Who could pass up the chance to visit Maui in the winter? My husband and I took a break from the mainland before Christmas to visit a close high school friend whose grandparents live in Kaanapali. Since my most popular book, A Swim through the Sea, is about the ocean, I worked out a couple of school visits. I spent a whole day at Waihe`e Elementary School, which is tucked into a lush, untouristy part of the island, on the north side. The students presented me with a gorgeous orchid lei, as you can see in the picture. I was thrilled to see that the kids knew many of the species in my ocean book – especially the humpback whale! I even learned the Hawaiian words for some of the animals. He`e means octopus, for example. Mrs. Heyd (my teacher contact) even took me to see the beautiful Iao Valley after school. Thank you for the hospitality, Waihe`e School!
Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini is an award-winning author and illustrator. She loves visiting schools and sharing her inspiring story of publishing her first book when she was only 16 years old with children.