When the Lights Go Out is Kitabna's first book for Syrian children resettled in the UK with the UK government Vulnerable Person's Resettlement Scheme. The Northern Ireland Education Authority commissioned Helen and Asia to create three new bilingual (English-Arabic, with Irish dialogue too) children’s books for primary and post-primary schools in Northern Ireland. Supported by funding from the UK Home Office, the books have been shared in schools that have welcomed children from Arabic-speaking countries who have arrived as refugees or asylum seekers. 

The stories have been created following consultation workshops with a number of teachers, pupils and parents. The two storybooks for primary schools, along with a graphic novel for post-primary settings, have overlapping themes of acceptance, peace, trust-building and belonging. We tell the story of lampposts from across Northern Ireland who come together on Belfast’s Cave Hill to share “the craic”, celebrating Irish folklore and local geography. They tell stories from their streets, of the joys and struggles children face when settling into their new home, 

When the Lights Go Out was written and illustrated by Helen Patuck, and translated into Arabic by Asia Haidar. This book was first published in September 2019. Available for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3.

Key Stage 1 ISBN: 9781916217607
Key Stage 2 ISBN: 9781916217614
Key Stage 3 ISBN: 9781916217621

The Lake Where Frogs Lived and The Starling's Visit are stories that focus on building relationships between formerly isolated communities now living side by side in refugee camps in the Erbil region of Iraqi Kurdistan. The books are trilingual: written in Kurdish Sorani, Arabic and English. The Lake Where Frogs Lived is a tale about a lake near to Erbil, where frogs live when refugees arrive there to be settled. The frogs meet new friends, Berivan and Haifa, and try their best to help people fit in and learn to laugh again.


The Lake Where Frogs Lived was written and illustrated by Helen Patuck, and was translated into Arabic and Kurdish by AMAR translation teams. This book was first published in September 2015.

ISBN: 9780993113185

Kitabna's third book, The Cat's Family, tells the tale of Noor, a cat rescued from the rubble of a city devastated by war. He is rescued by Bilal's family, and goes with them on their long journey in search of a new home. On the way, he finds a home to call his own.

The Cat's Family was written and illustrated by Helen Patuck, and translated into Arabic by Asia Haidar. This book was first published in April 2015.

ISBN: 9780993439025


Kitabna's second book, Esraa's Stories, tells the tale of Esraa, a girl who loves to write stories. One day Esraa chooses to write about what everyone misses most from Syria in the camp and her stories go on an unexpected adventure.


Esraa's Stories was written and illustrated by Helen Patuck, and translated into Arabic by Asia Haidar. This book was first published in February 2015.
ISBN: 9780993439018





Kitabna's first book, The Giant Watermelon, was written in the summer of 2014 in the Beqaa Valley, eastern Lebanon. The Giant Watermelon tells the tale of Tarik, Sana and Sarah, three friends in charge of their camp vegetable patch. When something amazing happens to one of the watermelons, Tarik must decide what to do...

The Giant Watermelon was written and illustrated by Helen Patuck, and translated into Arabic by Asia Haidar. This book was first published in October 2014. 
ISBN: 9780993439001



 

Our stories, our Syria is an anthology of 4 beautiful stories written by Syrian children living in Al Hol, Mabrouka and Ain Isa internally displaced person (IDP) camps in April 2019. These stories were created in Kitabna workshops in these three camps and capture the visions of children and youth who attended. The book was co-published with the Norwegian Refugee Council Syria Response Office.

Our stories, our Syria was written by children and youth of Syria, for the children and youth of Syria. Due to their vulnerability in north-east Syria, the names of our young authors have not been included. This book was edited by Asia Haidar and illustrated by Helen Patuck. first published in September 2019.

ISBN: 9780993439094

Available in the following languages:

​Arabic-English 
Arabic-French 
Arabic-German

Available in the following languages:

​Arabic-English 





The Bird Words tells the tale of language learning from the perspective of a little girl arriving in a new country. To this little girl, words and language are like birds, flying around, confusing her. With the help of her teacher she learns to read. She also discovers how learning a new language can make us feel at home in a new place. 


The Bird Words was written and illustrated by Helen Patuck, and translated into Arabic by Asia Haidar. This book was first published in November 2016.

ISBN: 9780993439049

Stories of hope and friendship 

Available in the following languages:

​Arabic-English

This book is not for sale as the authors are living as refugees in Jordan and the wider Syrian diaspora. We do not wish to profit from their creative work, but everyone is free to read and download the interactive digital book we created in 2018...




Available in the following languages:

​Arabic-English 
Arabic-French 
Arabic-German



Available in the following languages:

​Arabic-English

This book is not for sale as the authors are children living as refugees in Syria. We do not wish to profit from their creative work, but everyone is free to read and download the interactive digital book we created in 2018... 




Available in the following languages:

Arabic-Kurdish Sorani-English
Arabic-Kurdish Sorani-French
Arabic-Kurdish Sorani-German

Buying our books...

Available in the following languages:

​Arabic-English 
Arabic-French 
Arabic-German
Arabic-Greek

Available in the following languages:

Arabic-Kurdish Sorani-English
Arabic-Kurdish Sorani-French

Arabic-Kurdish Sorani-German


To read our books online, simply use the username: Kitabna and password: welcome

Kitabna's fifth book, The Starling's Visit, tells the tale of Iman, who discovers the migratory patterns of starlings when she arrives in a refugee camp close to Erbil. One starling is left behind when his friends fly home again, but luckily Iman is there to help him.


The Starling's Visit was written and illustrated by Helen Patuck, and was translated into Arabic and Kurdish by AMAR translation teams. This book was first published in September 2015.

ISBN: 9780993113192

Once upon a time in Zaatari and Azraq: Tales from our refugee camps is an anthology of 5 beautiful stories written by Syrian teachers living in Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan. The book was co-published with the Norwegian Refugee Council, who support these teachers in their displacement. 

Once upon a time in Zaatari and Azraq: Tales from our refugee camps was written by Ahmed al-Sayyah, Fadi al-Shahmeh, Rayaan Hreadeen, Ahmad Abdullah Abou Hashish, Ibrahim Khaled al-Ammar, Sakher Abdulrazaq Saleem, Manal Fouad al-Nabulsi, Majd Khaled al-Hariri, Reem Fouad al-Nabulsi, Khalid Tayyser al-Aboud, Fidaa Sheblaq, Nisreen Makhzoum, Aisha al- Souaan, Nadine Nassar, Souheila Khadery, Ebtahal Nafayeh and Noor Badawi. This book was edited by Asia Haidar and illustrated by Helen Patuck, first published in July 2017.

ISBN: 9780993439063

Available in the following languages:

​Arabic-English 
Arabic-French 
Arabic-German

If you are an individual or organisation working with refugees or displaced communities and wish to procure our books, please contact us at info@kitabna.org with your needs.

​Our current prices are:


  • ​£7 per book for orders of 
  • £5 per book for orders >50


All books can be ordered online using the contact form in the Contact us page. We will send you a quotation request to calculate shipping costs and times, then send you an order form.  


For high-street purchase, our books are currently available in:
Librarie Antoine bookshops in Lebanon 
l'Institut des Cultures Arabs et Mediterraneennes in Geneva, Switzerland.
Waterstones, UK