A new children's book "Little Poppy" by Aucklander Joseph Fa'afiu was recently launched to honour Anzac Day.
The book, aimed at five to 10-year-olds, has key messages throughout its story including bullying, finding your purpose and Tall Poppy syndrome. The main message though, Fa'afiu says is about sacrifice and that, “If you believe in yourself and stand for what you believe to be right, you may make a way for others to do the same."
Fa'afiu said the inspiration for his book came from a moment when he picked up a poppy flower from his local supermarket and overheard a young girl ask her mother, "Why do we wear it?" He thought it would be great to explain the connection of the poppy and the Anzacs, while adding some important messages for young readers.
He says because of these messages, the book is suitable for any culture and age group who will appreciate it. "I tested the book on my sons and they loved it! I knew if they loved it, other young readers would as well."
Little Poppy is currently being made available to libraries across Aotearoa and online.
Fa'afiu also wrote another book some years ago called "I Am Me" which has a message about identity, anti-bullying and self-esteem, and hopes to write more children's books in the future.