• In many conversations with reading mediators, volunteers, teachers, and practitioners, we have been consistently asked to share a list of picturebooks that would be useful in a wide range of contexts. We have created a database that includes picturebooks trialled and used by different members of our network with great success in their respective communities. These books are rich in content, invite exploration and critical reflection, and offer generative ways of addressing a series of key themes that our communities may relate to: silence, tolerance, language barriers, gender, self-discovery, resilience. As you explore the database, you will encounter many more themes that you may decide to explore with your own group of readers.

    The database includes titles in English, Arabic and Spanish because these are primarily the contexts in which we have developed our work. We hope that you will take a look at all of these titles, including those in a language other than the one you may be familiar with. The database is a common repository where you can contribute to with new titles in languages that may not be represented at the moment. If you would like to make some suggestions, do not hesitate to send us your book recommendations. You can do it by posting a blog story on how you used a particular book in the Mediators’ section, or by contacting us directly.

    If you encounter a new title and wonder if the book meets the needs of your community, you may want to consult our Criteria for Selection. During the project, we have been asked for guidance on how to select rich picturebooks suitable for various contexts. If you work with a group of migrants or recently displaced children, careful selection of texts may have a great impact on the response and engagement level of your participants. The Criteria for Selection have been informed by our research, experience and feedback received from colleagues and practitioners over the course of this project. These are meant to support your decision-making process and to provide guidance on how to recognize and engage with high-quality texts.

Picturebooks

Aunt Osha

"An amusing poem-like story, Aunt Osha follows Osha, a lady whose excessive talking irritates people and causes commotion everyday. When Aunt Osha disappears for fours days, the people are concerned and visit her to find her ill and lonely. They take care of her and entertain her until she feels better and resumes talking." - Publisher's Website

Themes:
Communication
Community
Acceptance
Silence

Taksheera

The citizens of the town of Taksheera refuse to smile or laugh, not under any circumstances. This all changes the day a smiling baby girl called Jameela is born to Mr. Bortom. With time, Jameela wins the townspeople over, starting with her own father. They learn how to be happy and enjoy themselves.

Themes:
Conformity
Social Change
Tolerance and Intolerance

The Street Sweeper

"Over the Rooftops of Cairo, the street sweeper dreams…" Every day, the street sweeper descends from his room on the rooftop of a Cairo building to go to work, sweeping away the dirt and dust that falls on the city from the desert that surrounds it. As he does so, he collects secrets, pieces of papers that he cannot read due to his illiteracy. However, he uses them to create his own stories which captivate a little girl who lives in his building.

Themes:
Reading
Literacy
Storytelling
Urban Neighbourhoods

Amgad in To Be… or Not to Be

Once upon a time… A story about the wise Amgad, about his dreams and attempts, his ambitions and his will power. The story begins when Amgad starts to think about what he will become when he gets older. In his various attempts to be or or not to be, he breaks his leg, he buys a donkey, he makes a statue out of clay and almost sold it to a client.

Themes:
Self-discovery
Dreams and Ambitions
Perseverance
Humour

The Monster

When Amal woke up, she never imagined that she would meet this monster. What did she do with him? How did she resist him? Is he truly scary? What made him come and appear to her?

Themes:
Creativity
Laziness
Writing
Time Management

I Want to Cry

Although life goes on around him, a young boy struggles to deal with the loss of his father.

Themes:
Bereavement
Sorrow
Love, Role Models and Smiling

The White Chick

The large chicken lays several eggs; four chicks hatch and they wait for the fifth egg to hatch. But are things as they seem?

Themes:
Perceptions and Expectations
Humour

Listen to Me

Karim wants to spend some time with his father but his father is always occupied doing other things. What will Karim do? And what was his father's reaction?

Themes:
Child-Parent Relationships
Communication
Self-expression

Captain Shireen

Shireen wants to play football with Shadi, Kareem and Khaled, but Kareem laughs at her and tells her that girls don't know how to play. They decide to organize a match between the girls and boys. What will happen during the practice and the game?

Themes:
Football
Gender
Perception

Karim and Shukri

Shukri is a tiny bird who sees himself an eagle and Kamal is a small spider who claims to be a scary monster. The eagle and the spider meet and a beautiful friendship develops, based on a sweet lie that does not last very long.

Themes:
Friendship
Self-Image
Honesty
Accepting Others
Humour