It makes sense that Hawaii’s fairy folk are ecologically minded because the ancient Hawaiians revered nature–so, of course that would be reflected in their legends. Menehune, although sometimes mischievous, were often credited with helpfully building fish ponds, rock walls, irrigation ditches and other natural formations. In this new keiki book titled The Little Greenies, Manu the Seabird,  Hawaii resident Petronella Evers introduces us to a new type of island fairy folk in the form of sprites called the Little Greenies.

So far there are four Little Greenies: Ula, Akamai, Pua and Ipo, each with their own personality. While playing in the garden one day, the Little Greenies find two children worrying over a sick sea bird. The Greenies use an apricot whistle to call a Greenie doctor who finds out that Manu the Seabird is sick because he swallowed some plastic while hunting for fish. The children and the Greenies want to make sure no other birds get hurt so they organize a beach clean up!

The Greenies are handcrafted by Petronella and their costumes are inspired by things of the earth. Each one is unique. The whole book is illustrated with detailed, colorful photographs that Petronella took herself with the Greenies posed in various ways. She created an entire garden world where the Little Greenies live, complete with a little house made with vines and palms. The pictures are fun and vibrant, and it’s entertaining for the kids to see if they can spot the Greenies–they kind of blend into the landscape with their adorable “leaf” clothes. It almost makes me want to go rooting around my own garden just in case there might be a Greenie hiding somewhere, it certainly made my little cousins wonder.

It’s hard not to pick up this book and enjoy the cute smiling faces of the Greenies. I especially loved the bonus at the end where the Greenies teach you how to make your own apricot whistle. The Little Greenies, Manu the Seabird is a fresh, creative book with a great message about taking care of the land and sea, as well as caring for the animals that share them with us. I hope we see more nature adventures with the Greenies and their keiki friends.

We had the privilege to meet Petronella at the Hawaii Book & Music Festival; she’s so charismatic  it’s easy to see where the Little Greenies get their energy from. Stay tuned, in the next couple of weeks we’ll have an author interview with Petronella and hopefully we’ll get to ask the Greenies some questions too. 😉