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Staff Pick
Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds

Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds

Current price: $16.99
Publication Date: August 1st, 2020
Latitude 20

Staff Reviews

This books is one of Kona Stories favorite authors and is featured in our Virtual Story Time.  You can view it here:


— Brenda McConnell, Kona Stories - Kailua Kona Hawaii


Winner of the 2021 Silver Medal for Best Illustrator, Moonbeam Children's Book Awards

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

Caren Loebel-Fried is an acclaimed author and artist from Volcano, Hawaiʻi. Conservation and the natural world are the foundations of her work. She has written and illustrated eight award-winning storybooks to date, including Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds (2020), A Perfect Day for an Albatross (2017), and Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits (2002).