12 Exciting and Educational Books About Hawaii for Kids of All Ages

by | Jan 25, 2024

Are you and your keiki (children) curious about the enchanting islands of Hawaii? Maybe you’re planning a trip, or perhaps you just want to bring a bit of aloha spirit into your home.

Finding engaging ways for kids to learn about these unique islands can be challenging, but don’t worry! That’s where books come in – a time-tested gateway to knowledge and adventure for youngsters everywhere.

Quick Recommendations

For a quick recommendation, check out our list of the best books about Hawaii for kids or scroll down for more detailed reviews. 

Planning a trip to Hawaii? Join our Hawaii Travel Facebook Group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

This books about Hawaii for kids post is written by Ali Murphy, a full-time elementary teacher for 20 years and an expert in Hawaii travel. The post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you use the provided links. Learn more on my privacy policy page.

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One fascinating fact is that Hawaii is home not only to breathtaking beaches but also to an array of endemic wildlife – animals that exist nowhere else on Earth.

Imagine diving into stories that introduce these exotic creatures alongside legendary volcanoes and rich cultural tales.

From my experience as a full-time elementary teacher, my classes have enjoyed many of these books about Hawaii.

This article brings together 12 remarkable books about Hawaii for kids, specifically selected for young readers eager to embark on a literary journey through Hawaii.

With each turn of the page, they’ll soak up history, Hawaiian language, culture, and fun facts tailored just for them.

Ready for an island adventure in reading? Let’s get started!

12 Books About Hawaii for Kids

1. Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! (Junie B. Jones, No. 26)

Aloha-ha-ha!
Embark on a Hilarious Hawaiian Adventure for Early Readers

Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! takes young readers on a trip with the ever-energetic first grader, Junie B. Jones to the sunny shores of Hawaii.

This book is packed with fun as Junie B. shares her adventures and misadventures while learning about a different culture and place.

Kids will laugh out loud as they follow her unique take on everything from Hawaiian traditions to the wonders of ocean life.

With its easy-to-read style, “Aloha-ha-ha!” helps kids understand and appreciate the beauty and diversity of Hawaii through Junie B.’s eyes.

The book has pictures that bring the story to life, making it more than just words on paper. It’s like taking a vacation right from your reading nook! This makes it our top pick for children exploring Hawaii, because it combines education with entertainment so well.

You can trust this book to capture your child’s imagination while teaching them valuable lessons about travel, respect for other cultures, and having fun discovering new places.

Whether you’re planning a family trip to Hawaii or just dreaming about it, Junie B.’s journey is an excellent start for any kid looking to learn more about these incredible islands in an enjoyable way.

This book is a chapter book geared toward newly independent readers, but it is also an engaging read aloud for younger kids.

Overview

  • Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! is a fun and entertaining book for kids in first grade
  • It follows the adventures of Junie B. as she explores new places like Hawaii, which helps kids learn about different cultures
  • The story includes humor and relatable situations that can help kids develop their reading skills with enthusiasm
  • Readers can relate to Junie B.’s experiences, making it easier for them to engage with the story and improve their comprehension skills
  • This book encourages children to embrace new experiences and enjoy learning, fostering a positive attitude towards education

Pros

  • Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! is an entertaining and humorous book for first graders.
  • The story helps children learn about friendship, empathy, and problem – solving in a fun way.
  • It encourages young readers to embrace new experiences with courage and creativity.
  • With its engaging storyline, the book fosters a love for reading in early grade students.

Cons

  • Junie B. Jones book may contain some language and behavior that parents might find inappropriate for young readers
  • The storyline may not always provide strong moral lessons or positive role models for kids
  • Some readers feel that the character of Junie B. promotes disobedient behavior

Highlights

  • Published on May 8, 2007.
  • Contains 128 pages with a reading level suitable for 6 – 8-year-olds.
  • Part of the Junie B. Jones series, book number 26 out of a total of 28 books in the series.

2. How Cara Lost Her Color

How Cara Lost Her Color
Engaging Hawaii adventure story perfect for kids' imagination and learning.

