"I was only thinking about how I didn't want people to forget about Marium and her story, so that they would all stop throwing trash in the sea. If we made her story into a book, parents would be able to read it to their kids, and everyday people would not forget, since it would become a story that's brought up again and again through the generations," recalls 8 year-old Yata (Pim) Chusakultanachai, when asked about what prompted her to write a children's book based on Marium's real-life story with her friends Palin Chongruk (the illustrator) and Chulalin Amnajraungkri (cover artist).
For those of you who aren't already aware, Marium was a baby dugong (marine mammal related to the manatee, also known as a "sea cow") who won over the internet with pictures and videos of her being cuddled and fed bottled milk by her caregivers, after she was found orphaned on the shore of a beach in Southern Thailand. Sadly, Marium died at 8 months old from the ingestion of too much plastic, something which is completely our fault as humans.
The three eight year-olds came together, planning out the story and writing it down by hand, drawing and colouring in illustrations, and essentially completing every step of the way by themselves until the end result was "นิทานช่วยทะเล - Marium the Baby Dugong", a children's picture book 20 pages long.
Some pages from "นิทานช่วยทะเล - - Marium the Baby Dugong" (in no particular order)
If you'd like to learn more about Marium's story and contribute to their cause, you can head over to https://www.facebook.com/littlebigthinkersth and purchase a copy of the book (about 100 printed copies left available). All proceeds go towards helping the care of sea animals in Thailand.