| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Magical Balloon Ride

A new book takes kids on a magical balloon journey across Dubai and the desert. We talk to authors Tala Ardalan and Tanya Ivin

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© ITP Images

So, tell us about your new book…
It’s called Magical Balloon Ride and it’s about two girls, TuTu & TanTan, who explore Dubai in a magical way making wishes as they go along. They explore Sheikh Zayed Road, The Palm Jumeirah and the desert – all from a very different angle. The book is only 32 pages long, so we can’t really give away more than that, but they see Dubai from the skies and dream of candy! We’re aiming to travel the Gulf countries releasing a book for each city. Next on our list will be Abu Dhabi, then Muscat, and so on.

Who is it aimed at?
I would say it’s great for kids aged three and up, but, really, it’s a book for everyone. It’s not your traditional story book: we’ve played with the media, mixing photography with hand-drawn animation to try and expand
kids’ imaginations.

What made you write it?
We both grew up in the Middle East [Tala in Dubai and Tanya in Muscat], so we were raised in developing cities that didn’t have as many attractions or TV channels that kids enjoy today. We were pushed to use our imaginations – something we feel is lacking nowadays. Technology has come so far, which of course has a lot of benefits, but the downside is that it doesn’t push young minds to be creative in the same way. We wanted to use our imaginations and encourage kids to use theirs. Plus, we had a lot of time on our hands and were looking for something to make our daily lives more enchanting. We’ve both studied design in some shape or form and we love being creative. We wanted to use our time in a more productive way and only thought of it as a fun project at first. But as the project grew, we realised we wanted to share our magical thoughts with the rest of Dubai and, insha’Allah, one day the world.

What was your inspiration?
Children, imagination and Dubai. The book is trying to remind people that, no matter what age you are or where you live, you can still have that magical sense inside you to do something great and have fun.
Magical Balloon Ride will soon be available in all major book stores, priced Dhs65.

By Time Out Dubai Kids staff
Time Out Dubai,

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