Tammy Yee, Illustration and Design

A True Princess of Hawaii

Written by Beth Greenway
Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Arbordale Publishing
Hardcover: 32 pages
ISBN-10: 1628559489
ISBN-13: 978-1628559484

Nani has always dreamed of being a princess. When a real Hawaiian princess comes to her hometown of Hilo, Nani dresses in her best clothes. But as she watches Princess Luka, who has come to save the town from a volcanic lava flow, Nani learns that there is more to being a princess than fine clothes. This incredible story of kindness and generosity is based on the historical events of the 1880-1881 eruption of Mauna Loa on the Island of Hawai'i and the real-life Princess Luka.

This fictional story includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 25-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. A True Princess of Hawai'i is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers.


Behind the Scenes: Illustrating "A True Princess of Hawai'i"

Years ago, I lived in Kaumana, six miles above Hilo town on the island of Hawai'i. Many of the homes were built on the remnants of the 1881 Mauna Loa eruption featured in the book, "A True Princess of Hawai'i." Evidence of the eruption was everywhere. Lava rock walls bordered tiny gardens, and black pahoehoe lava peaked through the grass, ferns and 'ohi'a trees. Nearby was Kaumana Cave, part of a miles-long lava tube that was formed during the eruption. It was the perfect place to raise two young sons!

Since then, I have been fascinated with the story of Princess Ruth's intervention to save Hilo from Pele's destruction. So I was thrilled to work with Arbordale Publishing on A True Princess of Hawai'i. Their team is devoted to creating books that encourage kids to explore, and their website features lesson plans and activities to supplement learning.?
Princess Ruth Ke'elikolani
Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Character studies and sketch of Hilo town in the 1880s.

Rough drafts for cover.

TOP IMAGE: View of Waianuenue Street from the Hilo Wharf in the 1890s, and the illustration of Keoki and Nani racing to the town pier to greet Princess Luka.
BOTTOM IMAGE: Hilo Wharf in the 1880s, and the illustration of the arrival of Princess Luka.

Coloring and Origami Activities

© 2019 Tammy Yee
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