An enchanted fish is caught by a fisherman on the island of Kaua'i. To all the villagers surprise, the fish grows and grows, his scales fall, his fins turn into arms and legs, and he becomes a giant. Hungry, the giant eats all the poi in the village. Everyone scrambles to make more poi, but still, it's not enough. A kahuna is called in to help. Upon his advice, oli, or chants, are offered up to help the giant ease his hunger. But only one young girl, named Pualani, can tame the giant with her oli.
Papertiger Review Excerpt from Papertiger review: Cabcabin's story is fanciful enough to
delight even very young children, who may also be lulled by the rhythms
of the 'oli' to dream about the lush Kaua'i landscape her rich
illustrations depict. Readers of all ages will appreciate this fun and
simple folktale (not to mention the glossary and pronunciation guide at
the back) and will definitely come away having learned something about
Hawaii's powerful magic.
While not a true quest story, it still has elements of a heroic journey
as Pualani must find a way to appease the giant and save her people's
dwindling food supply. Told as a folk narrative, it's filled with
musical Hawaiian phrases (there's a glossary in back, along with end
notes), and the story glides as gracefully as a hula dance on a sultry