How Cara Lost Her Color is a powerful story that opens young minds to the beauty of marine life and the dangers it faces.

It’s our number two pick because it combines a touching tale with a vital lesson on environmental care, which is especially important for visitors experiencing Hawaii’s rich coral reefs.

The book’s main character, Cara, represents the vibrant corals found in Hawaiian waters. When her friend Zoey has to leave due to warming seas, kids learn about coral bleaching in a way that’s clear and strikes an emotional chord.

Not just captivating fiction, this book is backed by real-world issues – giving children insight into how their actions impact ocean life.

Parents and teachers will find “How Cara Lost Her Color” not only sparks conversations about climate change but also encourages responsible tourism. As families explore Hawaii’s natural wonders, they can connect Cara’s story with actual underwater scenes.

This helps reinforce why we must protect these ecosystems for creatures like Cara and her friends.

Features

  • Vibrant colors: Enjoy the captivating hues that bring Cara’s story to life, making reading and learning more engaging.
  • Authentic illustrations: Dive into Cara’s world through beautifully crafted art that sparks imagination and visual storytelling.
  • Diverse characters: Meet a range of relatable personalities as Cara navigates her journey, promoting empathy.
  • Inspiring storyline: Follow along on Cara’s adventure, where bravery, friendship, and determination take center stage for an uplifting read.

Pros

  • teaches kids about the delicate coral reef environments in the oceans around the Hawaiian Islands
  • Helps support parents teaching kids about responsible tourism
  • Adorable and lovable characters
  • Beautiful and vibrant pictures

Cons

  • Cara Lost Her Color is a not an easy read for young readers and adults will need to read aloud
  • Some readers may find the plot of Cara Lost Her Color predictable.

How Cara lost her color is a great book to help teach kids about the delicate coral reef environment.  This book can help kids of all ages understand why using reef safe sunscreen in Hawaii is so important.  We can all do our part to help our coral reef stay colorful.

Highlights

  • Beautifully illustrated picture book for young readers
  • Ideal for young readers and as a read-aloud book
  • Ideal for children aged baby to 12 years old

Listen to our podcast with the author of How Cara Lost Her Color.

3. Ohana Means Family

Ohana Means Family
Perfect Introduction to Hawaiian Culture for Families with Kids.

Ohana Means Family is a heartwarming book that takes you straight to the sunny shores and rich culture of Hawaii. Imagine you are walking on a beach with your family, feeling the love and connection that ‘ohana’ represents.

This book shines because it shows how every family member has a special place in the Hawaiian tradition.

You’ll find Ohana Means Family is our number three pick for its beautiful illustrations and engaging story that teaches about caring for one another and nature.

Kids will learn important Hawaiian words as they explore vibrant scenes of island life. Think about reading this with your young ones; it’s like taking them on an adventure right from your living room!

Parents love sharing this story because it not only entertains but also instills values of community and respect, which are crucial parts of Hawaii’s spirit.

It stands out for being more than just fun – it’s a cultural journey woven into an easy-to-follow tale for kids to cherish. Turn each page together, embracing the welcoming embrace of ‘ohana’, understanding why family means so much in every corner of Hawaii.

Features

  • Interactive storytelling: Engaging narrative that encourages active participation and imagination.
  • Diverse characters: Representation of different cultures and backgrounds to promote inclusivity.
  • Emotional intelligence development: Encourages empathy, understanding emotions, and problem-solving skills.
  • High quality illustrations: Visually captivating artwork to enhance the storytelling experience.
  • Educational value: Combination of entertainment with valuable life lessons for young readers.

Pros

  • Promotes a sense of togetherness and belonging
  • Encourages bonding and connection among family members
  • Provides heartwarming reminders of love and support within the family unit
  • Inspires feelings of warmth, unity, and camaraderie

Cons

  • Price might be higher for some customers
  • Limited availability in certain regions

Highlights

  • Published on April 5, 2022
  • Suitable for kids aged 3 – 6 years

4. High Tide in Hawaii (Magic Tree House 28)

Sale
High Tide in Hawaii (Magic Tree House 28)
Ideal for curious kids aged 7-10 keen on Hawaiian adventures.

