With love for teaching children and self described as ‘being kids at heart’, two Sparwood locals are excited to reveal their newly published childrens ‘book. Dwan (Bannink) Musil, a long time Sparwood resident and current Aboriginal Education Teacher in the Elk Valley, came up with the idea to write a children’s story with her friend and co-author Chantelle Uhrbach while at an Early Childhood Conference in Altlanta. She attended the conference while living and working in Lethbridge. Together, they decided almost instantly, that this was something they both dreamt of doing, and got started right away penning the story on scrap paper with a highlighter. Born from that vision was Sad Sammy Sloth Lost His Socks, a charming and heartfelt story about an adorable sloth who lost his socks, got frustrated trying to look for them, but never gave up.
“We were fascinated by sloths, and had never read a children’s book about them before so we thought it would be fun to write a story about them. Sad Sammy helps children to learn to never give up, and technically also helps children with their sometimes difficult ‘s’ sounds,” said Dwan.
Excited to collaborate with her lifelong best friend, Dwan asked Alissa Henriet, also born and raised in Sparwood, and now a Grade two Teacher in Taber, Alberta, if she would consider illustrating the book. “Of course I said yes!” said Alissa. “My Grandma used to paint and draw a lot, so I have always really loved doing artwork. Dwan and Chantelle gave me complete freedom with the book, so that was really nice.”
“It took me the entire summer break to finish the illustrations, as I had to work on it page by page. The best part was seeing it all come together in one final product,” she said.
Sad Sammy Sloth Lost His Socks is quickly gaining popularity, and Dwan and Alissa will be on hand to sign, read and colour Sad Sammy at an official book launch on Saturday, May 3 at the Sparwood Public Library. More details will follow on the event shortly as planning is still underway. Sad Sammy Sloth Lost His Socks can be purchased on www.amazon.ca or directly at the book launch.