Books by Cissy Gray

HONU by Marion Coste
by Marion Coste, illustrated by Cissy Gray
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

A smoothly written narrative that begins when Hawaii's honu, or green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)—a species that may measure 40 inches and weigh 400 pounds—comes ashore to lay eggs. Coste describes the honu's return to the deep sea, the uses of the turtle by early Hawaiians, and recent pressures that endanger it, then returns to the newly hatched young, making their journey to the sea. The book's second half, a more direct and detailed presentation of the same information, adds more specific facts on habitat, nesting behavior, adaptations, human impact, protection, etc.; the book as a whole would have been more effective if the two had been integrated, or if the first part had been livelier and more informative and the second merely a supplement or appendix. Still, the information is interesting and authentic, and Gray's watercolor illustrations of the shoreline and the clumsy turtles and the other wildlife are evocative and appealing. A good contribution to the endangered species shelf. Glossary; brief list for children ``To Learn More,'' with some Hawaiian materials, including a video. (Nonfiction. 5-11) Read full book review >
TO FIND THE WAY by Susan Nunes
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

A fictionalized account of the voyage of a group of prehistoric settler-explorers from Tahiti to Hawaii. The point of view is the boy Teva's, tearfully bidding his mother good-bye but then taking courage from his grandfather's experience in navigating by the stars. Drama is provided by a storm, a calm, and hunger; the story concludes with the sighting of land. No historical note or information on sources is provided, but alert readers will find some information in illustrations of the double sailing canoe. Gray's loveliest paintings, however, are her depictions of the sea and sky and the distant islands in their many moods. Presumably authentic, and therefore useful. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >