A True Princess of Hawaii Review 

Synopsis from Arbordale Publishing:

Nani has always dreamed of being a princess. When a real Hawaiian princess comes to her hometown of Hilo, Nani dresses in her best clothes. But as she watches Princess Luka, who has come to save the town from a volcanic lava flow, Nani learns that there is more to being a princess than fine clothes. This incredible story of kindness and generosity is based on the historical events of the 1880-1881 eruption of Mauna Loa on the Island of Hawai‘i and the real-life Princess Luka.

This fictional story includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 30-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. A True Princess of Hawai‘i is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The enhanced ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension.

About: A True Princess of Hawaii is a children’s fiction picture book written by Beth Greenway and illustrated by Tammy Yee. It was recently released for sale on 2/10/17 by Arbordale Publishing, 32 pages. This book is intended for kids ages 4-8. Arbordale Publishing’s mission is to inspire the love of reading and improve young children’s science and math skills through picture books. These books will captivate your kids’ minds on your lap, at bedtime, or in the classroom. Please see below for more info about the author.

My Experience: I started reading A True Princess of Hawaii on 2/25/17 as a story time for my 5 year-old son and we finished it on the same day. His dad read this story for him as a bedtime story a week ago as well. He likes this book a lot because it allows him to learn about volcanoes. In this book, readers will follow Nani, a little girl living in Hilo, who practices to be a princess by making sure she looks/acts her best. She wakes up to a town warning bell alerting the townspeople that lava from Mauna Loa, the largest volcano in the world, has erupted and is flowing slowly toward town. Princess Luka of Hawaii was to come to calm down Pele, a goddess who lived inside the volcano. There were a lot of commotions as sailors prepared to welcome Princess Luka and horse carriage was prepared to take Princess Luka to the edge of the lava. Through the rush, Nani was stopped by a beggar where she takes the time to share what she has and kindly helps the horse who was unwilling to move.

The moral of the story is generosity. Nani’s generosity is being tested during the rush and she survived it. I didn’t noticed the moral of the story until I read the synopsis of this book. The generosity is weakly portrayed and the volcano seems to capture all of our attention. Despite the story of Nani being fiction, according to the facts at the end of the book, Princess Luka is in fact real and she was born in the 1800s. I really like the illustrations of the town and its people. I have lived in a village where I walked bare feet when I was younger. It brought back happy memories. I also like the story of the real princess at the end of the book because I have never heard of her before. The added reminders about visiting Hawaii at the end of the book is a plus.

Pro:  Hawaii, Volcano,  generosity, illustration

Con: moral of the story is a bit invisible

I rate it 4.5 stars!

Grab yourself a copy here: Arbordale Website or Book Depository

About the Author:


Beth Greenway lived in Hawai‘i for many years and raised her three hula-dancing daughters there. She studied anthropology in college and started writing during her time in Hawai‘i. Her books reflect her love of the islands. Beth is the author of A Lei for Everyday, Waikiki Lullaby, Hawai‘i’s Foodtrucks on the Go, The Twelve Days of Hula, and Hawaiian Ocean Lullaby. Beth now lives in Mississippi with her husband, cats, and the three family dogs: Hoku and Poli from Hawai‘i and Donny from the mainland. Visit her website at bethsbooks.livejournal.com. (Info obtained from Arbordale Publishing website).

More Information about Arbordale Publishing:

Phone: 877-243-3457 | Fax: 843-216-3457 | Email: info@arbordalepublishing.com | Web: http://www.arbordalepublishing.com | Hardcover, Paperback, Spanish Paperback, and downloadable ebooks are available.

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Arbordale Publishing for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.


3 thoughts on “A True Princess of Hawaii Review 

    • Jasmine says:

      Yes. Kids books nowadays are filled with so much knowledge, even I find myself learning these information for the first time! 😊 Princess in Hawaii is new but Volcanoes in Hawaii is a great reminder. This book is packed with info ❤️.


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