cover image The Woman in the Moon: A Story from Hawai'i

The Woman in the Moon: A Story from Hawai'i

Jama Kim Rattigan, Carla Golembe. Little Brown and Company, $15.45 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-316-73446-2

Like her Dumpling Soup, Rattigan's newest tale is a bridge from Hawaii to the mainland-transporting tasty bits of the native language and culture. This tale, however, substitutes the contemporary warmth of Rattigan's first title with a somewhat lengthy retelling of a Polynesian myth. A woman named Hina makes such superb tapa (bark cloth), that she is always working to meet the demands of her neighbors and tyrannical husband. Hina longs to escape her joyless life, going first to a mountaintop which is too cold, to the sun which is too hot, and finally to the moon, where she remains to this day. Golembe's (Why the Sky Is Far Away) primitivist gouache paintings energize the story with eye-popping colors and patterns derived from ancient tapa design and Hawaiian wildlife. An offering useful for its perspective on a culture underrepresented in the picture book genre. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)