Meet Punky Aloha—a spunky Polynesian girl who uses the power of saying aloha to make friends and experience new, exciting, and unexpected adventures in this debut picture book by author-illustrator Shar Tuiasoa.
Punky loves to do a lot of things—except meeting new friends. She doesn’t feel brave enough. So when her grandmother asks her to go out and grab butter for her famous banana bread, Punky hesitates.
But with the help of her grandmother’s magical sunglasses and a lot of aloha in her heart, Punky sets off on a BIG adventure for the very first time.
Will she be able to get the butter for grandma?
Shar Tuiasoa is a Polynesian illustrator from the island of O’ahu, in the town of Kailua, Hawai’i, where she was born and raised. After studying fine art at her local community college, she headed to California where she earned her BFA in illustration from Laguna College of Art and Design. When she is not in the ocean, enjoying the vibrant culture of her home, Shar spends her time imagining and creating for her illustration business, Punky Aloha Studio.
A bold palette of verdant greens and rich teals set against warm golds and browns easily evokes the island setting, while curvy, exaggerated figures and simple, linear compositions give the digital art an airy effortlessness. With her messy topknot, flip-flops, and skateboard, bespectacled Punky is an utterly charming protagonist, and her narration moves effectively from early anxiousness to confident triumph. Break out a pair of oversized shades to give some added oomph to some readers’ theatre or an island-themed storytime. -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books This is a tender, happy story that will make a delightful read-aloud.
-Booklist [Illustrations] lush in greens, blues, oranges, and yellows summon the island’s warmth, giving an airy ease to a sweet intergenerational story of interacting with one’s community—and gaining a “heart full of courage.” -Publishers Weekly
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