Hawaii's Animals Do the Most Amazing Things!
48pp. November 2014
Hawaii's Animals Do the Most Amazing Things!
Author: Coste, Marion; Illustrator: Ekmanis, Rena;
Hawai‘i is like no other place on earth. Raised above the sea by volcanic action, the islands are home to a fascinating array of animals, most of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Because the Hawaiian islands are so isolated—more than 2000 miles from any large land mass—many of its native animals have developed unusual adaptations that help them survive. For example, Hawai‘i has
* whales that sing
* dolphins that spin through the air
* bats that turn somersaults as they feed
* shrimp that climb waterfalls
* killer caterpillars
* a tiny blood-sucking bug that survives on the summit of Mauna Kea

Hawai‘i’s habitats are fragile, however, and many of its native species are in danger of becoming extinct. Humans are the most dangerous threats to these threatened animals. Habitat destruction, pollution, development, and introduced species have all contributed to the loss or diminishment of Hawai‘i’s native species.

Hawai‘i is the extinction capital of the United States. Only through education and thoughtful conservation can we prevent the disappearance of any more of Hawai‘i’s unique animals. The first step is to learn about these animals and begin to appreciate their special characteristics.

A Latitude 20 Book
"Coste goes well beyond expectations in this informative guide, drawing aspiring scientists into the fascinating realm of Hawaiian animals. . . . Each entry is informative and insightful. . . . Original decorative illustrations are appropriate and well placed. Middle school students will find useful material to extract for report writing, but the text is complex enough to entice older readers, too. A well-written overview of Hawaiian animals." —School Library Journal (January 2015)
Author: Coste, Marion; Illustrator: Ekmanis, Rena;
Marion Coste, a graduate of Connecticut College, has been involved in the field of education for more than 40 years as an elementary school teacher, college instructor, teacher trainer, and museum director. Growing up on the New Jersey shore, Marion loved to learn about how different animals live in the wild. She was introduced to the fascinating and fragile world of native Hawaiian wildlife by researchers and colleagues at Bishop Museum in Honolulu.

Marion is the author of four other books about Hawaiian native species: Nēnē (Hawaiian goose), Honu (Hawaiian green sea turtle), Kōlea (Pacific Golden Plover), and The Hawaiian Bat, ‘Ōpe‘ape‘a. She has also written Wild Beach, a book about a barrier island beach off Charleston, South Carolina, and Finding Joy, the story of a family who adopted a baby girl from China.

Marion was awarded the Anna Cross Giblin nonfiction grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in 1991 and received the 1999 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award for excellence in children’s literature for Kōlea and honorable mention for the same award in 2006 for The Hawaiian Bat.

Rena Ekmanis is a natural science illustrator and fine artist dedicated to conservation, environmental awareness, and environmental education through art. She has a BFA in Drawing from California College of the Arts, a Science Illustration Graduate Certificate from California State University, Monterey Bay, and a Montessori Teaching Certificate from Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. Rena works in a variety of mediums including watercolor, acrylics, oil paints, ceramic sculpture, and digital media. Among her favorite subjects are cetaceans and other marine life, birds, and endangered species. The artist loves to spend time in the field, hiking, swimming, and scuba diving, in order to get close to her subjects and observe them in their natural habitats. Rena hopes that her artwork contributes to a greater awareness of the miraculous flora and fauna of the earth. She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii.