Home

Punky Aloha
Kamalani Hurley

Book Review: Punky Aloha, by Shar Tuiʻasoa 

It’s a fact of the mar­ket­place that many pic­ture books with the unfor­tu­nate tim­ing of being released dur­ing the COVID pan­dem­ic were often not giv­en the atten­tion they deserved. And that’s real­ly too bad, because they mer­it space on our book­shelves. Punky Alo­ha, the debut pic­ture book by tal­ent­ed author/illustrator Shar Tuiʻa­soa, is one of these hid­den gems. Released in mid-2020 dur­ing the height of the pan­dem­ic, Punky is just the kind of delight­ful sto­ry kids — and their grown-ups — will love.

Read More » 
Jing-Jing-Tsong
Kamalani Hurley

Interview with Illustrator Jing Jing Tsong 

Tal­ent­ed pic­ture book illus­tra­tor Jing Jing Tsong is a mas­ter at her craft. Influ­enced by the prin­ci­ples of mono­print and tra­di­tion­al stone lith­o­g­ra­phy, Jing Jing lay­ers col­ors and tex­tures to cre­ate images that are engag­ing and com­pelling. Their visu­al and emo­tion­al appeal com­mu­ni­cate a visu­al expe­ri­ence for young read­ers and their grown-ups. “In every­thing I prac­tice,” she says, “I explore the inter­con­nect­ed­ness of being.” We are very pleased to talk sto­ry with illus­tra­tor Jing Jing Tsong.

Read More » 
Too_many_mangoes
Kamalani Hurley

Book Review: Too Many Mangoes, by Tammy Paikai 

Some pic­ture books are clas­sics. They tell time­less tales that teach us about the world and our place in it. One such clas­sic also hap­pens to be one of the first Native Hawai­ian-themed books writ­ten in an authen­tic voice. Too Many Man­goes by Tam­my Paikai is a sto­ry based on the author’s child­hood expe­ri­ence. This gen­tle sto­ry is about two Hawai­ian kids, Kama and Nani, who love to climb the man­go tree at their grand­paʻs house. One day grand­pa asks them to pick some man­goes, but when he real­izes that the kids have picked way too many for their fam­i­ly to eat, he instructs them to give the man­goes away to their neigh­bors. Thus the adven­ture begins. 

Read More » 
Ciara-Lacy
Kamalani Hurley

Interview with Native Hawaiian Filmmaker Ciara Leinaʻala Lacy 

Cia­ra Leinaʻala Lacy is a tal­ent­ed writer-pro­­duc­er-direc­­tor whose pas­sion is telling sto­ries influ­enced by her Native Hawai­ian her­itage. Her doc­u­­men­­tary-style con­tent have shown at Sun­dance and Berli­nale and on stream­ing plat­forms includ­ing Net­flix, PBS, ABC, and Al Jazeera. Her award-win­n­ing fil­mog­ra­phy includes Is That Black Enough for You? (2022), This is the Way We Rise (2021), Out of State (2018), We are Still Here (2018), and 11/8/16 (2017), and as well as oth­er com­mer­cial projects. And as if all of that was­n’t impres­sive enough, Cia­ra is hum­ble and gra­cious. She recent­ly carved out some time out of her busy sched­ule to talk sto­ry with us.

Read More » 
Hiʻiaka-and-Panaewa
Kamalani Hurley

Book Review: Hiʻiaka and Panaʻewa, a Graphic Novel by Gabrielle Ahuliʻi 

When I was a kid, I had a set of books called Great Illus­trat­ed Clas­sics. They were fat vol­umes full of sto­ries embell­ished with black and white draw­ings. The scari­est tales were from Greek and Roman mythol­o­gy where the hero bat­tled bad guys and won (most of the time.) Even in school, the myths we read were lim­it­ed to Greek and Roman gods with names like Zeus, Athena, Posei­don and Mars. But where were the col­or­ful pic­ture books about Pele, Maui, Kaʻahu­pa­hau, Kama­puaʻa, the mene­hune? There weren’t any, not in the kidlit sec­tion of the library or in any of the illus­trat­ed clas­sics that lined my child­hood bookshelf. 

Read More » 
Gabby-Ahulii
Kamalani Hurley

Interview with Native Hawaiian Author Gabrielle Ahuliʻi 

Like most Native Hawai­ians, author Gabrielle Ahuliʻi grew up hear­ing the beloved leg­ends passed down from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. Best known for her pop­u­lar series, Hawai­ian Leg­ends for Lit­tle Ones, and now for her first graph­ic nov­el, Hi’i­a­ka and Panae­wa, Gabrielle beau­ti­ful­ly retells these clas­sic sto­ries for today’s young read­ers and their grown-ups. 

Read More »