Friday, October 3, 2014

PPBF: Hula Lullaby

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

The soothing Hula Lullaby 

Hula Lullaby
Written and illustrated by Erin Eitter Kono
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Published 2005
Grades K-1

Bedtime, Cultural

Come Little Keiki
Crawl into my lap
Listen to the ipu
Thump tap thump-a-tap

Bedtime in the islands is the obvious theme of this rhyming bedtime book. The musical refrain and lilting verses weave Hawaiian words seamlessly into the text. The little girl is lulled to sleep surrounded by all that is beautiful in Hawaiian culture.

What I Love:
I 've been waiting all summer to share this book with you all!. I fell in love with it from page one. The book is filled with cultural references and vocabulary. For example, a pahu is a drum with sharkskin. This book is so lovely, I had to read it twice in a row. The rhymes are so soothing it almost cannot be read silently. The illustrations are lush and colorful and stylized. Hula Lullaby makes a beautiful gift book and one I'd like to have on my shelves permanently though my children are long past lullabies.

Starring Q'orianka Kilcher
1. There are some activity pages on Erin's site.
2. Learn more about Hawaiian culture at
3. Get tips to do the Hula at Hula Dance HQ
4. Discover Polynesian recipes from Taro Brand Foods.
5. Have you seen the film Princess Kai'ulani?
6. Experiment with traditional Hawaiin musical instruments, even make your own versions.
7. Look for these other related Perfect Picture Books at your local library.
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for October3, 2014, available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog

Another of Erin's books
Reviewed by Diane

Reviewed by Beth
An African Lullaby
Reviewed by Carrie


  1. I have always been drawn to Hawaiian stories. This book looks like such a beautiful bedtime book that also shares the customs of another culture. Beautiful book!

    1. Maybe someday I'll get to visit the islands. Until then, there's Hula Lullaby. Thanks for your comments.

  2. You're absolutely right about the read aloud quality! Usually I read the openings to myself but this one I read out loud. And loved the rhythmic quality of the language. Thanks for sharing this one.

    1. I'm glad you liked it too. I would suggest this title for all writers of rhyme. The text seemed effortless to me.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. I have to check out all of Erin's books in rhyme to learn her technique!

  4. Wow, what a cool cultural book to share. I'm crossing my fingers that we'll make it to Hawaii in the next couple of years. We'll have to pick this one up before we go.

    1. I'm sure you'll come back with lots of picture book ideas!

  5. oooohhhh.... it sounds so lyrical, like ocean waves lapping at the sides of the bed. Can't wait to find it in our library system.

    1. "like ocean waves . . ." I hope you use that in a book someday! (Or at least in a pitch) :)

  6. This sounds just lovely, Joanne! Like the language would lull you right to sleep :) Thanks for adding it to our list, and as always for your wonderful activities and suggested books to read along with it!

    1. Thanks for your constant support, Susanna. I love PPBFs!

  7. This one sounds like it has a nice Rhythm to it! And Wow! What fun activities to go with! Thanks!

    1. As a dog who loves the water, you are sure to love it. Thanks for reading!

  8. Looking forward to finding this one. I've never been to Hawaii.


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