High Tide in Hawaii is the 28th book in the popular Magic Tree House series. This adventure-packed story takes young readers on a thrilling journey with siblings Jack and Annie as they explore the sunny beaches and rich culture of Hawaii.

Kids who dream about visiting this beautiful island will get a sneak peek into Hawaiian life, including dance, history, and even a close-up look at volcanoes.

What makes “High Tide in Hawaii” stand out are its fun facts mixed with an exciting story. As kids follow along, they learn without even realizing it!

The book tackles natural disasters like tsunamis but keeps things light enough for children to digest. Readers can feel like they’re learning from a friend rather than sitting in a classroom.

This book is not just another tale; it’s a magic carpet ride that offers lessons on bravery and friendship while highlighting Hawaiian traditions.

Whether read alone or shared as a family, “High Tide in Hawaii” sparks imagination and teaches valuable insights about one of America’s most fascinating states – making it an ideal pick for curious minds ready to dive into island adventures right from their own homes.

Features

  • Jack and Annie travel to ancient Hawaii in the Magic Tree House. They get to experience the thrill of exploring a new place and learning about its culture.
  • The book is great for kids who want to learn about history while also enjoying an exciting adventure story.
  • Readers can learn valuable lessons about friendship, bravery, and curiosity through the engaging storyline.
  • The vibrant illustrations bring the story to life and make it easier for young readers to understand and enjoy.
  • This book encourages children’s imagination as they visualize themselves traveling back in time with Jack and Annie.

Pros

  • Children can learn about Hawaiian culture and history through an exciting adventure story.
  • The book encourages reading comprehension as kids follow Jack and Annie’s journey.
  • It helps cultivate curiosity in children by introducing them to new places and experiences.
  • High Tide in Hawaii fosters a love for exploration and learning in young readers.

Cons

  • Limited in – depth historical context
  • Lack of complex vocabulary and advanced language structure
  • Repetitive storytelling formula

Highlights

  • Published on March 25, 2003.
  • Suitable for kids aged 6 to 8 years old.
  • Part of the Magic Tree House series (Book 28 out of 38).

5. Grandpa’s Mixed-Up Lu’au

Grandpa's Mixed-Up Lu'au
Discover Hawaii's Vibrant Culture in An Engaging Kids' Adventure!

Imagine taking your kids on a wild adventure through Hawaii, all from the comfort of your home. Grandpa’s Mixed-Up Lu’au can do just that!

This book is perfect for families planning to visit Hawaii or just dreaming about it. It gives children a colorful peek into Hawaiian culture and traditions with a fun twist.

In Grandpa’s Mixed-Up Lu’au, we follow an exciting story where everything doesn’t go as planned at Grandpa’s big beach party. Kids will learn about the importance of family, teamwork, and the rich cultural heritage of the islands as characters come together to save the day. The book features vibrant illustrations that bring Hawaiian festivities to life.

The best part? As children dive into this tale full of mishaps and laughter, they also pick up real facts about Hawaiian foods, music, and dance. It’s like taking an educational trip without leaving their room! Whether you’re gearing up for an island vacation or just want to teach your kids about diverse cultures in a fun way, Grandpa’s Mixed-Up Lu’au makes learning enjoyable. 

Pros

  • Fun and engaging Read Aloud
  • Helps young children learn Hawaiian words

Cons

  • Hard to find new
  • Inconsistent quality control of used books
  • Limited availability

Grandpa’s Mixed-Up Lu’au is perfect for families or educators looking to introduce children to the vibrant culture of Hawaii while having fun! So, why wait? Grab a copy now and get ready to explore the beautiful island through this engaging and educational book.

Highlights

  • Published on October 2, 2012
  • Hardcover format

6. Aloha is…

Aloha is...
Immerse Your Child in Hawaii's Culture with Engaging Educational Books.

Aloha is not just a word; it’s the spirit of Hawaii captured in print. As a guide for families exploring this tropical paradise, it brings the islands’ rich culture and history to life.

