New kids’ book tells story of mermaid’s adventures in CNMI

Posted on Jul 19 2021


Miss Marianas 2021 Savannah Lyn Delos Santos and Miss Marianas 2019 Shannon Sasamoto share a photo with Kareran Sirena authors Serenity Fujihira, Emma Sablan, and Ariah Villagomez during the book’s launch at Project Liffang at the Carolinian Utt in Garapan on Saturday. The book is a collaboration between the Lady Diann Torres Foundation and the Northern Mariana Islands Girl Scouts. (Contributed Photo)

A children’s book that tells the story of a mermaid’s adventure through the Northern Mariana Islands debuted last Saturday at the Carolinian Utt in Garapan, with the book’s three young authors signing copies of the books.

The children’s book, Kareran Sirena, was launched under the auspices of the Lady Diann Torres Foundation and the Northern Mariana Islands Girl Scouts at the community marketplace event Project Liffang at the Carolinian Utt in Garapan, which took place from 8am to noon.

At the booth for the book, community members were able to meet the authors and buy the book, mermaid plush toys, and mermaid stickers.

Kareran Sirena is the sixth in a series of books that are a part of the LDTF’s Language and Literacy Young Author’s Program. Kareran Sirena translates to “Sirena’s Adventure.”.

According to first lady Diann Torres, her foundation and the Girl Scouts met by chance sometime ago at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, as Torres was there to be a part of a read-along event. She said she gave the Girl Scouts an opportunity to write a story and put a book together, to which the Girl Scouts agreed. Written by Ariah Villagomez, Emma Sablan and Serenity Fujihira with the guidance of Miss Marianas 2019 Shannon Sasamoto and illustrated by local digital artist Mikeala San Nicholas, Torres said the book took eight months to complete.

According to Sasamoto on Saturday, the book follows a young mermaid named Sirena who goes on an adventure through the Northern Mariana Islands. Sirena at first travels alone, but eventually makes friends and creates important bonds with others along the way, signifying the importance of family and community.

For Torres, she said it was an “awesome opportunity to be a part of Project Liffang,” and was pleasantly surprised by the community’s turnout at the book’s booth on Saturday. As LDTF president, she greatly appreciated the support of the friends and family of the Girl Scouts.

“We appreciate the support for our girls. That’s why we’re here— we’re here for these young girls and, of course, all our other young authors. So, if you see us around, it’s for the girls. Come and support our girls,” said Torres.

Past books that were written by young local authors and are a part of the LDTF’s program are Hafa Sinentete-mu, I Lina’la Hu, Maolik Kontra Baba, Bweletaal Wischira Eew Kkol Refaluwasch, and I Duendis.” According to Torres on Saturday, a seventh book is in the works which she hopes will be completed by the end of this year. These five books can be found on Amazon.

Those interested in purchasing Kareran Sirena and/or a mermaid plush toy can email for more details.

Joshua Santos | Reporter
Joshua Santos is a Mount Carmel School AlumKnight and University of Florida Gator Grad with a passion for writing. He is one of Saipan Tribune’s newest reporters. Josh enjoys golf, chess, and playing video games with friends in his spare time. Reach out to him @rarebasedjosh on all socials.

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