Hawaiians celebrate a rare thing—a snow day—in this children’s picture book.
A confused Honolulu weatherman reports that “Oh me, / oh my, / it’s snowing in / Hawaii!” In ABCB rhyming quatrains of varying line length, the book goes on to depict a variety of island-inflected wintery recreations. Kids make snow-women with palm-frond skirts and eyes made of pineapple rings; sailors figure skate on Pearl Harbor; Aloha Stadium hosts a snowball fight; ski jumpers and snowboarders enjoy the slopes of Diamond Head. That night, everyone celebrates at a snowy luau: “Big Kahuna sings / in a Hawaiian / flannel shirt, / while his hula / dancers dance / in bearskin / hula skirts.” In his first children’s book, Guardia (co-author: Hal Moore on Leadership, 2017, etc.) has fun with the impossible notion of snow all over Hawaii (the state does get dustings every year, but only on the highest summits). The tropicalized scenarios of wintertime pleasures are imaginative and amusing, and children will learn about Hawaii’s culture and sights. It’s unlikely that Hawaiians could suddenly conjure snowmobiles, winter coats, ski jumps, and bobsleds, but that’s all part of the magic. The verse has a bouncy flair, and Stephens’ (Some Women I Have Known, 2018, etc.) delightful illustrations are full of energy, color, and detail.
A richly depicted scenario that makes for enjoyable contemplation.