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Bess Press

The Story of Hula

The Story of Hula

Regular price $16.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $16.95 USD
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Come, keiki, and I will show you treasure.
It is as bright as any star, more precious than gold or jewels.
My mother gave it to me.
Her father gave it to her.
This gift has been handed down
from generation to generation
since the olden days.
Today I’ll share it with you.
It is the treasure of hula.


With vivid whimsical illustrations and lyrical writing, Carla Golembe shares the history, meaning, and spirit of hula. The words and pictures pair together in much the same way that the chants and movements of hula complement each other, and the accompanying read-along CD further immerses readers and listeners in the joy of the dance. 

WINNER of the 8th annual Hawaii Music Awards Childrens Music category 
FINALIST in the Benjamin Franklin Awards Childrens Book & Audiobook category 
FINALIST in ForeWord Magazines Book of The Year Awards


Author and Illustrator Carla Golembe is a painter, illustrator, author, and teacher. She is the author of numerous books for children, including The Story of Hula, which in 2004, won the Benjamin Franklin Award presented by the Publishers Marketing Association. 


hardcover   |   32 pages   |   8.5" x 11"   |   color



“Golembe, who wrote the soothingly rhythmic words and created the charmingly naive illustrations, understands that the tradition of hula is largely oral and inter-generational and frames the story in that way. Bess Press has mastered the once-gimmicky addition of an audio disc inserted into a book, and here it works naturally.”

- Honolulu Star-Bulletin

The Story of Hula is a very special children’s book... It is all poetry. The youngest child will find a comfort in the rhymes and meters and a little older child will actually read the book as poetry... The story is also a well-crafted teaching aid for pre-schoolers.”

- Maui Weekly

The Story of Hula is a delightful introduction to other cultures and celebrations. Simple color illustrations by Golembe, a glossary of Hawaiian terms, and a final page of historic notes round out this enjoyable and educational volume.”

- Children’s Bookwatch

“A delightful new children’s book for all ages has recently been published by the Bess Press of Honolulu... This book is colorful and a real treat for the eyes.”

- Oklahoma Daily News

“... a vibrant book written and illustrated by Carla Golembe. Golembe’s descriptions of dance steps and gestures, music and clothing, are succinct and poetic and her historic notes and glossary are very helpful. Readers of all ages will especially relish her rich palette. Hula’s pages pulse with warmth and color.”

- Washington Parent 


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