Graphic, courtesy of
Soon, I'll be in front
of a packed room to do a reading.
I'll be reading aloud for a
classroom of children, just as I do from time to time. No biggie.
I've been doing it for years. Lots of fun for me and the kids,
and a way to share Hawai`i and its Aloha out here in Lala
As volunteers, we
readers are given the option to read from one of our own favorite
books or reading a book donated by the schools' Read Aloud
program. My time is precious to me, and I "kill several
birds with one stone": I share my
love for words, books, and reading; I share my cultural heritage
with them with a little bit of Hawaiian geography thrown in; and I
read to them about what is near and dear to me, Aloha,
by reading aloud from a charming and loving book.
The book is Aloha
Bear and The Meaning of Aloha, written and illustrated by the Honolulu
Advertiser's award-winnng editorial
cartoonist and artist, Dick
Adair (click here
for a photo of the author/illustrator and his family). It's a
sweet and engaging story about a bear who takes young readers on a "show and tell" adventure that
vividly illustrates the meaning of the word "Aloha."
I engage all of
their senses, including hugging a stuffed white bear dressed in an
Aloha shirt and a flower lei. I was recently so taken by the wee ones' faces as they
were so completely
transported to Hawai`i via their imaginations, that I gave them them
my last copy of the book, so they could "revisit" Hawai`i by reading the book
So, last night, on the way
home from Rosie's and Fletcher's when we stopped by The
Block at Orange, home of Hilo
Hattie, The Store of Hawai`i, I was on a two-objective mission: A book
hunt and redeem the Mother's Day gift certificate from my goddaughters Samara and
Alana. I need nothing, and I could think of no better way to spend
their gift but to buy several copies of the book, one for me to keep
and the rest to give away again.
Alas, this was not to
be, as Hilo Hattie's was out of the books. Shopping at Hilo Hattie's is always
an adventure, and after leisurely browsing, I managed to accomplish half of my mission. I redeemed the certificate
-- for nothing I needed but will greatly enjoy: a fun Hawaiian
print backpack, a hula outfit, complete with a grass skirt and coconut
bra (an egregious come-on: you must return to about this purchase in a future
entry. Hehehe.), and a bag of dried
baby red clams for snacking.
Now, I have a sporty and
very Hawaiian backpack to pack up my Aloha Bear books and a
Bear before I embark on my storytelling forays. As homage to Hilo
Hattie, who put our hometown on the map, here are some links, for
those so inclined, to learn about the namesake of this fun
"Clara" Haili Inter Nelson
Hattie Does the Hula Hop
As for the other half of
my mission, I'll be scouring the 'Net for Aloha Bear and the
Meaning of Aloha. It's out there, somewhere.
I just know it.
Just got off the
phone with Amy Jones at Island
Heritage, who will be shipping ten books out to
me. They will arrive in the next few days, just in
time for my next read-aloud jaunt. She was kind enough
to extend me a courtesy (discount) off the retail cost, as
read-alouds are non-profit, volunteer
allows me to not only read the story, but to keep giving the
children (and the schools) the book itself for their later
perusal and enjoyment without a serious dent in my
To Amy Jones and
Island Heritage: mahalo for your kôkua in my little quest
to spread Aloha around, as well as the love for
94-411 Koaki St.
Waipahu, Hawai'i 96797
~ Fax: (808) 564-8877
"Life is a Gift."
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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