Imagine your children flipping through vibrant pages, their minds sailing across the Pacific. They’ll meet fascinating sea creatures, learn about legendary heroes, and understand what ‘ohana means.

This collection of stories serves as both a window into Hawaii’s soul and a map for adventure. Each page turns into an opportunity for kids to discover how lava shapes the land or why hula is more than just dance – it’s storytelling swaying in the breeze.

Aloha teaches respect for nature’s power and treasures while sparking curiosity that will keep young readers engaged.

Pack Aloha on your family vacation to Hawaii or curl up at home with tales that blend learning with fun. Your child might be tracing the path of humpback whales one moment and then laughing at trickster tales from Polynesian folklore the next.

Let Aloha be your keiki’s companion as they embark on this unforgettable island journey without ever leaving home.

Highlights

  • Published in 2006
  • Suitable for ages 6 – 8

7. Too Many Mangos

Too Many Mangos
Explore Hawaii's vibrant culture and paradise through a fun story.

Too Many Mangos shines as a bright and colorful book that takes kids on a journey through Hawaii’s warm neighborhoods. Kama and Nani’s adventure with their grandpa highlights the spirit of sharing and community.

As they pick mangos from their tree, readers learn about Hawaiian culture without even realizing it! The fun doesn’t stop at just picking fruit; this story is also about giving back, all while enjoying juicy, delicious mangos in different ways.

Kids visiting Hawaii will love this book because it offers them a peek into island life. They can see themselves in Kama and Nani, making new friends and tasting fresh treats.

The illustrations are full of life, showing off Hawaii’s sunny days and happy faces. Teachers and parents can use this story to talk about kindness, helping others, and trying new things like the tasty mangos of Hawaii.

This book isn’t just for reading—it’s a doorway to talking with kids about travel, nature, food, and friendship. “Too Many Mangos” fits perfectly among stories that educate while entertaining young minds eager to explore the world around them.

And for those thinking about or visiting Hawaii with children, it becomes an extra special treasure—a ripe mango ready to enjoy under the shade of a palm tree.

Highlights

  • Publication date: November 17, 2009
  • Reading age: 2 – 5 years

8. Tutu Makes a Lei

Tutu Makes a Lei
Explore Hawaiian Culture Through Fun Educational Books for Kids.

Tutu Makes a Lei is a charming book that takes kids on a colorful journey through Hawaiian tradition. Tutu, which means grandmother in Hawaiian, shows her love by making a beautiful lei.

This story is more than just fun; it teaches about the care and respect that goes into creating this special gift. It’s perfect for Hawaii visitors who want to learn more about the local culture.

As Tutu picks flowers and ties them together, readers learn how each part of the lei has meaning. The bright pictures help children see what Hawaii looks like, from its vibrant flowers to its green mountains.

Kids also pick up words in Hawaiian as they read along, like “aloha” and “mahalo”, which means hello/thank you.

Parents will appreciate how Tutu Makes a Lei sparks curiosity about nature and kindness towards others. This book is great for those looking to bring home some of Hawaii’s warm spirit or planning a family trip there soon!

Highlights

  • Published on December 12, 2018
  • Hardcover with 24 pages

9. The Ultimate Hawaii Activity Book

The Ultimate Hawaii Activity Book
Perfect for sparking kids' creativity and learning about Hawaiian culture.

Kids going to Hawaii will love The Ultimate Hawaii Activity Book. It’s packed with fun games, puzzles, and coloring pages. They learn about the islands in a cool way.

Plus, there’s a travel planner and journal pages where they can write their own adventure stories. And don’t forget the packing lists! These help make sure kids remember everything for their trip.

Think of this book as a friend that guides your child through Hawaii. While playing themed games, children get to know Hawaiian culture and nature. With every puzzle they solve or page they color, they dive deeper into the rich history and exciting places of Hawaii.

It’s like having both a playmate and teacher on hand during your vacation.

Before setting off to explore beaches and volcanoes, “The Ultimate Hawaii Activity Book” prepares young minds for the journey ahead. It even helps parents by keeping kids engaged and learning on long flights or car rides across the islands!

