Categorized | Books, Entertainment, Featured

‘Naupaka’ wins national book award


The American Folklore Society has awarded “Naupaka” the 2009 Aesop Prize for Children’s Folklore, authored by the late Nona Beamer.

Published by Kamahoi Press, an arm of Bishop Museum Press, “Naupaka” tells the legendary tale of two villagers and their love for each other.

In this loving testament to her legacy of storytelling, Beamer tells of a time long, long ago, when a romance blossomed between “Naupaka,” a kind and beautiful Hawaiian princess, and Kaui, a handsome and gentle commoner.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Caren Keala Loebel-Fried and includes an audio CD featuring Nona Beamer with musical accompaniment by slack-key master, Keola Beamer.

The Aesop Award Committee, which praised its bilingual presentation, stated, “Naupaka, released shortly after (Aunty Nona’s) death, reflects her care not only in retelling the story, but in providing cultural context, botanical details and sources for further research.”

The Aesop Prize and Aesop Accolades are conferred annually by the Children’s Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society.

The award criteria include:  Folklore should be central to the books’s content and, if appropriate, to its illustrations; the folklore presented in the book should accurately reflect the culture and worldview of the people whose folklore is the focus of the book; the reader’s understanding of folklore should be enhanced by the book, as should be enhanced by the presence of folklore; the book should reflect the high artisitic standards of the best of children’s literature and have strong appeal to the child reader; and folklore sources must be fully acknowledged and annotations referenced within the bound contents of the publication.

“We are delighted that ‘Naupaka’ has received this prestigious award,” said Bishop Museum President & CEO, Timothy Johns. “This award not only gives national attention to the legend of Naupaka, but also honors the late Aunty Nona who was an iconic figure of the Hawaiian cultural renaissance.”

Written in both English and Hawaiian, “Naupaka” is available at Bishop Museum’s Shop Pacifica and other fine booksellers throughout the islands.

Bishop Museum Press is Hawaii’s oldest book publisher and one of the first scholarly publishers in the Western Hemisphere.

For more information about Bishop Museum, visit or call (808) 847-3511.

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