by Vilsoni Hereniko
Suva, Fiji: Institute of Pacific Studies, University of South Pacific in association with the Fiji Writers’ Association
This picture book tells the legend of the beautiful princess Sina, who bathes each day in the ocean as she listens to the eel’s magical song. The eel falls in love with Sina, however when she does not return his affection, he disappears and sings for the princess no more. When Sina falls into deep despair, her father calls out to all her potential suitors to come and try to make her well again. However it is only the eel’s return, and his sweet song that can heal Sina’s pain. A well-told fairy tale, which has been beautifully illustrated by Jasper Schreurs in vivid watercolour. The illustrations also provide detailed descriptions of aspects of Pacific Island living, as well as local shells, fish, birdlife and flowers. This book was recommended for the collection because it is a well-told traditional tale with magnificent illustrations which show a great deal of detail and information, as well as incorporating the wider Pacific.
A New Zealand Curriculum-linked activity for this picture book can be found here.