For hearts that never grow old:
The Hawaii Snowman
Written by Christine Le; Illustrated by Michel Le
Mutual; 35 pages
A snowman gets his wish to travel to Hawai’i and learns not only the meaning of melt (explained by the sea), but of love and Christmas in this strikingly vivid and magically illustrated book.
Written by Nona Beamer; Illustrated by Caren Ke’ala Loebel-Fried
Bishop Museum Press;
The legend of the naupaka blossom comes alive in this tale by Aunty Nona Beamer and rich block prints of Loebel-Fried, not one of horticulture but a love that could not be in life, but is forever remembered.
Banana Heart Summer
by Merlinda Bobis
Delta; 257 pages
Spirited twelve-year-old Nenita will make you eat the heart of the matter, too, in Bobis’ romantic, ingenuous novel, as she searches for love, life and opportunity in food, friends, her Nana’s stories, and more food. An unintended Filipino companion to “Like Water for Chocolate.”
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, while charming family photos anchor 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.