much to learn for different age groups, and their vocabulary will expand over the years every time they revisit this book. I can see my 7-year-old son identifying gender grammar rules while enjoying the detailed illustrations on each page, and my 12-year-old daughter can pick up the appropriate language to use when talking about her plans for a future career.
And finally, this book is just beautiful! The illustrations and details are a joy to look at. As Luqoom promised, they have produced a captivating and visually rich, high-quality hardcover book that will make a lovely addition to your bookshelves. Honestly, it deserves a display shelf of its own. My inner child is completely in love with that glamorous gold title on the cover!
Definitely a classic for years to come!