In 2019, the people of Niue and the world mourned the death of a famous lonely bird that made its way onto Niues shores known as Trevor the Duck.
While it may have been a few years back since the news of the only lonely duck on Niue spread rapidly across the island and the globe gaining great attention and fame, an enthusiastic author, educator and artist Lynda Finn from New Zealand has revived the famous Trevor the Duck through a children’s book titled Trevor the Daring Duck: a true tale from Niue.
BCN News was able to speak with Lynda over zoom in the past week, where she shared her story and the inspiration of why she chose to write a book about Trevor the Duck.
“It popped up somehow on Facebook and I read the story. Originally I was just going to print it out and illustrate it for my little mokopuna, my granddaughter Mila, who was at that time almost two. But then I looked in the library to see were there any books that Niuean mummies can read to their children in the same way that my wonderful daughter-in-law reads to my moko.”
“I only found one and it was just teaching little ones to count. I then looked around and I realised there was pretty much nothing and because Trevor was such a brave duck and he was so inspirational. I thought, I’ll write this to my granddaughter Mila but I am going to see if anybody is interested in publishing it because I have always been passionate about children having literature in their own language.”
Lynda says that immigration impacts our own traditions, where if there is no literature in our language then there’s a higher risk of losing more.
“Scholastic explained that if they published the book in both languages as I wished, one page vagahau Niue, the opposite in English, it would not be cost effective so the compromise had to be a few counting words. I suggested a glossary for colours and names but that wasn’t possible either.”
Trevor the Daring Duck is now available in New Zealand book stores since last Wednesday 1 November 2023. It will also be available for purchase on Amazon Australia. The illustrations are by award winning Nikki Slade Robinson.
Lynda is excited to share this unique story with the people of Niue and the world.
“I hope it gives a little bit of honour back to Trevor and of course to the Niuean people who looked after him. It was wonderful the children bringing him food and the adults supporting it, the fire service making a puddle for him. It’s very emotional for me, being able to sort of give you Trevor back because I love him,” says Lynda.
Although Trevor the Duck is no longer here, he continues to live through Lynda Finn’s children’s book on Trevor the Daring Duck.