THE need to give schoolchildren in Fiji stories they can identify with has spurred on a local-born artist to illustrate a book targeted at children from kindergarten up to Class Six.
And artist Simione Beranaliva is well on his way to achieving his mission with his book The Mean and Nasty Toatoa due to be adopted into formal curriculum by the Ministry of Education.
The Suvavou-raised man was also the recipient of two local fine art awards before he migrated to Australia.
He was inspired to illustrate the book after finding a lack of reading material that taught school children about their own culture, heritage and values.
"You know books like Alice In Wonderland are all fine stories but they are not us.
"I was a teacher for two years and as an educator, you want to be able to teach kids using themes that they are familiar with," Mr Beranaliva said.
Mr Beranaliva, who is from Saqani Village in Cakaudrove said he wanted the book to promote iTaukei culture and give students something they could relate to and identify with.
The book authored by his wife Dianne Beranaliva retails for $51 ($A28) however, Mr Beranaliva said he was attempting to secure sponsors in order to provide the book at a subsidised price.