Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits
128pp. December 2002
Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits
Author: Loebel-Fried, Caren;
Winner, 2003 Ka Palapala Pookela Awards for Excellence in Illustration and in Children's Hawaiian Culture

Ancient Hawaiians lived in a world where all of nature was alive with the spirits of their ancestors. These aumakua have lived on through the ages as family guardians and take on many natural forms, thus linking many Hawaiians to the animals, plants, and natural phenomena of their island home. Individuals have a reciprocal relationship with their guardian spirits and offer worship and sacrifice in return for protection, inspiration, and guidance.

Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits is told in words and pictures by award-winning artist Caren Loebel-Fried. The ancient legends are brought to life in sixty beautiful block prints, many vibrantly colored, and narrated in a lively "read-aloud" style, just as storytellers of old may have told them hundreds of years ago. Notes are included, reflecting the careful and extensive research done for this volume at the Bishop Museum Library and Archives in Honolulu and at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. A short section on the process of creating the block prints that illustrate the book is also included.

The matching poster of "A Chance Meeting with the Iiwi" measures 22 x 28 inches.

"Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits is unique indeed as it retells legends in an entirely new way. Perhaps most noteworthy of all are the 60 woodcuts, some in color, that are spread throughout the book. This work deserves the attention of Hawaiian collectors who savor the spiritual aspects of life in the islands and the role it still plays in the lives of many." --The Molokai Dispatch, November 2002

"Caren Loebel-Fried is an artist and writer whose show at the Volcano Art Center in 2000 has now been turned into a book ... The well-made volume consists of nine illustrated retellings of Hawaiian mo'olelo (legends) about protective gods, divided into five chapters, one for each of them. Her medium is block prints, very stylized, clean and appealing, and the stories are told in a very readable ... style." --The Honolulu Advertiser, December 2002

"Volcano artist Loebel-Fried, who both 'retells' these tales and created the way-cool block prints that illustrate this handsome book, delves into the fascinating legends of Hawaiian aumakua, or creatures who watch over us." --Honolulu Star Bulletin, November 2002

Author: Loebel-Fried, Caren;
Caren Loebel-Fried is an award-winning author and artist from Volcano, Hawai‘i. Plants, birds, conservation, and the natural world are the foundations for her work. Caren has created seven storybooks to date, including Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits and Hawaiian Legends of Dreams, all made with the ancient art of block printing, taught to her by her mother. Caren’s books have been recipients of the American Folklore Society’s Aesop Prize for Children’s Folklore and the Hawai’i Book Publishers Association’s Ka Palapala Po’okela Awards.

In addition to books, Caren creates iconic, educational art for local and national conservation organizations and government agencies, including the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Kilauea Point Natural History Association, and Conservation Council for Hawai’i. In the Hawaiian rainforest, she lives among many native plant and bird species. Caren spent five weeks on Midway Atoll counting and researching albatrosses and the native plants there. Caren aims to bring people, especially children, closer to the natural world with the hope that they will want to help care for it.

"Caren Loebel-Fried's writing is fresh and vivid, her art strong and alive ... and I found her research to be outstanding. Hawaiian Legends of the Guardian Spirits will enrich the hearts and minds of readers. The strength of Caren's retelling comes from a very honest wellspring of love for her work on behalf of Hawai'i and its people." --from the Foreword by Nona Beamer

Download sample chapter The Sacred Tree (150K PDF)