Top 7 Best Children’s Books About Hawaii
An exotic culture, sun, and stunning beaches – Hawaii is the perfect holiday destination and a different world to escape to. But when you cannot get to Hawaii, you can at least take your mind over there, and what can be better than doing it with your kid? There are lots of books based on the beautiful islands of Hawaii, and many of them are enriched with beautiful illustrations to keep your little one entertained.
All in all, here are some of the best children's books about Hawaii, whether you want to get your kid ready for a new adventure, an upcoming holiday, or just a relaxing Sunday in the backyard.
Piperlicious Goes to Hawaii, by Teresa Hunt
Piperlicious is a kind young girl who enjoys traveling and discovering new places with her family. This children's book takes the reader all the way to Hawaii. Piperlicious wins a trip to the wonderful Kauwela Palace with her family, so her younger sister Londyn and her grandmother Mimi could also join to her vacation.
Piperlicious' dream is to find the secret treasure of the island. She even has a map and her small chimp friend Paz on her side. After she meets the local queen and king, Piperlicious, Londyn, and Paz start their super secret mission around the island. The goal of the small team is to find the long forgotten pirate treasure once belonged to the Royal Family. During their trip they discover new places on Hawaii and they all enjoy time spent together.
This kid's book is full of attractive illustrations, it makes a good bedtime read for your little one. It is also suitable for kids who are just learning to read, as the wording of the story is simple and the characters are adorable. This is the third book of Piperlicious series so don't forget to check the other adventures too!
Too Many Mangos, by Tammy Paikai
Featuring 28 pages and an appealing story, Too Many Mangos is based on some of the author's personal experience from childhood. The story follows two local Hawaiians. Named Nani and Kama, they have a massive mango tree close to their home, and they end up helping their grandfather pick some fruits from it.
They pick up everything. Lacking experience, they take all kinds of fruits. Some of them are small, while others are too large. Some others are ripe, while others are green. At some point, they realize they have picked too many fruits, so they need to find a way to avoid wasting them. They load their own wagon and go meet their friends.
The friendly characters share everything they have with their family and friends. They meet neighbors, talk to everyone and share their fruits. The text is thoughtful and friendly, while Don Robinson's beautiful illustrations underline the joy of living on the island. The book is a lesson of friendship and community, but it is also exciting enough to hook your little one in.
Maui Hooks the Islands, by Gabrielle Ahulii
Gabrielle Ahulii has written one of the best children's books about Hawaii. The best part about it is that it belongs to a longer series, known as Hawaiian Legends for Little Ones. It is mostly suitable for kids ages two to five and it makes a great bedtime read – lots of fabulous illustrations by Jing Jing Tsong as well.
While the stories are slightly adapted to be modern, they bring in some of the local Hawaiian legends and folklore. Most legends refer to Maui, a demigod who hanged around the Hawaiian islands and mostly used a special fishing hook. The storytelling also stands out in the crowd, as it defines the local style and culture.
All in all, whether you count this book only or the other titles in the series as well, expect some interesting legends that will also hook you in. Kids will get a better view of the local history, culture, and natural habitat. Furthermore, the text is very simple, and while mostly aimed at toddlers, kids who are learning to read will also find it quite exciting.
Malia in Hawaii, by Karen Hopper
Karyn Hopper's book follows Malia's story. Malia is a young girl with the longest name out there. But what is even longer than her name is her list of wishes. She likes everything. She wants to try all kinds of dishes and drinks, but she also loves getting involved with all kinds of activities that make Hawaii stand out.
Surfing? She is in. Dancing? Yes, please. Parades? She will be the first to attend. How about some hula? Great. In terms of food, she will never say no to sushi or noodles. You name it, she will try it out. Malia Sachi Ging Ging Lee is not a tourist, but she lives in Hawaii. She explores it from a different point of view, and she makes the most out of it.
The book is great for kids and will make an excellent bedtime story. Take your time with it and read it slowly. There are a bunch of illustrations as well, and try to make as much as possible out of every adventure. Illustrations are made by Tammy Yee. Other than that, there are 32 pages in the book – more than enough to keep your little one entertained.
Goodnight Hawaiian Moon, by Dr. Carolan
Goodnight Hawaiian Moon is one of the best children's books about Hawaii if you want to challenge your little one. It is a whimsical story that features exciting rhymes and a good story. It stimulates sleep as well, since the whole story is about nightfall in Hawaii. Apart from the simple and beautiful text, the book also features Joanna Carolan's stunning illustrations.
Written for kids, this book will pleasantly surprise adults as well. Both parents and their kids will be taken to an unusual world – a dreamland with tropical temperatures, clear nights, and beautiful surroundings. The story describes the night in Hawaii, without any action at all. It is great for kids who struggle to fall asleep.
Since there is no action, your little one will only have to close their eyes and listen to your voice. Moreover, the book comes with a CD that brings in lullaby songs in both English and Hawaiian. What could be better than some unusual lullaby songs and a story? You might as well fall asleep next to your kid while holding this book.
Pig-Boy, by Gerald McDermott
Gerald McDermott's book on Hawaii is not really the best bedtime story. Sure, it makes a good choice when your little one is a bit sleepy. But then, there is so much adventure in this book that your little one will want to know more and more. With 32 pages, you may want to read the story slowly and split it over a few evenings.
The story follows Pig-Boy. He is not the most appealing character. He is always hungry, and he enjoys being dirty. He is hairy and lives in Hawaii. Trouble comes out of nowhere and disturbs his daily routine. But then, he is a trickster. In other words, he knows exactly what to do in order to get out of sketchy situations.
The book features beautiful illustrations that underline the tropical profile of the island. There are live colors and a great adventure in a quiet and peaceful place. There is a bit of humor here and there, as well as a little action and some energy. Furthermore, the book also comes with an author's note – definitely a must-have for toddlers.
The Musubi Man, by Sandi Takayama
If you are familiar with the gingerbread boy, this book will bring in some good memories. Initially released in 1996, it is a classic in terms of juvenile literature. Your kid may not be able to make any references, but if they are familiar with the gingerbread boy adventures, they will see this book as a beautiful sequel – the Hawaiian version.
All in all, the story follows a musubi man. It is a freshly made musubi. The man manages to escape from the kitchen, but he is less likely to get away with it too easily. He is tasty – everyone knows it, so people want a piece. The story is quite active and takes the musubi man through a plethora of adventures to elude his pursuers.
The book comes with 24 pages and boosts a bunch of simple and old-fashioned – yet beautiful – illustrations. Illustrations are done by Pat Hall.
As a short final conclusion, these are some of the best children's books about Hawaii. Featuring different stories and unique characters, they will not necessarily work like a children's encyclopedia. Instead, there are fun characters to follow around and explore the Hawaiian islands in a series of adventurous experiences.
Barely counting 30 pages, most of these books are great for bedtime stories and will give your kid a good idea about the exotic profile of Hawaii – excellent if you are about to go there on holiday.
My profession is online marketing and development (10+ years experience), check my latest mobile app called Upcoming or my Chrome extensions for ChatGPT. But my real passion is reading books both fiction and non-fiction. I have several favorite authors like James Redfield or Daniel Keyes. If I read a book I always want to find the best part of it, every book has its unique value.