Lani Wendt Young announces her first children’s book


Award-winning author Lani Wendt Young has announced her first children’s picture book, called Halu Bong from the Bella’s World Series. 

 “It’s a bilingual story, fully illustrated,” said Ms Young in response to Radio Polynesia questions.  “I’m so honoured to have renowned  Samoan artist Nikki Mariner of the Manamea Art Studio to illustrate it. 

“Nikki is amazing to work with. I sent her the story and a vague idea of what I hoped my storybook would look like, and she was able to bring it to life in vivid rich detail. 

“HALU BONGO is the first story in my ‘Bella’s World Series’ and a story that I’ve been keeping close to my heart for a long time, just waiting for the right illustrator.  “I knew Nikki would give my characters the attention and creative imagining they needed. I especially LOVE the expressions on the faces of these characters.” 

She said the Gagana Samoa translation is by Sisilia Eteuati. 

“I want these books to be bilingual because there’s a great need for resources to help our young people learn our language. “Key to this is providing high quality books that are entertaining, engaging, have a touch of humour, and that also teach them a bit about Samoa and our culture along the way.” 

Adding that in her travels, she has met many Samoan families worldwide who are raising their children far from the homeland, and who are dedicated to teaching them our aganu’u, our Fa’aSamoa. 

“Many have asked me about bilingual books for this age level because there’s so few resources available.

“HALU BONGO will be available worldwide in print paperback format and also as an ebook from all major online retailers.”