My new book "Tūtūʻs Secret" is here! Written by Gloria Blum, published by Island Heritage. The book I will remember illustrating with fond memory. I received this manuscript a few month after I became tūtū (grandmother) myself and illustrated while my husband and I drove to see her weekly to south Kona. Driving more than 3 hours round trip each week, the view and feeling of south Kona became the inspiration for this illustration. I wanted to illustrate many Hawaiian native plants and animals to communicate Tūtūʻs memories from Old Hawaiʻi, kind of the feeling I still get in south Kona.
When I first read the manuscript, I wanted to wove and celebrate the kaloʻs life cycle in my illustration (even that was not actually written in the story). I wanted to use growing kalo as a symbol of ʻohana. I wanted to illustrate the tūtūʻs wisdom that is passed on to her moʻopuna (grandchildren) still live in them and they can live the wisdom and pass on to the next generation, just like how each kalo makua (parents) plant produce many keiki plants..I hope keiki will notice a little kalo planted by tūtū and Lani in the story keep growing to the last page full of multiple kalo. Mahalo ke Akua.