The early Hawaii setting, the description and illustration of Hawaiian customs and games, and the clever (literally physical) twist of the ending combined with the well known Carroll name should get this book some special attention. Set on an island of Hawaii in 1820, the story concerns Danny, the small son of some missionaries from Boston. Danny has two problems: he is devoted to the fat black puppy being raised as a banquet course for the King, a native delicacy; and the King's big son Prince Koko, who has been assigned to Danny to be taught the alphabet. Danny despairs as the puppy's girth grows and he swings between dismay and delight in his pupil. Prince Koko has a short attention span and continually stops the lessons, packs his teacher under his arm and teaches him the Hawaiian styles of canoeing, surfing, swimming, sliding, kiting. At the Prince's alphabet recital he astonishes Danny with a dumb show alphabet (beautifully illustrated) using his body to make all the letters and Danny gets paid off with the pup. The warm but delicate colors of the illustrations add visual satisfaction to a pleasing story.