Farm story a dream come true
Sometimes it takes a friend to kick your dreams into high gear. Alicia Resnik always wanted to publish a children's book, but work and her three sons kept her busy.
And then she had a talk with her best friend, Silvia Darling. The Spanish teacher, who is originally from Peru, struggled to find teaching materials in Bermuda.
Their solution was Sam and Ben on the Farm, a book for children aged five and under with Spanish vocabulary in it. They wrote it together, hoping it would get youngsters interested in the language.
Sam and Ben look suspiciously like their own sons. Ben has brown hair just like 12-year-old Ben Darling; Sam always wears a blue baseball cap, like 13-year-old Sam Resnik.
“At first they weren't too pleased we'd made them into characters in the book,” laughed Mrs Resnik. “Now that the book has come out, they're thrilled.”
The boys visit Ben's grandparents' farm in Peru in the story. There, Ben introduces Sam to animal names and sounds in Spanish. They awaken to the sound of the gallo crowing quiquiriqui instead of cock-a-doodle-doo. Dogs say wow, wow and chickens say clo, clo, clo.
Mrs Darling and Mrs Resnik spent a lot of time researching the proper formatting, paging through books at the Youth Library to see what worked.
“Sam and Ben on the Farm can also be used in the classroom,” said Mrs Darling. “The font is designed to be accessible to young readers. And we know little children love stories about animals.”
The story also has discrete phonetics on the page to help parents pronounce the Spanish words correctly.
They hope the book will be the first in a series. They are already working on a second.
“The next book will be called Cosmo's Spots,” said Mrs Resnik. “It's a counting book, also set in Peru. Maybe in the future we might set one of the books in Bermuda.”
They first met through their sons who were classmates in primary two at Somersfield Academy.
“One day, we visited the class and they were doing a colouring project on Greece together,” said Mrs Resnik. “We sat down with the boys as they coloured. Then we started chatting.”
The book isn't the only project they've carried out together.
The pair also runs the Bermuda Cookie Company, making treats and selling them to businesses and restaurants. They will read and sign copies of their book from 12pm to 3pm tomorrow, at Brown & Co.