SHARJAH, Children were taught how to transform a humble piece of paper into 3D art during a workshop on pop-up books at the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF).

Italian children's book publisher Matteo Faglia guided youngsters through the process of drawing, cutting and folding paper to build basic structures. The hour-long session initially got children familiar with the unique art style of the books before they turned their own hands to creating.

"Many of the children have never even seen a pop-up book so they are often amazed when I show one to them. To see something as simple as a piece of paper be turned into a three-dimensional structure is fascinating to them." said Faglia.

Each child is given a piece of paper with the basic shape of a house drawn on it. They are then shown how to cut and fold it so that it becomes a 3D pop-up of a house.

In another activity, youngsters were encouraged to express their artistic side during a "Magical Drawing" workshop on the first morning of the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival.

The workshop aimed to use scratch paper to get children thinking more about how they can be creative.

Lin MengLi, ran the session with a group of excited school children and said: "We want the children to think differently about being creative. Normally they would be given a white piece of paper and a pencil but we use black scratch paper, which uncovers a mix of colours when they draw on it. It really makes children curious and helps to develop their imaginations."

Using the illustrations from a special drawing book the children were guided through the process of drawing an elephant. They were also shown how to draw the trunk followed by the body, legs and ears before being encouraged to add their own creative twist by adding flowers, shapes, plants and other animals.

"We face a challenge in the modern day to try to get children away from computers and iPads and instead get them to use their own minds. We want to open their minds to their own creativity," said MengLi.

At the end of the session each of the children were given extra magic paper to take home and continue their artistic journey.

The workshops are being held regularly throughout the festival, which runs from April 18 to 28 at the Expo Centre Sharjah.

Source: Emirates News Agency