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More Hawaii Book Recommendations

March 18, 2012

Did you know that green sea turtles get their name because of what they look like inside (which we know because they used to be a favorite food around the world)?  They are actually sort of brown on the outside.

Did you know that green sea turtles, which are reptiles that need to breathe air through their lungs, can hold their breath for up to five HOURS?

Do you know how to tell the difference between a male and female dolphin?

We learned all of these things and more on our trip to Hawaii.  If you can make it to Hawaii, go there!  If you can’t get there right away, here are more books we found during and after out trip to Hawaii, to help us learn more about what we saw there.  They are worthy of consideration if your kids have any interest in these things.

National Geographic Kids Sea Turtles

National Geographic Kids Dolphins

National Geographic Kids Whales

These are all easy readers with great photos and pertintent facts for kids.  The only caveat I will offer is that they each have a bit of anxiety-producing information about pollution and human-created harm that comes to the animals.  For my kids, this is a bit much, but we balance it with the fact that most of the content is really good.  In addition, I find it nearly impossible to find nonfiction books about marine animals that doesn’t have some sort of content about the poor animals being injured by humanity.  I would love to hear recommendations for books without this anxiety-producing content!

Another dolphin book we enjoyed, especially after our in-person experience with dolphins at Dolphinquest, is this one:

Everything Dolphin:  What Kids Really Want to Know About Dolphins

And more about green sea turtles, which we saw every single day on Hawaii:

The Book of Honu

For some more mythology:

Kona Legends

My Hawaii reading (which, in my opinion, is not appropriate for kids) was The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings.  I know it has recently been made into a movie and I don’t know whether or not to recommend that.  I am usually disappointed by books turned into movies, so my inclination is to stick to the books, which was such an interesting look at a set of ethical dilemmas faced by a modern Hawaiian.  I appreciated the modern perspective of one who descends from ancient Hawaiians on tourists, land, and life.  It’s also a sad story about loss and a sweet story about a dad who rises to the occasion to be a real parent.  Not light and fluffy, but still sprinkled with a lot of the kind of humor that I really appreciate.  Irreverant, shocking, sarcastic, ironic, and probably fairly offensive.

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