>>  A Little Seahorse in Love

5000 books sponsored by the Tongan Consulate in Sydney and Internationaler Hilfsfonds are given to the Primary Schools.

7000 books sponsored by the author are sold for:


The author sponsors a writing competition:
„How the story continues, when the little seahorse comes home with the lilac seahorse maiden.“

60 prizes, T$ 50 each are given to the best stories of the Tongan would be writers!

Suggestions for stamps.

Another illustrated book for Tonga:

A romance in the ancient Kingdom of Tonga
German and Tongan TV and newspapers report about these Cultural Projects for Tonga.

To answer why I brought 12000 books of my fairytale „A little seahorse in love“ to the Kingdom of Tonga, I have to go back 60 years of my life. At that time, just after World War II., I lived with my mother and my two sisters in a tiny room in Northern Germany. We had fled from Weimar, where my father was director of the Prehistoric Museum. My father being a prisoner of war became ill in the concentration camp and never fully reconvered, nor did he find work again as a scientist. He died at an early age. Like many others we were homeless and ruined.
The family of my mother has a glorious past. Her ancestors were knights who colonized the east of Germany and served their Prussian Kings for generations, being rewarded with noble titles. Both my grandfathers werde officers in the Imperal Army.
In Germany aristocratic titles are passed on by the father. My father was a commoner, so I was born a commoner, but my mother educated me to fulfill the aristocratic Prussian ideals of Noble conduct in daily life. To teach me loyalty to the King, the main virtue of as Prussian, was no longer possible. There are no more Kings in Germany. This is the bad luck of my life. I am a royalist who represents the aristocratic ideals in his writing, but I have no King, to whom I could dedicate a book made with all my love. The German kings nobled many artists to honour and encourage them, because of their work, which did lift up the people to have ideals. In the U.K. men are still knightened by Queen Elizabeth II. for their constributions to culture in England and in the Commonwealth.
Being a little boy I already knew that I wanted do nothing else but to write and paint.
I dreamed about finding a King may be on the other side of the world, who would welcome me, bringing to his people a magic book, which cheers up everbody who opens it. And I wished that this king would make me a nobleman, to be one, my mother educated me.
After a long and adventurous way of 60 years I finally came to the Friendly Islands and brought my magic book, as a birthday-present to the royal friend of Germany:

His Majesty Taufa ´ahau Tupou IV.

„ A little seahorse in love“ in Tongan and English, is a tale for young – and those who are young at heart. Apart for pleasure, it can be used as a learning tool for Tongan,

but also for the English language. The wider goal of the book is to make aware of the „wondrous seaworld“ of the Pacific to preserve it for future generations.
Since then I am preparing another present, a new book, titled:

Starpath of the South Sea
A romance in the ancient Kindom of Tonga. In this book, the reader will learn of the traditional culture of the „Fakatonga“, the Tongan way of life, and will obtain a rare insight in the Kingdom of Tonga´s past. This new book will be published in Togan and in English to enrich the Tongan literature and to animate the reader to cultivate both languages. But the more important reason is, to encourage the Tongans in times of actual changes to find their own individual way and be aware and deeply rooted in their royal history, beginning 950 A.D. with ´Aho ´eitu, the first Tu´i Tonga, the ancestor of the present king.

By the way, H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elisabeth II., president for many years of the „World Wide Fund for Nature“ liked my manuscript „Li-Li“, a story about the pandabears. So I dedicated the book to his Royal Highness and a part of the proceeds is given to the W.W.F.

Mr. Finau A. Mara „Roving Ambassador for Certain Pacific Islands Forum States“ is in contact with me because he wants my „A little seahorse in love“ and others of my books as a learning tool for the Pacific Islands of the Commonwealth. At the moment
the translation of „Li-Li“ to English is done. Another book „ The magic ball“ ist already translated to English.

>>  A Little Seahorse in Love
A Little Seahorse in Love
by Painterpoet Dr. Michael Schirmer
The Little Seahorse has made ripples right through the Pacific Ocean to the Tongan people both at home and abroad!

The fairytale book is published with both the Tongan and English languages side by side – illustrated with 13 of my colour paintings. Apart from entertaining the young and those of us who are ‘young at heart’, I am pleased to have been able to contribute in my way to the enrichment of Tongan literature. There are very few books available for children in the Tongan language and the translation into Tongan by Mrs. Veiongo Mafi has been declared a masterpiece by those who have read the book.

As well, I want the reader to be more aware of the “wondrous seaworld” of the Friendly Islands - which has to be protected.

As I had dedicated “A Little Seahorse in Love”, written in German, to His Majesty, King Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV of Tonga, this Tongan/English edition was produced to commemorate and honour His Majesty’s 85th birthday. The Hon Consul for Tonga in Australia, Louise Waterhouse, whose German mother-in-law Viktoria Raedler MBE initially heard about my book, helped bring the project to fruition and, further, a gift of 5000 books for the schools of Tonga was sponsored by the Tongan Consulate General in Australia together with Internationaler Hilfsfonds e.v from Germany.

The first copy of “A Little Seahorse in Love” was presented to His Majesty in Tonga on his birthday by the Hon Consul General, Mr W.S.Waterhouse and myself – where I gave a reading in English of my poem, whilst His Majesty’s granddaughter Hon Fane Tupou Vava’u recited the poem in Tongan – to a crowd of thousands and also Tongan Television.

With such a warm reception from the people of Tonga, I decided to also donate the 7000 books which were originally planned for sale. Now the proceeds will be used by Her Majesty the Queen for a special education trust called:
“His Majesty King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV 85th Birthday Education Fund.”

As well, there will be a competition for the children to inspire them to be creative in their mother tongue, where they will be encouraged to dream up their own ending for the story, and write how the story continues,”when the little seahorse comes home with the Lilac Seahorse maiden…”

Asked why I make this ‘me´a´ofa’ (donation) of 7000 books I can only say “out of love”.
Yes, I have fallen in love with the children of Tonga!

My ancestors were knights who colonised the east of Germany and since then served their Prussian Kings for many generations until my grandfathers, who were both officers in the Imperial Army. However, I am a writer, not a soldier, and with a pen one can do good deeds, as well, and write books with a noble goal to ‘lift’ the reader like friends and give them comfort and pleasure.

The German kings knighted many of their writers and painters to honour and encourage them. Being a royalist, it is a shame for me that we no longer have a king to whom I can dedicate a book which I have written with my love. However, as a result of the Bismarck-Friendship Treaty of 1876, the Germans have a royal friend: His Majesty Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV of the Kingdom of Tonga.

I dedicated my book to His Majesty and His Majesty was pleased by my
“me ´a ‘ofa” for all the children of his Kingdom - of whom he takes care like a father – Tonga’s very high level of literacy is one of the major achievements of his life.

At the moment I live in a Fale (a traditional Tongan hut) in the very south of the island of Lifuka, one of 170 islands of this special South Pacific Paradise. Here I have found peace and inspiration to write another book for my Tongan friends…

Set in the old times of the Tu‘i Tongas (the ancestors of the current King), through my words and paintings, the reader will learn of the traditional culture of the Fakatonga (Tongan way of life), and will obtain a rare insight into the Kingdom of Tonga’s past.

A Little Seahorse in Love