Phoenix C., Author and G10 Student

“About five years ago, I lost a friend in a drowning accident. My friend was more like a younger sibling to me at that time, and the loss was devastating. Ever since, I wanted to raise awareness about water safety, particularly among children. I began to research and explore the topic. I realized that most children’s books on the subject focused solely on pool safety. But there are so many other bodies of water – lakes, oceans, rivers – that children need to be aware of. And there are many precautions that are not covered in these books. For example, did you know that the color of a child’s swimsuit can make a difference? Blue swimsuits can blend in with the water, while green ones can resemble seaweed. Bright colors are a better choice to ensure visibility.

As my Personal Project in Grade 10, I decided to write a children’s book about the topic. The book is aimed at kids aged 4 to 9 years old. Colorful illustrations and easy-to-understand language make it perfect for young kids. But it also includes review questions and matching games, so even older kids can benefit from it.

The most challenging part of the process was creating the illustrations. I had very little experience with Adobe Illustrator, but I was determined to learn and improve my graphic design skills. At first, I debated drawing the images on paper and building the book from there, but ultimately decided to do it digitally so I could practice using the software. I spent countless hours researching and asking family and friends for help, but the result was worth it.

My favorite part was designing the characters which I wanted to reflect children all over the world. One of them represents my friend who had passed away, and I asked my little sister for advice on what kids would like to see in the book. I enjoyed carefully creating the characters, backgrounds, and settings, bringing the story to life.

When the book was completed, I had the opportunity to present it to FIS Early Years and Primary School students. They loved the activities at the end of the book and were getting competitive with each other to see who could answer the review questions correctly. I was so glad to see that all the children liked the book.

Now, my book titled “The Water Safety Book” is available on Amazon in over 20 countries. But even then, my point was never about making a profit. I simply want to share her message about water safety with others and hopefully make a difference in the world.”

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