Manu, The Boy Who Loved Birds – Virtual Book Release Event with Caren Loebel-Fried
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Volcano Art Center is proud to host a virtual book release event with award-winning author and artist Caren Loebel-Fried, celebrating Manu, The Boy Who Loved Birds. Many people helped behind the scenes with this book, and some of them are special guests at this event. They include Thane Pratt, Paul Banko-USGS, Chris Farmer-American Bird Conservancy, Noah Gomes-Kamehameha Schools, Rachel Sprague-Conservation Council for Hawai’i, Les Welsh-National Wildlife Federation, Joel Cosseboom-University of Hawai’i Press, and Julie Williams-Volcano Art Center.
An option to order books with personalized inscriptions are available online, just in time for the holidays. Order your copy of the book here!
On a school trip to Honolulu’s Bishop Museum, Manu and his classmates are excited to see an ancient skirt made with a million yellow feathers from the ‘ō‘ō, a bird native to Hawai‘i that had gone extinct long ago. Manu knew his full name, Manu‘ō‘ōmauloa, meant “May the ‘ō‘ō bird live on” but never understood: Why was he named after a native forest bird that no longer existed?
Manu told his parents he wanted to know more about ‘ō‘ō birds and together they searched the internet. The next day, his teacher shared more facts with the class. There was so much to learn! As his mind fills with new discoveries, Manu has vivid dreams of his namesake bird. After a surprise visit to Hawai‘i Island where the family sees native forest birds in theirnatural setting, Manu finally understands the meaning of his name, and that he can help the birds and promote a healthy forest.
Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds is a story about extinction, conservation, and culture, told through a child’s experience and curiosity. Readers learn along with Manu about the extinct honeyeater for which he was named, his Hawaiian heritage, and the relationship between animals and habitat. An afterword includes in-depth informa- tion on Hawai‘i’s forest birds and featherwork in old Hawai‘i, a glossary, and a list of things to do to help. Illustrated with eye- catching, full-color block prints by author/artist Caren Loebel-Fried, the book accurately depicts and incorporates natural science and culture in a whimsical way, showing how we can all make a difference for wildlife.
“Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds is understandable to all ages, provides solid information on the subject, and offers a positive message to the younger generations on how we all have a responsibility to care for our environment.” -Marques Marzan, cultural advisor, Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawai‘i
Caren Loebel-Fried is an award-winning author and artist from Volcano, Hawai‘i. She has written and illustrated several previous storybooks, including Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits, A Perfect Day for an Albatross, and Legend of the Gourd, all of which showcase the ancient art of block printing, which she learned from her mother. Her books have won the American Folklore Society’s Aesop Prize for children’s folklore and the Ka Palapala Po‘okela awards for excellence. She creates iconic and educational art for the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Kīlauea Point Natural History Association, Conservation Council for Hawai‘i, and private collectors.
Caren spends time on Midway Atoll counting and researching albatrosses. Through art and story, Caren aims to bring people, especially children, closer to the natural world with the hope that they will want to help care for it. Visit her website at www.carenloebelfried.com
This story grew from the author’s relationship with Marjorie Ziegler and Conservation Council for Hawai‘i, National Wildlife Federation’s Hawai‘i affiliate. CCH and Caren Loebel-Fried shared a dream to educate young people about endangered species and conservation, in Hawai‘i and beyond. With this storybook, Caren, University of Hawai’i Press, and CCH hope to inspire children and their families, especially in Hawai‘i, underscoring the important connection with their own unique species in Hawai‘i, and their connected dependence on the land. UHP, CCH and Caren want to embody a message of hope and provide tools for knowledge, action, and empowerment.