Hawaiian Family Album
By Matthew Kaopio
Mutual; 47 pages; $13.95

Mouth-brush artist and writer Matthew Kaopio’s endearing new book centers on eleven brief family stories told to him by his grandmother during bouts of clarity allowed by Alzheimer’s.

The effect is like sitting down with one’s own kupuna, soaking up stories once forbidden, such as personal tales about ‘aumakua, Pele, the mana of rocks, why lizards are good signs for some and bad for others, pueo that keep you safe, and common superstitions.

Charming family photos anchor readers in the cast of characters, moments of un-translated Hawaiian dialogue truly evoke the past, and throughout, Kaopio’s paintings entice you to linger in his rich, animated world.

Hawaiian Family Album
Reviewed by Christine Thomas
for the Honolulu Advertiser