"Merrie the Little Hula Dancer," written and illustrated by Maureen Quemada (Mutual Publishing, $14.95), is a quaint tale that teaches children how to count to 10 in both English and Hawaiian. Merrie, a lonely hula dancer, makes wishes to enlarge her halau. One by one the dancers are added to the group until Merrie is satisfied.
The vibrant illustrations provide an array of whimsical backdrops for Merrie and the dancers.
The critters in the book, like the bird that helps her wishes come true and the white cat that graces just about every page, add a charming effect.
Quemada is an award-winning folk artist whose work has been displayed in juried exhibitions throughout the Southwest.
The book evolved from Quemada’s interest in Hawaiian language and culture. She lives near Hilo.