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Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds book cover

Manu, the Boy who Loved Birds
Written & illustrated by

Caren Loebel-Fried

University of Hawaii Press 2020

48 pages | full-color

Hardback: $16.95

Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds Hawaiian language book cover

Also available in a

Hawaiian Language version

Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds

Published by University of Hawai`i Press

Moonbeam Children's Book Awards - Best Illustrator




designed for grades K - 3

following three learning tracks: Nā Hopena Aʻo, Common Core State Standards (HI), and Next Generation Science Standards

Kindergarten   First grade   Second grade   Third grade

Praise for Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds

The illustrations in Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds are arresting and bring the story to life... It’s refreshing to find a children’s book where it’s very clear that care and research went into making sure all species were represented true to life. I hope Manu inspires readers to question why some birds no longer inhabit this planet and challenges them to wonder how they can work to protect the ones we have left.

- American Birding Association 

Part storybook and part science lesson, Manu, The Boy Who Loved Birds, is a new children’s book {that}… joyfully blends spirituality, culture, science and technology… Entertaining and enlightening, {it} emphasizes both Hawaiian culture and environmental conservation and is brought to life by Loebel- Fried’s colorful and whimsical block-print illustrations... Manu, The Boy Who Loved Birds is a charming and educational book that serves as a reminder that culture and science are, and should be, complementary.

- Ka Wai Ola, Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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 ‘o‘o, a bird native to Hawai‘i that had gone extinct long ago. Manu knew his full name, Manu‘o‘omauloa, meant “May the ‘o‘o 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 ‘o‘o 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 their natural 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 information 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, 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 Educational Guides: Compiled, edited, and designed by Leayne Patch-Highfill, Instructional Coach & Curriculum Designer.

Developed by Joanna Philippoff, Seanyelle Yagi, Maria DaSilva, Vera Glushenko, College of Education Curriculum Research & Development Group, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and Laura Warner, Volcano School of Arts and Sciences

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