This activity book turns waiting times into fun educational moments – giving families an extra layer of joy during their Hawaiian vacation explorations.

Features

  • Exciting themed games, puzzles, and coloring activities to keep kids entertained during travel or at home, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills.
  • Engaging learning fun that introduces children to Hawaiian culture, history, and geography while they play and explore.
  • An interactive travel planner complete with journaling pages and packing lists empowers kids to take an active role in planning their Hawaii adventure.
  • Designed for ages 8 and up, ensuring age – appropriate content that is both enjoyable and educational for older children.
  • Provides a unique way for kids to connect with Hawaii before visiting or as a souvenir after the trip.

Pros

  • Engages kids with themed games, puzzles, and coloring activities
  • Provides a travel planner to help organize Hawaii adventures
  • Includes journaling pages for kids to record their experiences
  • Offers packing lists to ensure nothing is forgotten on the trip

Cons

  • Limited appeal to kids under 8 years old
  • Might require adult assistance for younger children
  • Some activities may be too complex for some kids

Highlights

  • Published on June 16, 2021
  • Contains 130 pages of activities

10. Froggy Goes to Hawaii

Froggy Goes to Hawaii
Embark on a Tropical Journey Through Hawaii with Froggy!

If you’re taking your kids to Hawaii, Froggy Goes to Hawaii needs to be on your packing list. This book is a blast! Froggy jumps right off the page with his fun-filled Hawaiian adventure. From surfing the waves to dancing hula, he brings laughter and excitement that’s perfect for young readers.

Think of this as not just a storybook but a sneak peek into Hawaiian culture through Froggy’s eyes.

Kids will love how even when things don’t go as planned for Froggy, he stays upbeat and keeps trying new things. It’s full of colorful pictures by Frank Remkiewicz that make every beach and dance come alive.

Your children can learn about the spirit of aloha alongside Froggy while they get ready for their own island experience.

Author Jonathan London knows how to write stories that stick with you. As you read this book together, it’s like you’re already in Hawaii, feeling the warm sun and cool ocean breezes along with Froggy and his friends.

“Froggy Goes to Hawaii” is more than just a book; it’s an exciting ride through tropical fun that sets the stage for kid-friendly learning about one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Features

  • The colorful illustrations in the book bring the story to life, captivating young readers’ imaginations.
  • With simple language, this book helps improve children’s reading skills while teaching them about different places in an enjoyable way.
  • The storyline promotes curiosity and a love for travel, inspiring children to learn about new destinations.
  • Through Froggy’s adventures, kids can learn valuable lessons about friendship, problem – solving, and respect for nature.

Pros

  • Experience a fun and educational adventure with Froggy in Hawaii
  • Enjoy vibrant illustrations that bring the story to life
  • Encourage children’s love for reading and learning through an engaging storyline
  • The book encourages curiosity and a love for exploring new places.

Cons

  • Limited availability in stores
  • Some readers may find the story too simple or predictable
  • Repetitive storyline
  • Limited educational or moral content

Highlights

  • Published on April 12, 2012
  • 32 – page illustrated edition paperback
  • Suitable for kids aged 3 – 6 years

11. Kai The Hawaiian Monk Seal: Adventures in Maui

Kai The Hawaiian Monk Seal: Adventures in Maui
Exciting Hawaiian adventure for young marine life enthusiasts.

Kai The Hawaiian Monk Seal: Adventures in Maui takes young readers on a thrilling journey with Kai, the curious seal who explores the beautiful island of Maui.

This book is a treasure for families planning to visit Hawaii or for kids who dream of ocean adventures. Through Kai’s eyes, children learn about Hawaiian culture and wildlife. They get to swim alongside colorful fish, dance at luaus, and even escape from tricky situations.

The storybook combines facts about Hawaiian nature with fun tales that keep kids turning pages. Each page is like a little vacation packed into words and pictures! With lively illustrations, kids feel as if they are playing hide-and-seek in coral reefs with Kai himself.

Parents love how this book sparks their children’s imaginations while teaching them respect for marine life.

