Books Bring Local Culture To Keiki
“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” Mason Cooley
There is no substitute for books in the life a child, and this is something children’s book author Jerilyn Ito knows very well. Ito, who also works as a registered nurse at the Department of Veterans Affairs, began to pursue her passion for writing in 2004, and today she’s the author of two published books, Finding Our Ohana and Double Rainbow Island.
“I’m a mother to a 12year-old son and 7-yearold daughter, and when my son was 4, I wanted to write a story for him and other keiki,” Ito says. “I soon found writing to be my passion. Children inspire me, and above all else I really want to bring attention to important social issues in a way that children will be able to understand.”
Ito’s short stories are family-friendly and appropriate for children ages 4 to 7. Her first book, Finding Our Ohana, was published in 2010, and Ito’s latest offering, Double Rainbow Island, was published last November. Ito collaborated with illustrators Brooke Wilmeth and Melissa Wong to bring her ideas and stories to life.
“Finding Our Ohana and Double Rainbow Island both highlight the importance of working together and the importance of family here in Hawaii,” Ito explains. “People really seem to enjoy the morals of the stories, and I’ve had a lot of people from the Mainland, in fact, tell me that they appreciate the stories and really gain a grasp of Hawaii’s culture.”
Ito’s books are currently sold at Native Books/Na Mea Hawaii in Ward Warehouse or online at findingourohana.com and amazon.com.
And Sunday (March 11) from 2 to 4 p.m., you too can celebrate the works of Ito, as she’ll be signing copies of Double Rainbow Island at Ward Warehouse. Entertainment will be provided by The Junior Kekuewa Jr. Hula Angels and Stevo The Clown, among others, and free face painting and balloon-making by Aloha Clowns; cotton candy, shave ice and popcorn will make it a fun event.
“It’ll be a great event,” states Ito, who is a graduate of Kailua High School, University of Hawaii School of Nursing and has a master’s degree in organizational change from Hawaii Pacific University. “I’ll be signing books, and the best thing is that a portion of the proceeds will benefit Hawaii Literacy.”