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Thursday 2 February 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Education, National

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Young Cook Islander authors children’s book
Leilani-Rose (Lalu) Nicholas-Bublick and her mother Dr Selena Nicholas-Bublick donated Lulu the Sheepadoodle books to US band Goo Goo Dolls. SUPPLIED/23013110

During the Covid-19 pandemic when children around the world were being forced into virtual learning, nine-year-old Leilani-Rose (Lalu) decided to work with her mother, Cook Islander Dr Selena Nicholas-Bublick, on a book that would review fun facts about the continents.

During the Covid-19 pandemic when children around the world were being forced into virtual learning, nine-year-old Leilani-Rose (Lalu) decided to work with her mother, Cook Islander Dr Selena Nicholas-Bublick, on a book that would review fun facts about the continents. 

Living in the United States with her family, Nicholas-Bublick says her daughter drew inspiration from her puppy Lulu and with a “little fairy magic”, her first book – Lulu the Sheepadoodle – was born.

Earlier this month, the family visited Rarotonga bringing books with them to donate to the Cook Islands Library.

“Lulu the Sheepadoodle – The World Traveling Positive Attribute Fairy” is a charming, whimsical, and lovable character created to help children learn about the world around them, says Nicholas-Bublick.

“Travelling to all the continents on Earth, Lulu proceeds to pirouette at the tippy top of the highest mountains; skip stones in the largest lakes, rivers, and oceans; and dry off in the hottest and driest deserts.

“During her escapades, Lulu searches for children displaying positive attributes and good deeds in order to help spread magic to flowers – because as we all know, flowers are nature’s way of spreading happiness.”

Nicholas-Bublick is the daughter of Paine and Dennis Ryburn of Atupa. She is a movement disorder neurologist based in Toledo, Ohio specialising in Parkinson’s disease.

She is also a published author of the children’s book series “Tiare and the Circle of Worlds” which are filled with adventure, science and Polynesian legend. The book series also embraces Cook Islands themes and legends adapted to her childhood experiences and that of her children and families.

Nicholas-Bublick often brings her family home to the Cook Islands and her three children continue to volunteer at Te Are Manu Vet Clinic during their visits.

Both her daughters want to become veterinarians. The eldest Tiare, who is in her second year at university, is getting ready to begin submissions to veterinarian medicine for grad school.