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2017 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award winners

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The enduring appeal of printed books shone in the winners announced Thursday at the 2017 Ka Palapala Pookela book awards hosted by the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association at the Arts at Marks Garage in Chinatown.

The Samuel M. Kamakau Award for Hawai‘i Book of the Year was awarded to “Hanau ka Ua: Hawaiian Rain Names” (Kamehameha Publishing), written and compiled by kumu hula and social studies teacher Collette Leimomi Akana with her daughter Kiele Gonzalez, illustrated by Sig Zane and designed and produced by Barbara Pope Book Design.

Rich with mele (songs) and moolelo (stories) and botanical illustrations overlaid with rainlike transparencies, “Hanau ka Ua” also won the award of excellence in text or reference books. The judges described the colorful volume as a “beautifully designed and much-needed collection of rain names that will serve as a resource for Hawaiians to reconnect to generational knowledge about their environment.”


>> Samuel M. Kamakau Award: “Hanau ka Ua: Hawaiian Rain Names,” by Collette Leimomi Akana with Kiele Gonzalez, illustrated by Sig Zane (Kamehameha Publishing)

>> Hawaiian language, culture, history: “Facing the Spears of Change: The Life and Legacy of John Papa ‘I‘i,” by Marie Alohalani Brown (University of Hawai‘i Press)

>> Illustrative or photographic books: “Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Na Hulu Ali‘i,” edited by Leah Caldeira, Christina Hellmich, Adrienne L. Kaeppler, Betty Lou Kam and Roger G. Rose (UH Press, in association with Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)

>> Literature: “Murder Frames the Scene: A Hawai‘i Mystery,” by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl (UH Press)

>> Natural science: “Hawai‘i’s Kolea: The Amazing Transpacific Life of the Pacific Golden-Plover,” by Oscar W. Johnson and Susan Scott (UH Press)

>> Nonfiction: “Curve of the Hook: An Archaeologist in Polynesia,” by Yosihiko Sinoto with Hiroshi Aramata; edited by Frank Stewart; translated by Frank Stewart and Madoka Nagado (UH Press)

>> Special interest books: “Aloha Expressionism by Contemporary Hawaii Artists,” by Tiffany DeEtte Shafto and Lynda McDaniel (Contemporary Publications)

>> Aloha from Across the Sea: “Taken From the Paradise Isle: The Hoshida Family Story,” edited by Heidi Kim (University Press of Colorado)

>> Children’s literature: “‘Iwa: The Hawaiian Legend,” written and illustrated by Dietrich Varez (Petroglyph Press)

>> Cookbooks: A Filipino Kitchen: Traditional Recipes with an Island Twist,” by Adam Tabura (Mutual Publishing)

>> Design: Barbara Pope Book Design, for “E Luku Wale E,” photography by Piliamo‘o: Mark Hamasaki and Kapulani Landgraf (‘Ai Pohaku Press)

For a full list of nominees and honorable mentions visit

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