Kid’s have one job to do: Play. It’s the most important thing they do in order to learn and develop. Many of us adults underestimate the value of it. When kid’s play they learn to foster relationships, get along with each other, settle disputes, self-regulate, problem solve, use their imaginations, and of course, they are learning language.
I have two beautiful daughters and like every parent, I want the very best for them. I love them wholeheartedly and my dreams for them are big. However, with so many options available to parents at the tip of our fingers, all the "good things" that I MUST do for them are sometimes overwhelming! But the reality is that each one of us has to pick and choose our battles and know that even though we as parents won´t be perfect, our children will be just fine.
As you probably already know, this is Arturo. He is the main character in Spanish Safari. He is the user's guide, a great leader, and a hero.
This blog post, however, is not about him. This post is about Arturo's biggest fan; his little sister, Eliana. At first glance, Eliana seems like the typical nosy, and slightly annoying, little sister. She wants to be everywhere Arturo is and even tries to take over his projects at times, but the reality is that she loves her big brother and wants to be just like him!
Arturo is her hero, and she learns a lot from him. Along the way, however, Arturo learns a lot from Eliana as well. Eliana is very positive and she's a super enthusiastic ball of energy. She is a curious little girl whose appetite for learning knows no bounds and who is not easily deterred.
Like our other characters, Eliana underwent a few changes, although not as many as some of the others. Eliana started off looking like a little baby. Once our 3D modeler, Vincent, got a hold of her, however, he gave her proportions that would better indicate her age (she's around 6 in the app). She also got a different wardrobe, but her zest for life has always clearly shone through.
Eliana's character is near and dear to my heart. She is named and based off of my own little monkey, Eliana Lee. It has been very special watching her come to life! I hope that you guys enjoy Eliana as much as we do. She will bring an extra dose of excitement to the savanna and help encourage your children on their journey to learning Spanish!
Keli Lead Spanish Teacher firstname.lastname@example.org
The lion is known as the King of the Jungle…err, savanna. Frankly, I’ve never understood why they lions are called the king of the jungle, since they do not live under a tree canopy, but in the open grasslands of the savanna. The better term for them is the King of Beasts. Whatever we call them, lions are ferocious animals, and you just don’t mess with them. Even our Learn Safari friends are a bit scared when they first meet Oscar el León, until they get to know him that is. (well, in reality, some of them are always scared of Oscar!) As you might have guessed, Oscar pops in to help teach the letter O. This time, coming up with a name was very easy. No relation to the famous sonero,* although he does enjoy his tocayo's** music. It’s actually a family name. My grandfather, uncle, and a cousin’s son are all named Oscar. They are strong, intelligent men who inspire confidence, respect, and even a healthy dose of fear (just stay on their good side).
Like our other characters, Oscar went through a series of transformations. Oscar started off looking super cute and cuddly. Nothing like the brave and ferocious lion users will encounter in their quest. Check him out below.
Once our 3D modeler, Vince, got a hold of Oscar, he made a few changes. He made his face less round, which gave him a much more grown-up look. He also changed his body to more closely resemble a real lion. He's much more sleek and looks like he can chase down a herd of gazelles!
Even though Oscar is a bit more fierce, he is still a very caring friend. He goes to great lengths to protect the savanna and he is very close to his family. In fact, he is often seen hanging out with his twin sister Melissa, who is an adorable female version of himself. In spite of the fact that she is super cute, don't be fooled. She is one tough cookie!
What do you guys think of Oscar? Let us know in the comments!
*If you did not know, the sonero I mentioned above is Oscar D'León, a famous Venezuelan salsa singer. **A tocayo is someone who shares the same name as another.
Everyone has that one friend; you know, the one with the coolest hair, most fun personality, and care-free attitude. Hey, maybe that person is you! If it is, then you will definitely find a kindred spirit in Umi. Umi is a Zebra and the lack of water in the savanna is affecting her entire herd. She teams up with Arturo and the rest of the gang to solve the problem. Just like Esteban el Elefante, Umi represents a letter in the alphabet. When I say that it was hard to find a name that started with U, I'm not joking. I resorted to looking through name lists on the internet. I found the name Umi, which is a unisex game and has various meanings, including life and energy.
That is exactly what Umi brings to the table! She is vivacious, energetic, and a lot of fun. As with our other characters, Umi has undergone a few transformations.
Usaid, one of our 3D modelers and consultants, designed this first version of Umi. I absolutely love her! She is just so cute. However, she looks very much like a baby. Umi needed to look more grown up. She also needed to be a little more realistic, so she could match the style of our other characters. When Vincent, our Head 3D modeler optimized Umi, he made some changes to make her look more like a real zebra.
After the model was complete, it was Angie, one of our graphic designers, who had to make all of the textures for the model. If you remember from a previous blog, a texture gives a model its color and detailed feature. Angie had a bit of a tough time making the Zebra pattern fit precisely. That wasn't the only difficulty with Umi. Thomas, our animator, then had to make sure Umi could walk and run (among other things). Being that she has 4 legs, she was a new kind of challenge for him. The hardwork, however, paid off in the end!
What do you think of our girl? Let us know in the comments below!
Keli Lead Spanish Teacher Learn Safari email@example.com