Desiree Adams Robinson, trainer and former lecturer at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College has launched her maiden book – Our Turks And Caicos: The Introduction.
The intimate book launch took place at the Tides, Grace Bay on Saturday, August 20, and was attended by a small group of friends of the author, for whom she signed pre-ordered copies.
The eight-chapter book, which features the Turks and Caicos Islands Culture, History and Heritage, is aimed at primary school-age children, principally grades 2, 3 and 4. However, she noted that lower and higher graders could also benefit from its content, dependent on the creativity of the teacher.
Six of the chapters are centered on each inhabited island. The final chapter is on the tourism Cays – Parrot Cay, Pine Cay and Ambergris Cay.
Adams Robinson said while the book does not go in-depth about historical happenings, it highlights events of the pasts, and historical geographical locations across the island chain.
Commenting on the production of the book, which was undertaken by Cyril and Dorsie Publishing – a local company - the new author revealed that the process was amazingly seamless.
“It is a very professional company. I had searched around. There were mentions of other companies, but I wanted to keep it with a local company. And so, we went with Cyril and Dorsie Publishing. The turnaround time was exceptional, and the books arrived before the time that it was slated. And so, it works well with my personal time lime,” Adams Robinson said.
Already, the response to the book has been amazing, as there were just a few copies left on the day of the launch, forcing her to order what she described as “another top-up”, which she said should arrive in September.
The Grand Turk native revealed that the inspiration to write the book was fueled by her love for the Turks and Caicos Islands and heightened by the last five years of her pre-New Year visits with her husband, to Middle Caicos, after enjoying Christmas in Grand Turk. Her husband is from Middle Caicos.
“For the last five years I spent Christmas in Grand Turk, and then my husband and I would go to Middle Caicos to ring in the New Year, because that is where his mother lives. And so, when we went there in December 2021, I was just thinking, during the drive from Bellefield Landing (North Caicos) to Conch Bar (Middle Caicos), and the thought hit me, ‘We don’t really have a book that’s geared to students – child-friendly material that teach them about the Turks and Caicos Islands.’
To this end, she toyed with the idea of becoming an author or share the concept with someone and allow them to place it in a book.
“And so, in January I decided I am going to pursue this. I am a trainer, so why not becoming an author as well,” she outlined.
Fueled with the idea, she assembled a team comprised of Jason Henry, who is the editor and with whom she worked at the TCI Community College for 11 years, and Kendra Malcolm, the chief illustrator.
Adams Robinson initiated the illustration work on the book, but she said Malcolm added sparkle to it.
She said “Our Turks and Caicos: The Introduction, should, at the very least, begin to bridge the non-existing primary school literature book gap on Turks and Caicos.
“Prior to writing, I spoke with a few educators, and they told me that it is a challenge to find child-friendly information in Turks and Caicos. They mentioned some books that recently came out, but they are more college level,” Adams Robinson revealed.
She said a sequel to the book could be on the cards, since there was a great deal that this book could not capture.
“Another book would speak to what something like the Salt industry was all about, and also about living in those days, how much it contributed to the economy and the lifestyle here in Turks and Caicos at the time. Those fourth and fifth graders would learn about the Presidency era, which we do not cover in here, but that’s content that is shared with students the older they get,” she said.
The author shared that she had pitched the book to the Education Department, with a view to have them promote the literature in schools. She said Education Director, Edgar Howell was impressed with the project, telling her that he could see the book helping a great deal in the schools.
“It has not reached as far as being placed on a book list, ‘we want to place orders’, ‘let’s get this done for the start of the school year’. It has not reached that stage, but I hope it does reach that stage, because that is the best way to get it into the hands of children, when it is used in a classroom setting,” Adams Robinson reasoned.
In addition to Cyril and Dorsie Publishing, “Our Turks And Caicos: The Introduction” is currently available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other platforms.