Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press)’s latest children’s title Spring Bloom was named a winner in the category of “Children’s Educational” at this year’s edition of the International Book Awards (IBA).
Co-authored by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar)’s Sadia Mir and Summer al-Jarrah Bateiha, and illustrated by award-winning artist Inna Ogando, the book was also recently named a winner at the 2020 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards.
HBKU Press’s list of finalists also included Where Is My Teacher?, written by Dalal Ghanim al-Romaihi with illustrations by Nicos Yanopulos, in the category of “Children’s Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction”; A Beautiful Balance: A Wellness Guide to Healthy Eating and Feeling Great by Zoë Palmer-Wright, available in both English and in Arabic, in the category of “Health: Women’s Health”; and Journeys on a Football Carpet by Matthias Krug in the category of “Sports”.
“HBKU Press is extremely proud of all the authors who have been deservedly recognised at this year’s International Book Awards,” said Bachar Chebaro, executive director of HBKU Press. “The recognition of HBKU Press books on the international stage further validates our commitment to publishing quality books that highlight literary talents from the region.
“These four books specifically were written with a distinct focus on the history, concepts, ideas and values from the region, making their wins doubly important: not only do they highlight talented authors, but also important stories and narratives to the global literary community, which is key in furthering cross cultural knowledge and understanding, something that HBKU Press consistently endeavours to do.”
Spring Bloom follows protagonists Aliya and Zade on their journey to help a lost young falcon find its way home.
To help their new friend reach his destination, they must solve math riddles along the way, with each answer leading them closer to its home.
The story was written in an effort to teach math in a fun and imaginative way, but also to address a gap in multicultural storytelling.
Where Is My Teacher?, which was previously named as HBKU Press’s 2020 World Book Day official selection and a finalist in the category of “Best Illustrations” in the 2020 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, was inspired by the young author’s vivid imagination.
The tale follows Dalal’s missing teacher and takes readers on a literary adventure where they are immersed in a new world on every page.
In Journeys on a Football Carpet, Qatar-born journalist and author Krug sets out to explore Qatar’s sporting history.
When Qatar won its bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it was the ultimate sporting miracle for a young and ambitious nation.
“But the critics were quick to judge, saying that Qatar, with no football history of its own, didn’t deserve the chance to host the biggest football tournament in the world,” HBKU said in a press statement. “In Journeys on a Football Carpet, Krug sets out to debunk that myth by sharing the fascinating inside story of the country’s football evolution over the past six decades.”
A Beautiful Balance: A Wellness Guide to Healthy Eating and Feeling Great is a complete resource “that gives you the tools to help you live a healthier lifestyle, get control of sugar cravings and look and feel your best”.
This year, which marks the award’s 11th annual year, there were more than 2,000 entries from all over the world in more than 90 categories.
The IBA, which is sponsored by the American Book Fest, highlights a wide variety of outstanding literary fiction and non-fiction works that are the best in their categories.
Jeffrey Keen, president and chief executive of the American Book Fest, said: “The 2020 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the world.
“With a full publicity and marketing campaign promoting the results of the IBA, this year’s winners and finalists will gain additional media coverage for the second half of 2020.”
All four winning books can be found online as eBooks on Amazon Kindle.
Hard copies of the books, and other HBKU Press publications, can now be purchased and delivered in Qatar from the Rafeeq and Snoonu applications (available to download from the Apple Store and Google Play).