Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Volcanos, High Tides, & Coconut Trees: Favorite Books about Hawaii

It was just a little over a year ago that Firecracker and I went to Hawaii to attend her birth mom's wedding.  Firecracker's birth family has quite a few connections to Hawaii, it was a fun trip to take.  I also just recently finished Firecracker's Hawaiian Stripes Quilt, made from fabric she chose while we were there.

So I thought I'd share some of our favorite Hawaiian themed books.

Grandma Calls Me Beautiful by Barbara M. Joosse is a favorite.  Actually just about every book by Barbara M. Joosse is a favorite with us.  We were first introduced to one of her books by Firecracker's birth mom.  It uses imagery from Hawaiian culture for a Grandmother to tell her granddaughter how much she loves her and how beautiful she is.

High Tide in Hawaii by Mary Pope Osbourne is part of the Magic Tree House series.  While this particular book is quite similar to the others, Firecracker was especially drawn to this one because it's set in ancient Hawaii.  Overall, I've been impressed by the Magic Tree House Series.  They're great first chapter books for early readers.  Firecracker can read one in an hour or so if she's focused, and she learns little facts along the way as she reads the books. 

And I don't know if Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is really set in Hawaii or not...but the letters are going up the coconut tree.  This has been a favorite of all our kids, and the rhythm makes it a fun book for me to read aloud to our kids.

And finally...I think this one is my favorite of all...Dear Katie, The Volcano Is a Girl by Jean Craighead George .  It intermingles the telling the Hawaiian legends along with the scientific explanation of how the Hawaiian Islands were formed, and has beautiful illustrations.  Of course the main character's name was appealing to Firecracker too.  I made sure to bring it with us on our trip.  We only visited Oahu while we were there, so we weren't able to go to any erupting volcanoes, but we did get to see some volcanic rock up close...
...and have a relaxing little picnic inside the Diamondhead Crater

...and read Dear Katie, The Volcano Is a Girl while sitting in a tree inside a volcano's crater.

And in case you're not able to find this book at your library...here's a pretty good read-aloud video of it.

Do you have some favorite Hawaiian themed books?

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  1. Thanks for sharing these. I've pinned it to come back to.

  2. Such a beautiful mix of colors in those covers!

  3. Love this sweet quilt, good story too! Thanks for linking up!

  4. The trees around Diamond are just beautiful. How wonderful to find books that fit.

    Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.

  5. Oh, these book are so nice! I've been to Hawaii only once (a couple of years ago, before I had kids), but it is the most beautiful place I have ever been. The books are a good way to tell my girls about the islands, because in the future my husband and I want to take them with us to show them (the girls have to grow a little bit older, because we are from the Netherlands, so it takes about a day to get there). Thanks for sharing!


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