Deema Al Alami, is an education expert and a reading advocate. She is also the mum of 2 boys and the face behind the Instagram account @oh.the.books.that.youll.read . She lived in Jordan, Lebanon, UK, and is currently in the UAE, after a long fulfilling career in education as the VP of Gems Education, Deema decided to pursue her passion in becoming a children’s book author. She just released her second Arabic book about body safety. Check out her journey!

What inspired you to create your IG page?
When I had my eldest son, I realised how many of my friends were relying on me to tell them which books to get, read, when to read and how! So I decided to share this information publicly, and this account was created when my son was just three months old.

What message would you like to communicate through your page?
The first and most important thing is that we have a responsibility as caregivers to create a reading environment and culture in our home! I do that by making it easier for caregivers to select the best English and Arabic children’s books. I also share tips and tricks on nurturing lifelong readers at home, and finally, I encourage parents to read and join our adult book club named ALALAMI BOOK CLUB.

What advice do you give parents to help them motivate their children into reading more, especially the older kids? 
My 3 pieces of advice are as follows:
First,  continue to READ with your children even after learning to read independently. Second,  model reading for pleasure and remind parents that their role as parents is not to teach children how to read, but how to LOVE reading!

Any advice for parents whose children refuse to read in Arabic or struggle with the language?
Parents are a child’s best role models; if you want your children to read in Arabic, buy high-quality Arabic books, show excitement when you read them and make it ‘COOL’ to read and speak in Arabic too!

What can parents expect to achieve through your workshops?
I will provide parents with concrete, real-life examples and tips on creating a home environment that encourages reading. They will also learn how and when to read with their children and ensure they nurture lifelong readers that read for pleasure.

What challenges have you faced as a co-author, and what did you find most rewarding?
At first, I thought that the writing process was my absolute favourite part, but once the book was published and parents started sharing images and videos of children enjoying our book, I knew that this was my favourite part! Seeing our book in people’s home libraries and children worldwide enjoying our books is an indescribable feeling. 
For me, the least enjoyable part was the actual publishing process. There are sooo many steps that are very time consuming, and my excitement to see the book was strained by waiting!!

Would you like to share with us your upcoming projects? 
We finally published our Body Safety book for 0-5-year-olds in Arabic. I am looking to do more workshops for parents and engage with children in schools by encouraging them to read and fall in love with reading!

Tell us more about your book club 
Parents can’t expect their children to read if they don’t read! So my cousin Farah Al Alami and I started AL ALAMI BOOK CLUB. We now have over 500 members, and we hold our book club discussion virtually on Zoom. If anyone is interested to join, they can DM us their email address on my Instagram page.

If you had to choose one book for all parents to read, what would it be?
That is an impossible question to answer, but I would say a book that will make your child laugh, learn or love reading!!

Do you have any advice for anyone considering writing or publishing a children’s book?’
Yes, write about something you are passionate about, and READ as many books as you can for your target age group- figure out what you love about these books and try to adopt that in yours!

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