Having begun reading at around age three, I hold firm that it’s never too early to begin reading to children. “Waikiki Lullaby,” a new board book by Beth Greenway Skinner, one-time Hawai’i resident, resonates with this belief and presents adults and children with a soothing bedtime story centered on Hawaiian-style activities.
One memorable verse is the lovely “Hear Uncle play his steel guitar, hear ocean breezes sigh,” even though ukulele or even slack key guitar would have been more accurate. In other pages, hula girls put down their “feather dancing gourd(s)” and surfers their boards, and soon enter a gentle night of dreams. Throughout, Alexis America’s night sky-hued illustrations evoke the nostalgia of Matson tourism posters and classic images of one of my favorite books, Cooper Edens’ “If You’re Afraid of the Dark, Remember the Night Rainbow.”
There seem to be a lot of locally-aimed children’s books popping out on local bookstore shelves, but this one, put out by newcomer Beach House Publishing, is the real thing.