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Mikale of Hawaii: Maya's World    by Maya Angelou & Lizzy Rockwell order for
Mikale of Hawaii
by Maya Angelou
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Softcover

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Dr. Maya Angelou has lived in many countries, making 'little friends' around the world. She has written stories of children from different nations, 'because kids around the world are more alike than different'. Each of the four books is a delight, and includes a paper doll of the featured child. A beautiful photo of Dr. Angelou and children adorns the back cover. Lizzy Rockwell's expressive illustrations are bouncy and cheerful, in sprightly, bright colors. Maya Angelou introduces the story: 'When I was a little girl, / I looked around at my world. / It was small, so was I. / Then my world began to grow / With each child I came to know. / Now I try, / Now I dare / To make a new friend / Everywhere.'

Hawaii is Mikale's home. He was fearful of the ocean until Uncle Mako brought him a gift - a small fish named Keiki'la. Mikale became responsible for feeding the fish, and keeping the tank water fresh. He talked to Keiki'la every day about why he feared the ocean. When Uncle Mako asked Mikale if he was afraid of the bathtub, he said 'no'. Uncle Mako and his friend Annemarie told Mikale to think of the pool as a big bathtub. Together they swam alongside Mikale, supporting his body as he became more sure of himself each day. Mikale conquered his fear and learned to love swimming in the ocean. Then his parents, baby sister Leilani, Uncle Mako, and Annemarie 'called for a celebration' with a luau on the beach.

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