December 01, 2015 |



  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / 2007Jennifer Nones and her daughter Jasmin
    Jennifer Nones and her daughter Jasmin
  • enjoy a bumper car ride at the 50th State Fair.
    enjoy a bumper car ride at the 50th State Fair.
  • 3

3 new book ideas for toddlers

Based out of Kaneohe, BeachHouse Publishing recently released three new board books for toddlers, "perfect for drooling gums and curious hands," including the latest gecko-themed book by Sunday Star-Advertiser contributing comic strip creator Jon Murakami.

Following the lead of "Geckos Go to Bed" and "Geckos Surf," his new book, "Geckos Up, Geckos Down," is the third of four titles about Hawaii’s favorite house lizard. This time, the little critters’ antics demonstrate the use of prepositions and directions.

The other two books are illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong, a Pennsylvania-born artist who now calls the islands home. "Aloha Zoo" and "Sam Surfs" are her first children’s books. "Aloha Zoo" is a whimsical look at some of the animals that can be found at the Honolulu Zoo. "Sam Surfs," inspired by Tsong’s 2-year-old son, is about a little boy who, when told that he’s too small to surf, pretends to ride the big breaks by using an ironing board in his living room.

The books retail for $7.95 each and are available at stores and on


Fair features leaping-dog competition

Dogs will be leaping off the end of a 40-foot dock into a pool of water as part of the DockDogs competition featured during this final weekend of the 50th State Fair at Aloha Stadium.

The contest, as seen on ABC and ESPN’s "Great Outdoor Games," is the fastest-growing sport for canines in the world, according to promoters. Henry, a Chesapeake Bay retriever in San Diego, holds the No. 1 ranking in the world for big-air champ.

The competition is open to local dog-handler pairs, who can register on site. For more information, visit

Besides leaping dogs, the entertainment will feature Jasmin Idica at 7:30 p.m. today and Anuhea at 9 p.m. Tomorrow, Rebel Souljahz will perform at 7:30 p.m.

The 50th State Fair will open at 4 p.m. today and noon tomorrow, its final day. Admission is $3 for those arriving before 6 p.m., $5 after 6 p.m. Children under 40 inches tall get free admission. For more information, call 682-5767 or visit


Exhibit highlights plight of refugees

We generally think of children’s museums as a sugary way of getting kids to consume bland facts. The best museums, however, for any age, make one think about questions rather than answers.

Here’s one to ask your child: If you had a couple of minutes to grab five objects from your home to keep, and you had to leave home immediately and could never return, what would they be?

Oh, and you’ll have to carry these items yourself, as you walk 100 miles with little food or water.

Not an easy question, and there are no simple answers. It’s one of the first things asked in "Torn from Home: My Life as a Refugee," a traveling exhibit taking up residence at Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center until Oct. 16.

Curated and designed by the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum in Las Vegas, "Torn" is on a decade-long tour of the country with frequent return visits to Las Vegas. The spark plug behind the exhibit is Hawaii resident Pam Omidyar — yes, of the eBay Omidyars — who helped create a smaller exhibit at a school along with curator Elaine Bole, who worked with refugee children in Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Uganda and Iraq, and with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees and World Vision. The small exhibit was a success, and Omidyar, sparing no expense, contracted with the Lied museum for a touring edition, designed by Stacey Mann.

Also contributing were the World Food Programme, Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders. Transportation to Hawaii was paid by Unbound Philanthropy.

The goal of the exhibit is to introduce kids to the harsh realities of refugee existence, while also celebrating the accomplishment of building new lives in a foreign land. According to United Nations statistics, more than 43 million people around the world are "stateless." "Torn" gets the human cost across with exhibit stops called "Home," "Losing Home," "Registration," "Refugee Camp," "Medical Clinic" and "Going Home." The exhibits are self-guiding and include samples of shelter, food, medical care, schooling and the desperate play activities of refugee children — soccer balls of garbage bags and twine, a scooter of bark and wheels cut from rubber slippers, a tiny truck created from a plastic milk container, dolls made of garbage.

The Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center run will include monthly events and parallel exhibits highlighting refugee contributions from Laos, Vietnam and Burma.

The center, located at 111 Ohe St. in Kakaako, is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and closed Mondays.

Information: or — Burl Burlingame


Free film fest starts at Dole theaters

Families are once again invited to Regal Entertainment Group’s free summer film festival at the Dole Cannery Stadium & IMAX theaters in Iwilei.

The films are rated either G or PG, and screenings are matinees that start at 10 a.m. each Tuesday and Wednesday. Regal will screen two films each day simultaneously.

Seating is first-come, first-served, and tickets are available at the theater box office the morning of each screening.

The festival has been a summer tradition since 1991.

Here’s the schedule of films:

» Tuesday and Wednesday: "Tale of Despereaux" and "The Spy Next Door"
» July 6 and 7: "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and "Surf’s Up"
» July 13 and 14: "Daddy Day Camp" and "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs"
» July 20 and 21: "Madagascar" and "Where the Wild Things Are"
» July 27 and 28: "Doogal" and "Night at the Museum II"
» Aug. 3 and 4: "Curious George" and "Monsters vs. Aliens"
» Aug. 10 and 11: "Hotel for Dogs" and "Planet 51"
» Aug. 17 and 18: "Charlotte’s Web" and "Imagine That"
» Aug. 24 and 25: "Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie" and "Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs"


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