on 23 August 1998
"In the days when the stars were a map of the earth below, there lived on a tiny island in the South Pacific five brothers who loved adventure," opens this enchanting historical fiction story about early Polynesian explorers discovering the Hawaiian Islands. The brothers, each with a special skill, navigate their way across the vast ocean by stars, waves, clouds, wind and birds. Over 1,500 years ago, the brothers set out to find an island beneath a far away star. The youngest, Manu, stows away in their canoe, which turns out to be a blessing. After a storm leaves them lost, Manu spots a bird that helps lead them to their island. This story celebrates the exploration of the Pacific by Oceanic peoples as an expression of their culture. It soars with the humanity of their endeavor. Even through the storm, the blue and brown water color illustrations add a soft, soothing touch.
on 2 January 1999
This delightful tale of the possible exploration and discovery of the islands in the Pacific creates a sense of adventure to hold the attention of the young readers. I found the relationship of the brothers a good example of how every member of a family has a part and how often the youngest has difficulty "prooving" him or her self. All children dream of showing their best and getting the respect of siblings, parents, and peers--this story kindly embodies those inner feelings. The lively watercolors add to the excitement and mystery of the tale. An added treat was the tale's translation into the Hawaiian language enclosed in my copy of the book.