Aloha has become a universal word, but what does it really mean beyond the greeting that we hear so often? Answering that question is the theme behind a beautifully done 38-page book featuring 11 full-color illustrations depicting life in Hawai‘i.
“Aloha – What it Means to My Ohana and Yours” tells the story and lessons of aloha as told by Lahela Keikila‘au‘o‘wakanahele Chandler Correa, a native Hawaiian. She shares the lessons taught to her by her parents and all of the generations before them to instill love, harmony and respect for each other and their community.
The book, designed by co-author Ann Hettinger, includes pictures and activities to introduce these life lessons in a fun and interactive manner. The cultural and historical portions of the book teach about the Hawaiian people and their values. It is an excellent book for residents and visitors, and reminds us about the importance of preserving values and traditions within cultures worldwide and for every generation.
The idea for teaching the world about aloha came from Lahela and Ann, co-founders of Aloha Publishing Hawai‘i. They are two women coming from very different backgrounds culturally, racially and geographically. However Lahela’s upbringing in the spirit of aloha and Ann’s desire to create a better world for her grandchildren was the start of Aloha Hawai‘i Publishing in 2015.
Their vision is to help people all over the world to live a life full of aloha, to share the meaning of aloha as taught in the Hawaiian culture and to apply those teachings to everyday life to inspire, create harmony and reawaken aloha in the hearts of all people.
“Much of what we teach in Hawaiian Studies is based on the value of Aloha. The book that Lahela Correa and Ann Hettinger have written brings those lessons home with beautiful illustrations by Michelle Marsh,” said Hawaiian Studies kumu Sabra Kauka
“Aloha – What it Means to My Ohana and Yours” was released in late August.
“We are very excited about the overwhelming positive reaction to our book,” Ann said. “Our book is a fresh approach to sharing Aloha. We have been told that kids really like it because they think it is pretty cool. People are enjoying the easy reading format, thought provoking questions, and beautiful colorful illustrations.”
The books are currently being distributed at a variety of stores on Kaua‘i, including and throughout all of the Hawaiian Islands by the distributor Islander Group.
“We have been delighted with the response,” Ann said. “The inviting beauty of the cover encourages people to open it and read the message of Aloha inside.”
In addition to the distribution through retail stores in Hawai‘i, the books are available on their website alohapublishinghawaii.com, and soon to be on amazon.com .
The authors held a book signing and fundraiser at the Tahiti Nui Luau Room in Hanalei on Nov. 11, and there will be another signing at The Book Store in Hanapepe on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Hettinger and Correa have also developed a new program, “Building Character through Aloha,” and hope to get it integrated into as many schools as possible. Part of the proceeds from retail sales of the books will help school programs that do not have sufficient funds to purchase the books.
“Thanks to the support of some sponsors who really believe in our program we have already been able to supply books to some schools,” Ann said. “They are using it in classes at Hanalei School, Kekaha Elementary School and Kanuikapono Charter School in Anahola for their K-5th grade program.”