A new book line is launching in the Cayman Islands this month, offering kids a unique twist on the colouring and activity book.
Hosted by a shaggy dog called Sir Newton, Sir Newton’s Colour Me Cayman is the first in a series of books that take the colouring and activity concept a step further by adding educational sections that teach kids.
With Colour Me Cayman, kids learn about the history, animals and landscape of the Cayman Islands.
Author Samantha Clark grew up in Grand Cayman and got her early writing experience as a reporter for the Caymanian Compass.
‘Colour Me Cayman’ came from her desire to give the children of the Cayman Islands something they could call their own.
‘When we were kids, all the books we read had stories from the States or England,’ said Mrs. Clark, a graduate of John Gray High School. ‘I always wanted to have a book that told a story about my home. That’s why I wrote Colour Me Cayman – to give kids here a book that’s about their home.’
She also wanted the book to help provide opportunities for children in the Cayman Islands, so Mrs. Clark partnered with the Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman to support programmes that benefit Cayman’s kids.
Ten per cent of the sale of each book is being given to the Kiwanis solely to fund children’s programmes.
‘There is so much that children need that we can help provide, from playgrounds and after-school programmes to medical help for children who are sick,’ said Mrs. Clark. ‘The money we gain from the sale of these books will be used to help Cayman’s youth in whatever ways are needed.’
The Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman has long worked to help the children of the Cayman Islands. It recently started a Buy a Kid a Breakfast programme that provides healthful breakfasts to children in primary schools across Grand Cayman whose family cannot afford to pay.
‘Kiwanis is all about changing the world one child and one community at a time through volunteer efforts,’ said Kiwanis president Paul de Freitas.
‘All of our work in the Cayman Islands is directed towards kids. Young Children – Priority One is a programme directed at the needs of children up to primary school age. Our Youth Services programme looks at teens and their needs. Finally, our Sponsored Youth programme guides Key Clubbers in the High Schools.’
Funds from Colour Me Cayman will further these and other kids’ programmes.
‘Funds from the Colour Me Cayman book will help us financially to do more for children here,’ said Mr. de Freitas. ‘Its high quality, inexpensive price and educational value will put Colour Me Cayman at the top of everyone’s Christmas and birthday list.’
The book will teach children about various aspects of the Cayman Islands, including the symbolism of the flag, all about Cayman’s flowers and the Blue Iguana, Green Sea Turtle and Cayman Parrot.
‘Colour Me Cayman is a great way for parents living in Cayman to teach their kids about their home,’ said Mr. de Freitas. ‘But the book also is a wonderful introduction for the thousands of children who visit the Cayman Islands every year with their parents.’
Each section of the book offers kids and parents a guide to places in the Cayman Islands where they can find the items being discussed, such as visiting the Botanical Park to see the Wild Banana Orchid.
‘Cayman has so much beauty, from its beaches to the flowers and amazing creatures,’ said Mrs. Clark, who now lives in Los Angeles where her husband, Jamie, is a visual effects artist for television shows.
‘I know kids will be as enchanted by the Cayman Islands as I am. And they will love Sir Newton. He’s a great travel guide.’
Based on Mrs. Clark’s own dog, Sir Newton encourages children to take care of their environment, giving them tips on ways they can help. Sir Newton himself was rescued when he was young, and his inspirational story is told at the back of each book.
Sir Newton’s Colour Me Cayman is on sale at various retailers and can be bought from any Kiwanis member or through www.SirNewtonBooks.com/Orders.
Mrs. Clarke will be doing book signings on Thursday from 11am to 2pm at Hobbies and Books, Piccadilly Bookshop, on Friday, from 6pm to 8pm at Books By The Bay, Grand Harbour, on Saturday from 11am to 1pm at Book Nook and from 3pm to 5pm at Kirkconnell’s Home Centre.
She will also read to children from her book at the Kiwanis ‘Reading Aloud’ event at Books By The Bay, Grand Harbour between 2pm and 2.30pm on Saturday 2nd December.
The first 75 children attending each signing and the reading will receive a portrait personally signed by Sir Newton.
For further information on the ‘Colour Me Cayman’ programme or for more information on Kiwanis, its activities and membership, call Paul de Freitas at 916-6331.