Julia Johnson came to Dubai in 1975, and soon became a familiar face reading children’s stories on Dubai Channel 33, subsequently appearing in BBC and Radio productions in the UK. She has toured schools in Dubai and the UK in Theatre-in-Education productions, acted in several stage plays and recorded more than 100 audio books.
She has written more than a dozen stories for children including The Pearl Diver, A is for Arabia, One Humpy Grumpy Camel, The Cheetah’s Tale, The Peacock and The Mermaid and The Turtle Secret. The Leopard Boy won a Kirkus starred review in America, and was endorsed by former UK Children’s Laureate and award-winning author of children’s books Michael Morpurgo as “’a beautiful story, a wise and wonderfully told tale”. The Turtle Secret won the award for Best International Children’s Book at the 2014 Sharjah Book Fair.
Julia’s stories frequently focus on the history and culture of the Arabian Peninsula. She is keen to preserve and continue the oral tradition of storytelling, and to encourage an awareness of the rich and colourful heritage of the Gulf through her writing. She tours schools, colleges and universities throughout the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with talks and workshops for students and teachers.
Julia’s most recent book is The Goat Who Wanted to Fly.