Book titled ‘The Adventures of Sean the Squirrel and Nate the Nightingale: Notorious Caleb the Cat’ by Gaetan Pikioune Junior.

The love for helping the community, children and especially little nieces and nephews has inspired Gaetan Pikioune Junior to write his first children’s book titled “The adventures of Sean the Squirrel And Mate the Nightingale: Notorious Caleb the Cat’.

Pikioune Junior hails from Port Olry village in Santo and have maternal links in Levuka village in the district of Yale and province of Kadavu in Fiji is the first Ni-Van children’s book author whose personal experience got him to write this book.

“I’ve always wanted to help my community, children, especially my nieces and nephews. So I would say that was my inspiration to write the book.

“Also, my personal experience in high school and how I was treated was a contributing factor that inspired me to write the book. I felt like it was my responsibility to keep children from feeling the way I felt in high school, or from going through what I went through.

“So, I thought a children’s book might help limit or even prevent a child from being bullied,” he said.

Junior completed year 13 at Malapoa College. Graduated from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji with a Bachelor of Commerce (Double Degree in Accounting & Economics).

Talking to this newspaper Pikioune elaborated more about his book.

“The book is about Sean the squirrel, Nate the Nightingale and their encounter with Caleb the Cat -who is well known for his mischievous ways.

“The book takes place within two days of Sean and Nate’s life; during the two days I am trying to showcase Sean, Nate and Caleb’s relationship, their attitude towards each other and their surroundings and how they deal with a series of events that happens to them.

“The lesson I want readers / children to take away from the book is how to address the issue of ‘bullying’ and ‘inclusivity’, which I strongly believe is a problem that we do not talk about enough in schools and at home.

“So my hope is for the book to be a reminder (to adults) and a learning experience for children to be mindful of their words and actions towards their friends, neighbors and acquaintances,” he added.

When writing the book and after coming up with the characters, the plot and what message he wanted to share, Junior realised that bullying is a very big issue in the country and the only way to address it is to teach our children on how to treat people at a young age.

“I was surprised by how well I could vividly remember most of the times that I was bullied in highschool, realizing how these series of events have impacted my life and probably still are.

“But after posting about the book, I was also surprised by the number of people that approached me (whether friends, families or strangers), telling me how they were also bullied and how they can relate to the message of the book, without even reading the book yet,” Pikioune said.

The title is a tear of how Junior continues to write some more stories / books about the ‘adventures of Sean and Nate’.

Junior mentioned his parents as his biggest motivator.

“My Parents are my biggest motivator, pushing me to pursue my dreams, whether it is my career path, education, or any dreams that I have. I should mention that my siblings and my friends are also my biggest motivators.”

He has five siblings, three nieces and two nephews.

Junior gets inspired to write from fellow Pacific Island Poem writers who have also encouraged him to write more.

“Probably our fellow pacific island poem writers and some children book Authors overseas. Such as Konai Helu Thaman, Grace Mera Molisa and Chelsea Clinton to name a few.

“I should also say that they have inspired me to write poems from time to time, that I post on my social media platforms.

When asked if writing is his favorite Junior replies; “I think so, even though I was terrible (still am sometimes) with my spelling growing up. But yes writing was always my favourite thing to do.

“After graduating University, I always wanted to help children. Also, I strongly believe that to effectively send a message and change some bad behaviours or mindset within our society, the place to start is with children.”

Pikioune plans to write more books in the future. Meanwhile his first book arrives into the country next Monday.