Reading Kai The Hawaiian Monk Seal is not just an adventure; it’s a way to bring far-off places close to home. Kids can picture themselves splashing through waves without leaving their room!

Whether preparing for a real trip to Hawaii or dreaming from afar, this book will be one they reach for again and again.

Features

  • Kai the Hawaiian Monk Seal is a fun and educational book that takes kids on an adventure through Maui’s beautiful landscapes.
  • The vibrant illustrations bring the story to life, captivating young readers and sparking their imagination.
  • Through Kai’s journey, children learn about the importance of protecting marine life and preserving natural habitats.
  • The engaging storyline teaches valuable lessons about friendship, bravery, and conservation in a way that resonates with kids.
  • This delightful book not only entertains but also educates, making it a perfect choice for parents who want their children to learn while enjoying a great story.

Pros

  • Engaging story about a Hawaiian monk seal’s adventures in Maui
  • Beautifully illustrated with vibrant images of Hawaii and its wildlife
  • Promotes environmental awareness and conservation through storytelling
  • Educational content for children, teaching them about marine life and the importance of protecting it

Cons

  • Limited availability
  • Not suitable for children under 3 years old
  • May not appeal to older readers

Highlights

  • Published on September 4, 2023
  • Suitable for kids aged 5 to 12 years

12. Punky Aloha

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Punky Aloha
Perfect for kids to discover Hawaii's wonders through a fun story.

Punky Aloha is a bright and cheerful book that takes you on an island adventure.  Kids love it because it’s fun to look at and easy to read.

Find out what happens when Punky sets out to help her grandmother make her famous banana bread. 

This book helps you understand what makes Hawaii special, and even teaches some Hawaiian words!  Punky Aloha brings a piece of the islands home with you in a way kids remember and talk about.

Highlights

  • Published on June 7, 2022
  • Ideal for preschool to grade 3

Benefits of reading books about Hawaii for kids: cultural education, language exposure, historical knowledge

Reading books about Hawaii gives kids a chance to learn about its unique culture. They get to hear stories of how the islands came to be and the people who first lived there. This helps them understand different ways of life.

Kids also pick up new words from the Hawaiian language, which is a fun way to learn a new way of speaking.

Books About Hawaii for Kids Wrap-Up

Kids love finding new stories and learning about the world, and Hawaii is a place full of wonder. With these 10 books, you get to explore Hawaiian culture, animals, history, and so much more! Books like “Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha!” make you laugh while sharing island adventures.

And “How Cara Lost Her Color” teaches about life under the sea with bright pictures.

If you’re interested in buying these great books for your kids or as gifts, start with book one and two from our list. They mix fun tales with facts that help children see how special Hawaii is.

Dive into these pages to share a piece of paradise at story time!

FAQs for Hawaii Books for Kids

1. What kind of books about Hawaii are good for kids?

There are many great books for kids that teach about Hawaiian culture, history, and animals. Kids can enjoy stories about geckos, learn from picture books with illustrations of Maui or explore the national parks.

2. Can you find books for all ages that tell stories set in Hawaii?

Yes! From babies to elementary schoolers, there are exciting Hawaiian kids’ books like “High Tide in Hawaii” and others by authors like Gill McBarnet.

3. Are there educational children’s books about trips to Hawaii?

Sure! Travel books for kids show what a trip to Hawaii is like with fun facts on places like Kauai and Oahu.

4. Do these Hawaiian children’s books have pictures?

Absolutely! Many favorite children’s books about Hawaii come with colorful illustrations to show off the sights, animals, and adventures you can find in Hawai’i.

5. Where can I buy these Hawai’i-themed children’s book?

Kids’ travel and educational themed-books set in Hawaii are found at stores or online sites like Amazon.com. Some links might be affiliate links where we may earn if you buy through them.

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Ali Murphy

Ali Murphy

Ali Murphy is a mom of 3 and wife of Bryan Murphy of Hawaii’s Best Travel. Ali is an elementary teacher with 20 years of experience and an expert in Hawaii travel. Through her travel hacks and logical approach in how to travel to Hawaii as a family, Ali’s wisdom brings a depth of insight to Hawaii’s Best Travel.