Charlie’s Adventures in Hawaiiby Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern,
illustrated by Sophie Norsa (Little Steps Publishing) PB RRP $24.95
Reviewed by Anne Hamilton
There’s just one thing wrong with this picture book. There
wasn’t another in the series to go out and buy as soon as I got to the end.
Seriously, I was bowled over by the heart-warming charm of this touching story
and its lively illustrations—which include a map in a pocket on the inside back
cover. Being ‘wowed’ by a travel adventure is not something I expected to
happen when I first dipped inside its covers. Maybe it was the word game that
was the drawcard. I’m always a sucker for a story that involves wordplay and
this one involves a bit of detective work as well!
There’s an aspect of a treasure hunt to the story. As
Charlie goes to different parts of the island, he’s taught about significant
Hawaiian words. Words like ‘unity’, ‘humility’, ‘kindness’. Once put together,
their first letters spell out ‘Aloha’ and his adventure becomes one of learning
what makes up the Aloha spirit.
Although the target audience is suggested to be 3–6 years,
I suspect the concepts might be better directed to an age group just a tad
older, maybe 4–7 years.