Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.
To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2020
Even those of us who have never traveled to Hawaii will still be familiar with the words and concepts of POI and LU'AU. 'OHANA MEANS FAMILY is a delightful new picture book that joyfully proclaims the heritage of native Hawaiians and the role of POI and LU'AU through the familiar literary structure and cumulative text of THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT.
NEAL PORTER BOOKS 2020
Author Ilima Loomis and illustrator Kenard Pak provide readers with a virtual visit to a Hawaiian fictional family's experience with a joyous gathering and all that goes into making it possible. Lyrical lines elevate a simplistic structure to follow POI on a journey backwards from meal preparation, through every step in the process. The taro root (kalo) is traced from planting, to care, and on through the eventual growth and harvest as Hawaii's staple food, all within the embrace of loving families, an ideal tropical climate, and rich volcanic soil.
The luminous glow of sunshine, intense greens and blues, sunlit faces and bodies, and a landscape both natural and cultivated invite readers to join 'Ohana (Family) throughout their multi-generational experiences, giving thanks, and sharing a table to celebrate their lives in a paradise of bounty and grace.
The center spread is one of my favorites in a book filled with quiet wonder, each offering unique and suitable angles and lighting and interacting forms. This central spread features a background of tangerine sun and sprawling mountains with a midground of backlit figures of every age, working and playing in the shadowed waters of a kalo field, with its heart-shaped leaves forming a foreground base.
"This is 'ohana, the loved ones we hold,
who give thanks for the sun, all bright and bold,
that warms the wind on which stories are told,
that lifts the rain to the valley fold,"
This small snippet of the work is a tasting portion of text, images, and story, balanced and blended to create an informative picture book. This also reflects layers upon layers of Hawaiian heritage: musical and oral storytelling, community collaboration, family-centric celebrations, appreciation of nature and its bounty, welcoming of others, patience, and peace. The concepts and themes developed in this picture book are especially suited to this structural choice because there is a tune/chant associated with the centuries-old "This Is The House" text, making the lovely lines of this work singable.
The author note in back matter describes the Lu'au and Kalo and Poi traditional practices using a wide array of Hawaiian vocabulary, followed by a brief note from the author and a glossary of those actual words. This lifts the appeal from a song-like circle story to a brilliant addition to cultural studies, geography, and agricultural studies. Once again, a seemingly simple picture books proves itself worthy of an expansive audience.
Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2021
Sometimes I buy books that promise intense art and beautiful writing--with all the accompanying accolades--only to find that my three year old twins find them as boring as I do. What a gem to find a truly beautiful book that engages us all. This is amazing poetry, and the repeating format doesn't get dull when the illustrations offer so much detail. The illustrations expands in scale, then returns back to smaller details; the kids like to spot the smaller details in the larger picture. My only complaint is that the text repeats "hands so wise and old," but only one elderly person is shown in the entire book, on one page. I think the team missed something in not drawing in a few more older elderly people throughout the book---the one elder shown doesn't even make it to the feast at the end!
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2021
"'Ohana Means Family" is written in a collective style where the story builds upon itself through the pages describing what makes a Hawaiian lūʻau unique. Learn about kalo, from the wind and sun that helps it grow to the hands that reach through the cold water to pick it. Kalo, also known as taro, is pounded into a smooth paste called poi. Poi is the first food given to children in Hawaii and is a dish at all celebratory lūʻaus. This simple, gorgeous book is a joy to read. Learning about traditions and cultures is a marvelous way to expand your knowledge and understanding. I appreciate the page in the back that explains poi and kalo, along with a glossary of words found throughout the text.
Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2022
A simple, rhythmic book, beautifully told, that introduces the reader to Hawaiian history, culture and tradition. Perfect for a reader of any background. Poetic language and a celebration of how something so simple can be so meaningful.
It’s unfortunate when a Haole tries to write about Hawai’i like they are native. If you are looking for a traditional tale of “‘Ohana” and not just an explanation of how poi is used and made, there are better childrens’ books. A quick 1 page history blurb/glossary for non-native adults as an afterthought in the back of the book about our heritage really doesn’t help teach children. :(