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Guinness World Record for youngest book publishers

At the age of four years and 218 days, Saeed Rashed AlMheiri, the Emirati boy from Al Ain set a Guinness World Record for the youngest person to publish a book.

The Al Ain Academy pupil published The Elephant Saeed and the Bear on March 9 and he has sold more than 1,000 copies. The story is about an elephant who wanted to have a picnic on a mountain. He met a polar bear who instead of eating the elephant chooses to become his friend.

Saeed isn’t the only Guinness record holder in the family.

At the age of seven, his sister AlDhabi held the title of the world’s youngest female author to publish a bilingual book.

On March 9, she received the official certificate for being the youngest female author to publish a bilingual book series at the age of eight years and 239 days.

Written in English and Arabic, her books titled I had an idea and Here was the beginning summarise her journey of establishing a children-focused publishing house.

The Grade 4 pupil at Al Ain Academy hopes to inspire other children to read and write stories.

“I want to tell children that they can be whatever they want to be if they try hard and read what they like in order to develop their minds,” she said.

AlDhabi is currently writing a new book and has the draft copy ready. It uses augmented reality and features QR codes.

“When I just scan the QR codes, the experience becomes more interactive,” AlDhabi said as she scanned a code with her mobile phone and a video of a bacteria popped up. AlDhabi was seven months old when her mother began reading bedtime stories to her. When AlDhabi turned two, her mother started using phonics and helped her decode unfamiliar words by sounding them out.

With help from her parents, AlDhabi launched Rainbow Chimney, a bookstore and publishing platform that sells everything from children’s books to toys.

“We help children develop reading and writing [skills] at a really young age. I named my bookshop Rainbow Chimney because I love rainbows and I love the song ‘Chim Chimney’ from Mary Poppins,” AlDhabi said.

The website has a dedicated section for people of determination. AlDhabi wants to keep the platform inclusive and help all children, especially those with special needs.

AlDhabi’s favourite book series is Mary Poppins featuring a magical nanny who spreads happiness in the lives of children.