cover image A President from Hawai’i

A President from Hawai’i

Terry Carolan and Joanna Carolan, illus. by Elizabeth Zunon. Candlewick, $15.99 (24p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6282-0

The Carolans, a husband-and-wife team who published an earlier version of this book in 2009 via their Banana Patch Press company, pay homage to President Obama and the state of his birth. Zunon (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind) contributes oil and collage spreads that both mimic and refine the hodgepodge look of the original, assembling photographs, signs, postcards, and more against the natural vistas of the Aloha State. The overall effect, though, is still quite busy, with pages including childhood and contemporary snapshots of Obama, historical newspaper headlines, and archival photos of Hawaiian royalty. Choppy, strained couplets, which are sprinkled with Hawaiian words (defined in a glossary), present tidbits about the state’s culture and traditions: “It is a gesture of aloha to give a flower lei./ Showing kindness always is the aloha way.” Obama is spotlighted only briefly in the verse, and is instead represented primarily through quotations from his speeches. This slim offering doesn’t provide an especially edifying or informative look at either the man or the state. Ages 7–10. (Aug.)