Australian children's books broadcast in Samoan

Australian children’s stories have been translated into Samoan and will be broadcast live on air for the next month as part of a new children’s programme on Magik FM and Radio Polynesia. 

Read aloud by M.A.D.D. Gallery director and artist Papalii Momoe Malietoa von Reiche, the tales will be told in English and Samoan on Saturday mornings, with an interactive show hosted by children for their peers to call into the studio.

The show is geared towards early childhood aged-children, some of Samoa’s newest readers.

“Words paint pictures and symbols that stimulate perceptions in the early reader’s mind,” Papalii, who has published multiple children’s books, said.

“Learning at any age level is built on prior knowledge and storytelling reinforces and recreates multiple experiences that engage the senses and plant information deeply in the brain, formulating opinion-making, actions, judgements, individuality and many other cognitive processes.  

“Storytelling therefore is a powerful learning tool.”

Harlan Mauli and Sematagiolo Keil are the show’s youth hosts, who will broadcast the Dreamtime stories and take calls from listeners to talk more about what they heard.

Some of the stories in the programme will be Possum Magic, about invisibility and adventure, and Wombat Stew, a story of trickery and bravery.

The first of the four weeks was on Saturday 27 June, and the programme will run until 18 July. 

Magik Kids runs from 9 until 10am on Saturdays on Radio Polynesia (98.1fm) or Magik FM (89.5fm).

The programme is supported by the Australian High Commission. 

High Commissioner Sara Moriarty said she hopes the stories might fill a gap in people’s minds while they cannot travel to Australia, in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“With COVID-19 having disrupted international travel, we’re excited to be working with MADD Gallery to bring Australia’s beautiful landscapes— from our forests to beaches— to Samoa. Some of our most loved and unique animals will also feature,” Ms Moriarty said.

“By sharing Australian stories in both English and Samoan we hope to broaden the horizons of young listeners to the show, as they gain a deeper insight into Australian society, history, people and everyday life.”

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