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Book cover for Lono and the Magical Land Beneath the Sea

Lono and the Magical Land 

Beneath the Sea

Written and illustrated by Caren Loebel-Fried

Bishop Museum Press 2006
32 pages, full color


Lono and the Magical Land Beneath the Sea
Published by Bishop Museum Press

Winner - Ka Palapala Po`okela, Excellence in Hawaiian Culture

Winner - Ka Palapala Po`okela, Excellence in Children's Literature

Praise for Lono and the Magical Land Beneath the Sea

Stunningly illustrated in hand-colored block prints, this tale of Lono was adapted from a translation by Mary Kawena Pukui. The book concludes with an insightful afterward and a thorough list of resources.

- Honolulu Advertiser

A fisherman is lured into the ocean. He meets a guy (who looks "like a god") and his daughter in a magical land. They teach him about plants kids have heard of, like taro, sweet potato, sugarcane and banana. When he returns home, the fisherman's new knowledge is the source of survival for generations to come. The book is adapted from a story translated by Mary Kawena Pukui (the Hawaiian version is included at the end), one of the many tales of the Hawaiian god Lono. Its folktale style is enhanced by the hand-colored, block print illustrations. An educational and visually appealing read.

- Honolulu Weekly

Long ago, before many people inhabited this land, a fisherman named Lono lived in Keauhou, North Kona. One day, after carefully preparing his hooks and basket traps, Lono went fishing at Mauna, a fishing station near his home. He cast his fishing line, but when he pulled it in the fishhook was broken. Thinking it had gotten caught on the coral reef, Lono tried casting another line. But that fishhook was broken, too.

Join Lono, a Hawaiian fisherman, as he dives below the ocean waves to search for his missing fishhooks. Deep below the sea, at the foundation of the earth, Lono discovers an enchanted land filled with abundant food plants. Kumuhonua invites Lono to live with them in the land beneath the sea, to eat from these plants and learn about how to cultivate them for the people in his island home.

Lono the the Magical Land Beneath the Sea was adapted from Mary Kawena Pukui's translation of "Moolelo Kahiko no Kumuhonu," held in the Bishop Museum Archives. The hand-colored block print images by award winning artist Caren Loebel-Fried include botanical illustrations of the food plants. The book includes the original Hawaiian text and an afterword by Bishop Museum educator Noelle Kahanu on Lono and the Makahiki season.

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