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SALT LAKE CITY — What started as a simple Christmas gift from a neighbor has turned into a new family tradition. Inside the gift were several knitted snowballs.
"We sat down and started thinking how we could tell a story with this," Trevor Farnes said.
Farnes' children — Hallie, 10; Kenzie, 7; and Beckham, 5 — knew immediately the story they wanted to tell — how to have a snowball fight in Ghana, Africa. That is how the book "Snowball Fight in a Bag" was born.
Their story is about Kosi and Kwaku, a brother and sister living in Ghana where snow doesn't fall. The night before Christmas their grandmother read them a story about snowball fights. Kosi and Kwaku knew immediately what they wanted for Christmas — a snowball fight. Grandma knew she couldn't make that happen. Instead, she spent the night knitting snowballs to put under the tree. The next morning, Kosi and Kwaku had their first snowball fight.
Inspiration for the story came from inside the Farnes family. Hallie, Kenzie and Beckham have two adopted cousins from Ghana: Kosi and Kwaku.
"My kids want to give back to Kosi and Kwaku's village," Trevor Farnes said.
Every book sold comes with knitted snowballs, and proceeds will help other children living in Ghana pay for new schools, supplies and uniforms. Kwaku said the book has the power to change lives.
"I was sick and hungry and never really got food. All I had was rice, and I was lucky to get that," he said.
Down the road, the family hopes "Snowball Fight in a Bag" can have an even greater impact.
"Hopefully in the future we can have the Ghanian people knit these snowballs for us and provide an opportunity for them to find work and provide money for their own families," Farnes said.
The authors of "Snowball Fight in a Bag" are young, but they know what a simple thing like a snowball fight can do for children living so far away. The best part for Kwaku and Kosi? "Having a family to play it with," they said.
*The Farnes family is raising money to publish the book by Christmas through a Kickstarter campaign.
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