“In Hawai’i the warm breeze often carries the sound of the ocean waves, the rustling leaves, and the rhythmic chants of the hula. It is not difficult to imagine rocking one’s child, or keiki (keh kee), to sleep to the accompaniment of this gentle cadence.” ~ Foreword, Hula Lullaby, by Erin Eitter Kono.
I first heard about Hula Lullaby when Sam Riddleburger interviewed Erin Eitter Kono for Robert’s Snow: Blogging for a Cure 2007, organized by Jules and Eisha at 7-Imp.
High quality picture books about Hawai’i always get my immediate attention because they are so few and far between. This one just happens to be beautifully produced and culturally authentic, making it even rarer and cause for unabashed adulation.
Hula Lullaby is pitch perfect — from the title page, awash in deep, Prussian blue and graced by red anthuriums, to the Foreword spread, set against the red-orange sky of a Hawaiian sunset, to the simple, soothing, repetitive rhyme of the lullaby itself, as it enfolds the reader in its warm, tropical spell: