For the month of November, Wildberry Ink will feature a series on picture books written and published from around the world. From this series, we hope to help grow a greater appreciation by sharing stories of various perspectives told in our global community. This picture book was curated for a collection from the region that it was written, illustrated, and published.
Our last picture book spotlight in this November blog series is Noor Escapes the Story written in Arabic by Abeer Ali and Illustrated by Jalnar Haju, published by Bright Fingers Publishing House in Damascus, Syria. The story is about a boy Adel who slowly discovers he enjoys reading books. He reads aloud at home, unknowingly bringing to life the story world. When a phone call interrupts Adel's reading, the poor and orphan girl Noor from his book remains awake... and sees his world.
When Adel returns to reading and then is interrupted once again, Noor has the chance to leave her story to live in Adel's world. By surrendering her fear and the overwhelming desire for change for her life, she finally escapes. While the ending might leave readers at the edge of their seat, this picture book illuminates the reality that many face -- living with both the hope and fear that they could ever lead much happier stories. This picture book leaves readers the challenge with helping rewrite Noor's story and imagining a much better world.
This post was made possible by Katie Norregaard, who graciously offered her Arabic to English translation skills so I could read and tell of this book.