Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds

Hardback: $16.99
ISBN-13: 9780824882723
Published: May 2020

Additional Information

48 pages | full-color illustrations
  • About the Book
  • 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 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.

    The book is also available in a Hawaiian-language edition, ‘O Manu, ke Keiki Aloha Manu, translated by Blaine Namahana Tolentino (ISBN 9780824883430).

  • About the Author(s)
    • Caren Loebel-Fried, Author

      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. Her books have won the American Folklore Society’s Aesop Prize for children’s folklore and the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association’s Ka Palapala Po‘okela awards for excellence.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • 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. Indeed one of the most intriguing aspects of [the book] is the extensive ten-page afterword full of photos, historical paintings, and a glossary of Hawaiian words. . . . 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.
      —Rebecca Minardi, American Birding Association
    • Entertaining and enlightening, Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds emphasizes both Hawaiian culture and environmental conservation and is brought to life by Loebel-Fried’s colorful and whimsical block-print illustrations. . . . [It] is a charming and educational book that serves as a reminder that culture and science are, and should be, complementary.
      —Puanani Fernandez-Akamine, Ka Wai Ola, October 2020
  • Supporting Resources