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Seven useful pointers for aspiring illustrators out there: http://bit.ly/1anbCoU

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New Kube Publishing Site

It is with great delight that we have a new website for our readers to discover our books. Most of the children’s books include some additional images of the internal pages, so if there have been books you were interested in seeing you can now take a look at them.

We welcome any feedback, especially as we continue to fix any errors.

Book Review: Snow White An Islamic Tale

By Kirkus Reviews (paywall)

SNOW WHITE_cov

In this version, the heroine is pious as well as pretty.

Here the setting is Anatolia (in Turkey), which looks similar to a European landscape. Snow White is not a princess, but she still has a jealous stepmother who sends a huntsman to kill her. Seven female dwarfs, all kind and religious, find the girl on their doorstep after the huntsman refuses to do the evil deed. It may sound more or less like the usual story, but the poisoned apple becomes poisoned dates, the fruit that traditionally breaks the Ramadan fast. The poisoned fruit is not dislodged from the girl’s throat when servants stumble, carrying her glass coffin to the prince’s palace (as in Grimm). Nor does the prince kiss Snow White (as in Disney). Here, the prince’s mother and a doctor awaken her with medicine and prayer. The gruesome Grimm ending changes, as it does in many children’s versions, though with a twist: Snow White grants mercy to her evil stepmother and recites a verse from the Quran. Such verses are quoted throughout the text, with references provided. The full-color watercolors, with some Anatolian details in clothing and household goods, are attractive, but the faces are sometimes awkward. Snow White (not quite beautiful) and the stepmother don’t always look the same on different pages.

Created for religious Muslim children, this may be of interest to institutions or families seeking such materials. (glossary) (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-9)

Introducing Hassan and Aneesa

Hassan and Aneesa are two characters I would like you all to meet. Over the next few months we hope to take them on a number of trips to new and interesting places. In their first outing they visit a madrasa where they learn, listen, pray and snack, and generally have a great time.

I know their parents have in mind a trip to the masjid for Aneesa because she has yet to go. Look out for future titles, as they are fantastic books to introduce all children to these places of interest for Muslim families.

 

A Picnic to make your Fingers Click

When Dawud arrived in the UK last month, November, he had never performed his latest collection of songs live. When he left seven days later he had entertained over a thousand children with it.

His latest work, if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading and hearing it, is 30 songs for children that explore a spectrum of situations and aspects of life that will be of interest to their young and imaginative minds.

The stage show that Dawud has devised to capture them focuses on engaging and interacting with the children in the crowd musically (with percussion based instruments). Something that has rarely been done before in the Muslim community so directly, but builds on previous work by Dawud. It also underlines the purpose of this latest book – it should not be seen as a passive book of rhymes, instead it should be used with the CD… and a handful of instruments to play along! Continue reading

Dawud Wharnsby Tour Announced

A few months ago now Dawud told us that he would be willing to come to the UK to launch his new set of songs called ‘A Picnic of Poems: In Allah’s Green Gardens’. As you may know, these songs are slightly different in that you can actually ‘see them’, since they were originally compiled in a ‘songbook’ with the same name, brimming with beautiful illustrations and some real character.

As the publishers we were excited and humbled that we would get the opportunity to take Dawud on the road and introduce young and older children to his new work. And I’m delighted to say that after much hard work — lots of phone calls, leafleting and packing letters — the events are now just around the corner.

If you haven’t booked your tickets yet… get a move on! Go to www.kubepublishing.com and you will find the links to three events: Manchester, Birmingham and London.

Just to remind you what you will have the privilege of seeing, here are two of his latest songs:

A Picnic of Poems

When the World is Dark at Night

Kube author Jamal Orme talks about the publishing process

Salaams and hello,

Jamal Orme, the author of The Victory Boys, has written two blog posts on his site thevictoryboys.com about the publishing process from the author’s perspective. It is a great piece for any aspiring author to read as he recalls the moments that encouraged him to keep going, how he approached the writing process and what it was like approaching publishers. There will be additional instalments to this piece on his blog but for now, Jamal’s first two posts are below:

Continue reading