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Book in a Box competition winners announced at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2024

by Belinda Breeze

For the second year in a row, winners of the Book in a Box competition were celebrated in the last stretch of the 16th edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

The competition, which is sponsored by Arcadia School, invited all primary schools in the UAE to choose a book, or scene from a book, and create a visual representation of it using only recyclable materials.

Book in a Box winners:

  1. Liwa International School, Girls, Class 1 A EduFans. Book: Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green by Eileen Spinelli
  2. Athan School, First Grade Section 2. Book: A Very Smart Pencil by Mohamed Mowaffaq
  3. Dubai Schools, Al Barsha, KG1A. Book: Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson

The competition opened on 26 October 2023 and schools had just over two months to conceptualize and execute a literary inspired diorama, documenting the process with photographs and videos. The 2023-2024 cycle of Book in a Box received almost 150 entries. 15 entries were shortlisted – 13 of which were inspired by English books and 2 by Arabic books. The final contenders from across the UAE were invited to showcase their dioramas at the Emirates LitFest. Visitors to the Festival were asked to vote for their favourite diorama and with overwhelming majority, Visitors’ Choice Awards were given to Dubai Schools, Al Barsha, KG1A for their diorama on Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson.

The Book in a Box shortlisted entries were assessed by a panel of judges including two representatives from Arcadia School and authors and illustrators, Maitha Al Khayat, Paula Bowles and Zanib Mian. The entries were graded on craftsmanship, originality, collaborative effort by the class, ingenious use of materials intended for waste, and creative portrayal of a whole book or a scene from a book in a single box.

Other initiatives celebrated at the Festival includes the Voices of Future Generations, which launches its fourth anthology of winning stories; the School Librarian of the Year; OUP Story Writing Competition; RGS Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition; ENBD Poetry For All; Chevron Readers’ Cup; Digital Storytelling competition and the announcement of the third cohort of fellows for the First Chapter: ELF Seddiqi Writers’ Fellowship.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Festival is held with Founding Partners Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture. It is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.