A President from Hawai'i

President Barack Obama

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday hosted today by ...
The Swimmer Writer 
and joins It's Monday! What are you reading? at Teacher Mentor Texts
(pub. 7.31.2012) 32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthors: Dr. Terry Carolan and Joanna Carolan
             and illustrator: Elizabeth Zunon
haracter: President Barack Obama

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "Take a trip to Hawai'i and catch a wave of aloha spirit in this fact-filled tribute to the birthplace of Barack Obama the first president of the United States born here.
       Growing up in Honolulu, young Barack was surrounded by the values of kokua (help), lokahi (unity), and 'ohana (family). Local authors Dr. Terry Carolan and Joanna Carolan bring the rich cultural diversity, breathtaking beauty, and welcoming spirit of the fiftieth state to young ones everywhere, providing a look into President Obama's childhood and the Hawaiian traditions and history that shaped him.
       Vividly painted scenes of the lush Hawaiian landscape by Elizabeth Zunon bring the natural beauty of the Aloha State to radiant life, while public and family photographs and quotations from the president give a firsthand perspective..." 
T antalizing taste: 

   "In Hawaiian culture, tradition plays a big part.
     Living with aloha means giving from the heart.
     It is a gesture of aloha to give a flower lei.
     Showing kindness always is the aloha way."

                   "That's why we pass on the values of empathy
                    and kindness to our children by living them."
                    -Barack Obama, Chicago, Illinois, 6/1/08

and something more:  This weekend marked the one year anniversary of the release of the picture book I wrote, My Hands Sing the Blues - Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey, (Marshall Cavendish) illustrated by the incredibly talented Elizabeth Zunon. Liz is not only the illustrator of My Hands Sing the Blues and A President From Hawai'i, but has illustrated three other books this past year --  Lala Salama - A Tanzanian Lullaby by Patricia MacLachlan, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba, and How Many Spots Does A Leopard Have? (An African Folktale). Warmest congratulations to Liz!
         Liz kindly shared with me some of the background for creating the illustrations for A President from Hawai'i: "After a lot of sketching and re-sketching scenes with multiple characters for the book, the publisher decided to simplify the illustrations to allow Obama family photographs to be included in the spreads. I LOVE tropical flowers and landscapes, and this was my opportunity to try and emulate the tactile elements that I imagine take center stage in Hawaii. Many of the tropical flowers that grow in Hawaii also grow in my childhood home in the Ivory Coast (West Africa), so it was a thrill painting and making them out of paper. Note: The flowers on the glossary page (Bougainvillea and Hibiscus) are the flowers that grew on our balcony back home in the Ivory Coast :)"  
         Thanks, Liz, for not only giving an insight into the background of the illustrations, but also sharing your personal connections. I can't wait to share this book with the second graders in the classroom in which I have the privilege of volunteering every week. I know they will love it!


Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Very nice Jeanne, and particularly timely as well given the upcoming elections. I'm sure it must be crazy right now in your part of the world. :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra! Yes, it's definitely the focus around here right now. Thanks for stopping by.

The Swimmer Writer said...

Thanks for participating, Jeanne.
Seems to me that a science class can take an online trip to the Keck Observatory and discuss it later.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Yes! It could be a double purpose field trip ... I wouldn't mind going on that one! Thanks again for hosting Nonfiction Monday today.

Perogyo said...

Lokahi is a new word to me, but so very important. Thanks so much for introducing it, and congratulations on your bookiversary!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Oh, thanks so much for your congratulations for my "bookiversary" -- love that word! :)