expo 2020 story book
Expo organisers launch the third and final edition of the collaborative digital anthology 'Children's Tales from around the World', featuring stories from 68 countries. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Expo 2020 Dubai brings children the perfect summer read to keep boredom at bay with the third and final edition of its multicultural anthology titled 'Children’s Tales from Around the World'. The updated collection sees an additional set of 25 stories, taking the count to 68 countries from six continents that contributed to the publication.

“We all need an inspiring escape this holiday season, no matter where we are spending it. And what better way than to delve into a one-of-a-kind collection of meaningful and entertaining tales that unites children across continents in a shared experience of reading and cultural exploration,” says Danielle Green, Senior Manager, Products, Director General Office at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Third Edition of Children’s Tales From Around The World Expo 2020 Dubai

The Expo organisers hope the English-language anthology will help young minds aged five to 12 explore new cultures and recognise common values, gain a greater appreciation of their own heritage and develop a love of reading.

Children will get to relish in the folklores and stories of Jordan, Grenada, Bulgaria, Kenya and more. The short stories are even interspersed with did-you-know nuggets and problem-solving activities to keep young readers engaged.

Global contributors

In the pages of the anthology, readers will find contributors ranging from schoolchildren, professional artists and storytellers to eminent cultural voices whose culturally unique tales and illustrations will communicate an important message from the Expo organisers: celebrating diversity and inclusion.

expo 2020 story book
Diversity and inclusion make up the core message of the anthology with schoolchildren, professional artists and storytellers narrating traditional tales that impart cultural knowledge and enhance reading skills. | Above: A featured illustration from Timor-Leste Image Credit: Supplied/Illustration credits Fatima Gloriosa and Fatima Milagrosa

While it is reflective of Expo 2020 Dubai’s commitment to ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the collection is also representative of the UAE’s diverse social fabric. The book features words and phrases from almost 50 languages, offering an arresting snapshot of storytelling cultures from some of Expo’s 190-plus country participants.

“This final edition is a truly collective endeavour that brings together talented storytellers and artists – young and old – from all corners of the planet,” says Green.

An impactful project

expo 2020 story book
The Expo School Programme initiative has been a popular read among schools and students, spurring drawing lessons, translations and activities around the globe. | Above: A featured illustration from Bulgaria Image Credit: Supplied/Illustration credits Tsvetelina Spiridonova

The first edition of 'Children’s Tales from Around the World' launched in September 2020 as part of the Expo School Programme initiative. And when it did, the collection only had 24 stories. The project has since sparked a range of related initiatives around the world.

It spurred children’s drawing sessions, for instance, plus a Portuguese-language version of a featured tale and activities celebrating different cultures and tolerance through literature in schools.

How you can get it for free

expo 2020 story book
The PDF version of the anthology is available on the Expo School Programme website for free download, while a print publication is in the works. | Above: A featured illustration from Grenada Image Credit: Supplied/Illustration credit Danielle Joseph

The digital anthology is published as a PDF document, available for free download from the Expo School Programme website and through Apple Books.

The third edition will be followed by an exclusive print collection, which will be published ahead of Expo’s opening on October 1, 2021.

- The writer is an intern with Gulf News.

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